Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Oxford Pro V-C 'Interested' in Truly Variable Fees: News

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Oxford Pro V-C 'Interested' in Truly Variable Fees: News

Article excerpt

Another senior figure at the University of Oxford has backed the prospect of truly variable fees - a move that could lead to some institutions charging significantly more than the current Pounds 9,000 maximum.

Andrew Hamilton, the Oxford vice-chancellor, recently used his annual oration to urge a future government to allow "significantly different" amounts to be charged by different universities.

At a Sutton Trust event in London on 13 November, Sally Mapstone, pro vice-chancellor for education at Oxford, was asked whether the university would want to see a system of truly variable fees.

"We would be very interested in seeing the potential for a move to variable fees," she told the event.

"But I think there are a couple of things that go with that. One is that price should never be an impediment to talent. They have got to be able to get in.

"The other is that when you look at the repayment mechanism, you're looking very hard at income-contingent measures."

On measures to improve access and encourage poor students to apply, Les Ebdon, director of fair access, had told the event: "The evidence we have (at the Office for Fair Access) is that (scholarships and bursaries) don't make a difference to people's decisions. …

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