Midland Universities Warn May Not to Cut Student Tuition Fees; Claims Teaching and Research Would Suffer

The Birmingham Post (England), February 22, 2018 | Go to article overview

Midland Universities Warn May Not to Cut Student Tuition Fees; Claims Teaching and Research Would Suffer


Byline: Jonathan Walker Political Editor jon.walker@trinitymirror.com

TOP West Midlands universities have warned the Government not to cut student tuition fees unless it is prepared to give them more money from elsewhere.

Warwick University said slashing fees could mean cutting the amount of teaching and research that universities carry out, unless the Government provided replacement funding. And the head of Aston University warned that the people who would gain from cutting fees would be richer graduates.

Prime Minister Theresa May promised to make student funding fairer, as she announced plans for a review of post-18 education.

The review will focus how students and graduates contribute to the cost of their studies, to ensure funding arrangements across post-18 education do not stop people from going to university receiving training. This could include encouraging universities to offer cheaper fees for some courses.

It will also examine how students from lower-income families receive financial support from the Government, universities and colleges. This could mean re-introducing grants for some students, after they were replaced with loans in 2016.

But Warwick University spokesman Peter Dunn said: "Fees were introduce to replace government money for teaching. Money was taken away.

"So universities haven't benefited from fees. It was to replace money they had previously.

"If any party decides to change the fee structure in any way, then universities are going to be looking to them to replace the funding.

"Universities do not have shareholders. They do not make a profit. All the money they get in is spent on research and teaching.

"If we have less money for research and teaching, there will be less research and teaching."

Alec Cameron, vice-chancellor of Aston University, said in advance of Mrs May's statement that cutting fees could be "regressive" because it is likely to benefit only the wealthiest graduates. …

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