University tuition fees and some facts you need to know.

The Coalition Government in reforming higher education funding to ensure universities have the money they need and by following the advice of the independent funding review, set up by the last Labour Government, the upper limit on tuition fees is being raised to £9,000.

According to the new proposal which will be debated and voted on in Parliament tomorrow has stated that students will pay nothing up front, and will only start paying the money back once they’ve left university and are earning over £21,000 a year.

With the varied demonstrations nationally by students and further planned demonstrations for tomorrow it will be an interesting feat.

It is said that there are a lot of myths have been circulated about the plans.

Please see some set out below:



I don’t have £9000 so now I can’t go to university


No one going to university will have to pay anything up front with the new plans. You’ll only have to pay money back after you graduate – and then only if you earn over £21,000 a year.


I won’t be able to repay the debtFact

You don’t have to pay anything back until you start to make over £21,000 a year – and even then, the monthly payments will be linked to how much you’re earning to ensure they’re affordable. If you lose your job, or your earnings drop below £21,000, you won’t have to make any repayments until you start earning over £21,000 again.

Your monthly repayments will also be less under the new plans.


I’d be better off under the old system


Under the old system, you started paying back money as soon as you earned over £15,000 a year – but with the new plans, you won’t pay anything at all unless you earn more than £21,000. In addition, everyone will have to pay back less a month, with most graduates being £45 better off a month, £540 better off a year.

I’ll be paying off the debt forever


Any outstanding debt will be written off after thirty years, regardless of how much you’ve paid back by that point. The new system is designed so that graduates on lower wages will have at least some of their debt written off, with the poorest fifth actually paying back less in total than they do currently.

Tuition fees aren’t fair


Graduates earn, on average, at least £100,000 more over their lifetimes than non-graduates, so it’s fair that you contribute towards your education.



The poor won’t be able to go to university


With no upfront fees, no-one should be put off going to university on financial grounds. The new system will also give more assistance to poorer students:

·         Maintenance grants will be increased from £2,906 to £3,250

·         Universities charging more than £6,000 will have to prove they are taking more students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

·         £150 million will be invested in a National Scholarships Programme to get students from disadvantaged backgrounds into top universities



Parents will have to foot the bill


Parents will not pay any of their children’s tuition fees. The new plans mean that only the student pays for their tuition, and only once they have graduated and are earning enough to be able to afford it.


Teaching will get worse


The new plans will enable universities to spend more resources on teaching – not less. The Government will continue to pay 40% of the cost of higher education – and the changes will benefit universities by putting them on a more financially sustainable footing and making them more responsive to the needs of students.

Universities will suffer


The old system of university finance is unsustainable, which is why the Browne review was established in the first place. The new plans will give universities a sustainable funding stream and higher levels of income in some circumstances. They’ll also put in place a mechanism that rewards universities that respond to the needs of students, for example by encouraging teaching.

Labour’s graduate tax would be fairer


A graduate tax would mean poorer graduates paying more and richer graduates paying less – which is neither fair nor progressive. With the Coalition plans, you don’t pay anything until you start earning over £21,000; but under a graduate tax, you would start paying when you earn just £6,475 – so even those earning minimum wage would have to pay. At the other end of the scale, a graduate making say £60,000 a year would pay £3,500 with our plans, compared to just £1,000 with a graduate tax of 2 per cent.




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