Alistair Jarvis, Chief Executive of Universities UK, said:
"The tuition fees system in England has allowed universities to offer a world-class education, provide the economy with highly skilled graduates, and transform the lives of students from all backgrounds, but it is right to look at ways to ensure it is affordable and fair."
"We're pleased the Government is looking at ways of addressing students' money concerns. Raising the loan repayment threshold will put extra cash in the pockets of many graduates starting their careers. Universities UK would like to see the Government going further by reintroducing maintenance grants for those most in need and reducing interest rates for low and medium earners. We also need to do more to reverse the worrying decline in the numbers of part-time and mature students."
1. The shift in 2012 to £9,000 fees in England replaced the income universities previously received directly from the public purse. Universities UK Board on 5 September 2017 recommended that government should consider three things in relation to the current undergraduate student funding system in England:
The Government should look at money in the pockets of students and consider the option of providing targeted maintenance grants for those most in need of financial support.
The Government should consider reducing the interest rate payable, not for all, but specifically for low and middle-income earners through changes in the thresholds at which interest rates apply.
More should be done by universities and others to ensure the benefits of the current system of student funding in England are better understood so students, and their families, fully understand how the current system operates and appreciate the important investment they are making in their futures.