Tuition fees in in Wales and England could be set to increase again

Many universities in England and Wales want a sharp increase in tuition fees.

It has been reported that fees may be raised to between £4,000 and £20,000 per year, with more than half of all university heads wanting students to pay at least £5,000 per year, or for there to be no limit.

Tuition fees are already under debate, with the recent increase to a cap of £3,500, and now plans by the Labour Goverment to increase this cap.

This would affect about one million students, with the worry that universities will start to market courses at different costs.

This could result in Cardiff Students coming out with debts of around £32,000.

When CPS Homes asked students of how this would have affected their choice to come to Cardiff the responses were in unison.

"I could not even consider coming to Cardiff Uni when I know I would be leaving with debts of this amount" said one second year student, currently studying at Cardiff.

"I'm already leaving [Cardiff] Uni with debts of about £15,000, which my parents are helping me out with. They just couldn't afford to help me out with more"

There has been no comment from Cardiff University, on if the fees were increased if they would charge the full amount.

The Westminster government has so far refused to be drawn into speculation about any changes.

"We made a commitment to Parliament during the last fees review that we would return to the issue only after the first cohort of students paying under the current regime had finished their degrees," said Mr Lammy. "We are not breaking that commitment.

"There is an important debate to be had now, which is about how we maintain the world class status of our higher education sector."

In Wales the means-tested fees are at the same level as England, but for Welsh students at universities in Wales there is a subsidy for the first £1,255.

The One Wales agreement between Labour and Plaid Cymru says current fee levels will be maintained until 2009-10.

Plaid Cymru has restated its opposition to fees. But under proposals put out for consultation by Education Minister Jane Hutt, the student subsidy would be replaced the following year by means-tested grants.

What do you think? Would an increase in tuition fees affect your decisoin to come to Cardiff? Are you a local business, would a decrease in student numbers have a knock on effect to you?

Leave your comments below. 

17 March 2009


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