UUK response to Sutton Trust fees report

Responding to the Sutton Trust’s report on tuition fees, Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive of Universities UK, said:

"Universities UK has said from the outset that any changes to the current funding regime must not deter students from disadvantaged backgrounds. 

"UUK recommended to Lord Browne that the maximum graduate contribution level should increase over time, but must remain regulated and carefully monitored precisely so that it does not disadvantage students from poorer backgrounds. And of course, university should remain free to students at the point of entry. As now, it is graduates who should repay contributions towards the costs of their courses, and students should pay nothing.

"We have also argued that the system could be made more progressive with reforms such as a real rate of interest, which would reduce the taxpayer subsidy for higher earners. The system should also be reformed to allow universities to target financial support more effectively so that they can minimise the impact of graduate contributions on students from poorer backgrounds.

"Since graduates benefit personally from their degrees, it is right that they make a direct contribution to the costs of study. Undergraduate education does cost money and in an era of public funding cuts, we have to look fairly and squarely at what the choices are.

"The need for reform of the higher education funding system is urgent, because of imminent public sector cuts to universities. If graduate contributions are not increased, possible spending review cuts will make it extremely likely that either student numbers will be cut or the quality of the student experience will be at risk - or indeed both. This would be extremely damaging for students, the economy and society."


1. The report - Increasing university income from home and overseas students: what impact for social mobility? - will be available to download from: http://www.suttontrust.com/home/

2. For more information on Universities UK's submission to the Browne Review, visit:

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