HIGHER EDUCATION PACKAGE "THE BEST POSSIBLE DEAL FOR STUDENTS" - HUNTER

November 5, 2010 5:10 PM
HIGHER EDUCATION PACKAGE

HIGHER EDUCATION PACKAGE "THE BEST POSSIBLE DEAL FOR STUDENTS" - HUNTER

Local MP Mark Hunter has welcomed yesterday's announcement in Parliament on Higher Education funding by saying that the package presents the best possible deal for students given the current state of the economy.

The statement made yesterday outlined plans will promote high-quality university teaching and research, and will guarantee fair access for all - regardless of background. It will also deliver a progressive, sustainable funding structure with measures including:

• The poorest 30% of graduates will pay less for university - access to higher education will always be based on ability to pay.

• Graduate contributions will be capped at £6,000 for most students - Lord Browne's proposal to allow universities to set charges as high as they wish has been rejected.

• Maintenance grants and loans will be improved - almost one million students will receive more overall maintenance support than they do now.

• Student loans will be extended to part time students - no longer will they be ignored by the system.

Commenting, Mark said:

"Although it has, sadly, not been possible to scrap tuition fees entirely as we had hoped, I believe these proposals secure a viable future for higher education in our country.

"I was delighted to see that, thanks to Lib Dem influence in Government, Lord Browne's recommendation of having unlimited tuition fees has been rejected and instead we will see a basic £6,000 cap, with students only paying up to £9,000 in exceptional circumstances.

"Our plans demonstrate fairness for students, for graduates and are affordable for the nation. They are much more progressive than the top up fees system introduced under the Labour administration, and are a huge step to improving higher education in Britain."

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