– Abolish cap on tuition fees of £3,290 per year.
– This could potentially allow universities to charge fees of more than £20,000.
– Universities would, however, be subject to a levy on fees greater than £6,000 which would be used to pay for the cost to the government to provide students with upfront loans.
– The levy increases with for every £1,000 charged above £6,000.
– Universities would no longer have to offer a minimum bursary (currently £329).
**Student loans and grants**
– Students do not have to pay tuition fees up front.
– Students can take out a loan to cover the proposed variable fees, and loans for living costs will be capped at £3,750 for all students regardless of household income.
– Students would start to repay the cost of their loans when their income reaches £21,000, compared to the current £15,000.
– Interest on loans would be charged at 2.2 percent – equal to the Government’s rate of borrowing. The current rate of interest is zero percent, meaning the increase is likely to attract significant opposition.
– Interest rates will remain at zero for graduates earning less than £21,000.
– The report proposes wiping out student debts after 30 years compared to 25 at present.
Maximum maintenance grants would rise from £2,906 to £3,250 with the income cut off remaining at £25,000.
– Students should be able to apply for small grants if household income is below £60,000.
Part time students would be eligible for the first time for loans for their fees.
– It proposes an increase in the number of university places; a 10 per cent increase over three years.
– This rise should however reflect demand from students instead of being imposed across the board.
– No cap on numbers of students at university; popular universities can expand whilst others may be forced to close.
– Only students who meet minimum entry criteria in terms of UCAS points – which will be set by the Government – will be eligible for state funded loans.
– Universities which charge over £7,000 would be scrutinized closely by the Government over widening access to poorer pupils.
– It proposes an 80 percent cut in the teaching grant to universities; demonstrating a slight fall in their overall income if universities charged fees of £6,000, and a slight rise if they all charged £7,000.
– Government funding stripped for all university courses except “priority” subjects such as medicine, science, certain languages and engineering.
– A Higher Education Council to be established to replace four existing higher education bodies: the Higher Education Funding Council for England, Quality Assurance Agency, Office for Fair Access, and the Office of the Independent Adjudicator.
– All new academics who will teach should undergo teaching training.