Login

close

Login

If you are a registered HEi-know user, please log in to continue.


Unregistered Visitors

You must be a registered HEi-know user to access Briefing Reports, stories and other information and services. Please click on the link below to find out more about HEi-know.

Find out more
To boost social mobility, we must first accept that it does not yet exist

As Staffordshire University launches a new widening access initiative, its Vice-Chancellor Professor Liz Barnes explains why she believes institutions like her own have a crucial role to play in making social mobility a reality.

Minimal Covid-19 impact on 2020 NSS results, analysis finds

The vast majority of students were satisfied with their university course in 2020, despite the Covid-19 lockdown from March, a sector-level analysis of the National Student Survey results has found.

Collegiality enhances university leadership in a post-Covid world

Jonathan Baldwin, managing director of higher education at Jisc, looks at the changing role of post-Covid university leadership and the enduring need for collaboration.

Moving the HE landscape’s quality contours … again

The government's announcement of a major review of the National Student Survey signals a worrying shift in the HE regulatory landscape, warns Jon Scott, higher education consultant and former Pro Vice-Chancellor (student experience) at the University of Leicester.

Think tank report calls for fees to be capped as low as £5,000

Tuition fees should be capped at as low as £5,000 and the interest rate on student loans lowered to match inflation levels, according to a report published by the free-market think tank the Centre for Policy Studies.

The report by the former investment banker Michael Johnson who ran David Cameron’s Economic Competitiveness Policy Group accuses the government of missing a chance to take more radical action on tuition fees by deciding to freeze them at £9,250.

The fees freeze was announced at the Conservative Party conference by Prime Minister Theresa May, along with an increase in the salary threshold at which students have to start repaying their loans from £21,000 to £25,000.  She also announced a major review of university funding, looking at issues such as how to vary the fees charged for each course.

Although the rise in the loans repayment threshold is “an acknowledgement that a fairer funding split between students and the state is required”, it could in practice see student debt write-offs sky-rocket and create a financial time bomb for future taxpayers, according to Johnson, a CPS fellow.

While the Government estimates that one-third of student loans will have to be written off, Johnson calculates the figure at more like 60 per cent or even possibly 75 per cent.

His report, Tuition Fees: A Fairer Fomula, adds: “Cutting the interest rate and the fee cap would lower students’ headline debt burden, and cause expected write-offs to plummet. This would be greatly appreciated by prospective students, and would simplify the student loan framework.”

The current repayment threshold should be maintained, says the report. A lower fees cap of £7,500, or even £5,000, together with a reduced loans interest rate,  would lower the debt burden for graduates and ensure that the Government gets more of its money back.

The proposals would create a funding gap for universities, Johnson acknowledges, which would need to be filled by central government. He recommends mitigating the costs by separating teaching from research, and treating research as investment rather than expenditure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Theresa May "missed opportunity"
Back