Theresa May announces “desperate” plan to suspend tuition fees

Theresa May has announced that tuition fees will stay at £9,250 for 2018/19, a change from the previously proposed plan to increase the maximum to £9,500.

There was also a proposal announced to increase the repayment thresholds from £21,000 to £25,000 a year, which will be introduced in April 2018.

The threshold will rise each year in line with the average growth in annual earnings. This could potentially save graduates thousands of pounds.

“May has stated that the government needs to “look again” at their approach to tuition fees”

Furthermore, also announced is the review of interest rates on loans, which have recently risen to 6.1% this term. However, as 77% of graduates don’t pay the full amount, this will not have a massive impact on most students.

May has stated that the government needs to “look again” at their approach to tuition fees and that a full review is in order.

Labour, however, see this as a “desperate” plan as they want to put a stop to tuition fees altogether.

“fees ought to be reduced rather than simply capped”

The government is also considering the introduction of fast track, two-year university courses, in order to reduce the amount of debt in which students leave university.

Another consideration is the introduction of fee reductions for students who are studying certain subjects, where there is a shortage of skills, such as engineering.

Laura, a second-year English and Philosophy student, told Impact: “It is interesting to see how the Conservatives appear to be attempting to appeal to younger voters, especially after the election results in June. Student debt is something which is always increasing and more people are deciding to go to university and, in an ideal world, fees ought to be reduced rather than simply capped.”

Hannah O’Hanlon

Featured image courtesy of ‘Kunal Shah’ via Flickr. License here.
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