03 May 2018
Funding system must be sustainable, fair and flexible, says MillionPlus
In its response to the review of Post-18 Education and Funding, today (3 May) MillionPlus, the Association for Modern Universities, has urged the government to create an English higher education funding system that is sustainable, fair and flexible.
The response recommends that the government consider restoring maintenance grants to support students from low income backgrounds to access university.
It also calls for the implementation of a more flexible system of funding and credit as well as easing restrictions on the use of apprenticeship levy funding, to allow students of all ages to study in a way that suits them, whether this is full-time, part-time, accelerated or work-based study
The response cautions against any attempt to introduce government-imposed differential fee caps.
Dr Greg Walker, Chief Executive of MillionPlus, said:
“The government should use the review to ensure that the university funding system is sustainable, fair and flexible enough so that it works for all. It provides an opportunity to address some of the long-standing declines in part-time and mature students while also supporting students from low income backgrounds through a new system of maintenance grants. When the outcome of the Augar Review is implemented the new system should be relaunched as a Graduate Contribution system, reflecting the progressive nature of repayments by those graduates earning good salaries. Interest rates on loans should reflect the true cost of borrowing for government, not the current higher rates.
“Introducing differential fee caps would damage the interests of future generations of students. Setting set fees according to arbitrary criteria would deprive universities of the investment they require to boost social mobility by providing opportunities to students from disadvantaged backgrounds. It would, in effect, be a reverse pupil premium.”
Notes to editors