9 August 2012

million+ comment: Independent Fee Commission fails mature students

The university think-tank million+ has criticised the first report from the Independent Commission on Fees for its failure to make any assessment of the impact of the new fees and funding system on mature students. The Commission, chaired by Will Hutton and supported by the Sutton Trust, concluded that applications from younger students have fallen but is silent on the impact of the new system on mature students.

Pam Tatlow, Chief Executive of the university think-tank million+ said ‘One in three undergraduates start university when they are over 21 and applications from older students have fallen by over 11%. The Fees Commission has made a serious error by failing to assess the impact of the new system on students who want to enter higher education later in life. Studying for the degree you need to get the job you want is still one of the best ways to get a job and a career. At a time of high unemployment, it is also important to emphasise that there is still time for people to apply to start at university in 2012’.

Notes to editors:

  1. million+ is a leading university think-tank, working to solve the complex problems in higher education www.millionplus.ac.uk. For more information please contact Pam Tatlow on 0207 717 1655 or 07795645241.
  2. In May 2012 million+ and the National Union of Students published a report Never too Late to Learn which set out the benefits and also the challenges facing mature students who start studying for a degree when they are older. The report can be found here.
  3. The Independent Commission’s first report can be found at the Commission’s website.