Today’s news review looks at news reports on the higher education system.
Over the weekend, there was widespread speculation around student loan interest rates and reforms for tuition fees.
The Sunday Times reported a suggestion that a planned rise in interest rates for student loans could be reduced while the Telegraph speculated that the £21,000 graduate salary threshold for repayment could be raised.
The government has not announced any plans to change interest rates or to change the repayment threshold.
We always look at the student loan system to make sure it is fair and effective. The mechanism for setting student loan interest rates is set out in legislation. The regulations state that rates are set annually, apply from 1st September and are based on the RPI figure from the previous March.
Minister for Universities, Jo Johnson, has outlined the government’s current position on the in England.
The Government consciously subsidises the studies of those who got a variety of reasons, including family responsibilities, may not repay their loans in full. This is a vital and deliberate investment in the skills base of this country, not a symptom of a broken student finance system.
And the evidence bears this out: young people from poorer backgrounds are now going to university at a record rate – up 43% since 2009.
We should of course not be complacent. Students deserve value for money for the courses they are paying for. One of the central goals of our higher education reforms is to make universities accountable for students’ experience and the quality of education they receive through the Teaching Excellence Framework.
Find out more about student finance here.