Report Says Student Tuition Fees Should Be Cut

30 May 2019, 20:40

A review says graduates should pay back their debts over 40 years, and not 30.
A review says graduates should pay back their debts over 40 years, and not 30. Picture: PA

A government review has suggested university tuition fees in England should be cut to £7,500 a year.

The repayment threshold should also be extended from 30 years to 40.

The report also recommended bringing back maintenance grants for disadvantaged students, of at least £3,000 a year.

Theresa May has backed that recommendation.

Current students will not be affected because the recommendations are proposed to be introduced in 2021-22, said Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert.

But he said that in the longer term the proposals mean that while tuition fees will be lower, many graduates will begin making repayments earlier and pay them most of their working lives.

Dr Philip Augar said recommended changes to the student loans system would make it easier for mature students to take up education later in life.

Mr Augar - who led the review - said: "The main thrust of the report is to level the playing field between the 50% who go to university who, by and large, are well treated, though we have some recommendations to say there, and then the other 50% who don't go to university, and the vast majority of mature adults out there in the population who have never been to university but who might want to pick up education later in life."

Mr Augar said the proposals would see it made easier to get a "lifelong learning loan allowance" that can be drawn down in "chunks" over a person's working life.