News 30 May 2019

UK Government Might Reduce Tuition Fees Soon

30 May 2019

University might become more affordable and more accessible for all thanks to new plans being backed by Theresa May.

The Prime Minister has expressed her support for new plans to cap tuition at £7,500; a large decrease from the current maximum of £9,250 which most of the UK’s top universities charge per year for undergraduate degrees.

On the controversial scrapping of maintenance grants, Theresa May said it “has not worked” and that it is “time to bring them back”.

The maintenance grant which benefitted students from poorer backgrounds by offering them a means tested sum of money to fund their living costs as they studied was discontinued in 2015. The controversial move led to protests across the UK from students, MPs as well as academics who were angry that the move seemingly created additional barriers for students from less affluent backgrounds to access higher education.

The plans come after a review by the government into inequalities in modern day Britain; with access to education being an area where there is a clear and distinguishable class divide.

On the review’s findings, Theresa May said, “I was not surprised to see the panel argue for the reintroduction of means-tested maintenance grants for both university students and those studying for higher technical qualifications.

“It will be up to the government to decide, at the upcoming spending review, whether to follow this recommendation. But my view is very clear: removing maintenance grants from the least well-off students has not worked and I believe it is time to bring them back”.

The plans will need to backed by parliament and pushed forward by the Prime Minister when the review takes place later this year. As Theresa May announced her resignation earlier this month following intense scrutiny over Brexit, it is not yet known whether the UK’s new leader will accept and put into place this review’s findings.