?14,000 tuition fees planned for shorter courses

?14,000 tuition fees planned for shorter courses


Universities in England will be able to charge higher annual fees for shorter degree courses, under plans from the government.

Students will be able to get a degree in two years rather than three - and save a year's living costs.

But universities will be able to charge more - and with fee increases in the pipeline courses could cost above ?14,000 per year.

This would make annual fees in England higher than many US state universities.

The proposals, expected to be presented by the Universities Minister Jo Johnson, would encourage more flexibility over the amount of time spent to study for an undergraduate degree.


There have been attempts to do this in the past - but there has been little financial incentive for universities to run fast-track degrees if the amount they receive in fees is also reduced.

Concerns have also been expressed about a two-tier university system - with better-off students able to pay for a full three-year experience.

The proposals from the minister would allow universities to sign students up for a two-year degree, but with the fee income that would be as much as three years.

It would mean that students and their parents would face lower costs in accommodation and living expenses, with their university studies compressed into two years.

This would also respond to concerns about the lack of "contact time" for some university courses - with some students only receiving a few hours a week of seminars and lectures and long holidays in the summer and at Christmas.

A shorter time in university would also allow students to begin working at an earlier stage and repay their loan debts.

The government has already announced that it wants to increase fees to ?9,250 per year - and then to continue increasing it in line with inflation.

There are also plans to sell more of the loan debts owed by students to private investors - with the amount paid back also including up to 30 years of interest charges.

"Students are crying out for more flexible courses, modes of study which they can fit around work and life, shorter courses that enable them to get into and back into work more quickly, and courses that equip them with the skills that the modern workplace needs," Universities Minister Jo Johnson is to tell university leaders on Friday

"I absolutely recognise that for many students the classic three-year residential model will remain the preferred option.

"But it clearly must not be the only option."



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