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Student top-up fees could be set for further variation
Tuesday, 26 June 2007
Students could be forced to pay variable top-up fees depending on which universities they attend, according to one of Britain's leading education experts.
Lord Dearing was the author of a key 1997 report which first called into question the ways in which universities in the UK were funded, and is seen as an initial driving force for many of the changes in tuition and top-up fees that have followed.
Now, in a speech to Universities UK (UUK), Lord Dearing will warn assembled university vice-chancellors that further reforms to the new student top-up fees system may still be required if the UK is to remain a globally competitive provider of higher education.
Accordingly, Lord Dearing will say, different institutions may soon be forced to charge "differential fees" depending on wider cost factors, and that institutions may be forced to "look beyond the state" for any further significant funding increases.
Top-up fee variation may also hit between subjects, with Lord Dearing's speech set to suggest that courses such as medicine and the sciences, which have been shown to offer higher financial returns than arts courses, could be subject to the most significant cost increases.