UK Government Consult to Drive Up Quality of University Courses

The UK Government is set to consult to drive up the quality of university courses and make sure that degrees provide students with all the skills they require. They feel this will make the higher education system in the UK fairer for both taxpayers and students thanks to significant reforms announced by the government today.

The UK Government plan to put student finance on a much more sustainable footing by making sure students are paying their loan back in full. There will also be a clampdown on poor-quality university courses that do not actually benefit graduates in the long term. Under the current system, people are increasingly going to university but not getting the true value out of it. Students are finding themselves in huge debt for courses that lack quality and do not result in good jobs with liveable wages.

This ultimately means some students never even begin to pay off their student loans. In addition, just one-quarter of students who began full-time undergraduate degrees in 2020/2021 are expected to repay their loans in full currently. The cost of student loans is also increasing at a very fast rate.

The value of outstanding loans at the end of March 2021 was £161 billion and this is expected to increase to half a trillion pounds by 2043. This is precisely why the government is taking action today, so they can tackle this problem and avoid passing it on to future generations. They plan to set out significant changes to the way in which students repay their loans, and create a sustainable system that ensures access for everyone.

In order to make the system fairer for students, the interest rate will be set at RRI+0% for new borrowers beginning courses in 2023 and 2024. This means graduates will no longer repay more than they are borrowing. Combined with the continued tuition fee freeze that was announced earlier in February, a student going into a three-year program in 2023/2024 is likely to see their debt decrease by up to £11,500 at the point where they become eligible to repay.

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