Tuition Fee Discounting
Another of our forecasts comes true with several universities announcing revisions to their plans for the full £9,000 annual tuition fees. The Coalition’s plans to reserve funding and 20,000 places for those charging less than £7,500 has caused ranks to break.
Reportedly, some 27 universities (in England) have already applied to the Office for Fair Access (Offa) to revise their access and fee agreements (with the deadline for doing so having passed by the time you get this). However, before advising students to wait and see, it is worth reminding ourselves that many of those seeking revision of fee levels may well have been going to do so in any case. It is unlikely that any of the top ten universities will be among the reduced fee club.
Having said all of this, it is worth starting to ask which courses are considerably down. Many may be excellent choices that have seen a reduction in international student applications, and are thus more likely to have places available.
In terms of fees, Careers Teachers have to be careful about quoting Ministers, quangos like the Funding Councils, or even Vice Chancellors. No-one knows what will finally happen by next July and August. It is plausible that fees will fall on a course by course basis, based on how full or empty they are. Certainly institutions in Wales are worth keeping any eye out for, as several are already charging considerably less than the maximum and have associated lower costs of living.