According to a YouGov poll, most people believe that university tuition fees of £9,250 are “poor value” and support graduates in England repaying a higher percentage of their student loans.
Only one in five respondents to the survey of over 1,500 adults believed the current level of fees in England and Wales represented excellent value for money, while just over half said it did not.
Graduates were more likely than non-graduates to agree, with graduates agreeing that £9,250 was bad value, compared to non-graduates, who said it was at 47% of the time.
When pollsters questioned graduates about the education they received, the findings were very similar: 64% thought it would be poor value for money at £9,250 a year, while only 23% said it would be good value.
According to a YouGov study, many voters appear to accept both the recent changes made by the English government to the student loan repayment system and the way that tuition costs are now structured in England and Wales. However, even though support was highest among Conservative voters, there were few indications of enthusiasm for specific initiatives.
This Is How Many Britons Feel About University Tuition Fees.
Because the majority of students from Scotland do not pay tuition fees, it is important to note that these findings only apply to English and Welsh tuition fees.
A sizeable minority of young people between the ages of 18 and 24 (43%) expressed opposition to newly announced changes to how graduates will repay their student loans.
Starting this year, students starting their degrees will begin repaying their loans whenever they earn £25,000 annually, as opposed to the previous loan payback threshold of £27,295 annually. It will also take some graduates longer to pay off their student debt because they must repay their loans over 40 years rather than over 30 years.
The Higher Education Policy Institute’s Nick Hillman provided the following response to the survey’s findings to The Guardian: “Demand from universities has never been higher. Even though it may seem expensive, individuals are nonetheless willing to do it.”
Given the cost of studying in general, it’s not just new students who are feeling the pressure. Vicky Spratt of Refinery29 revealed in April that graduates in England and Wales who borrowed money after 2012 may have to make larger monthly payments on their student loans starting this month.
This is due to two factors: first, the government’s modifications to the way student loan repayments operate, which were disclosed in the spring statement; and second, rising inflation during the cost of living crisis.
The Effect of Tuition Fees on Equity and Enrollment in Higher Education in England.
There have been numerous policy changes affecting higher education over the last 25 years. The government was unable to afford to fund the cost of enrolling due to expanding student enrollment and demand for higher education. It was decided to enact tuition charges. Many at the time thought that this, along with modifications to maintenance grants, would cause enrollment to decline along with demand and the equity gap to widen.
In hindsight, none of these worries came true. The opposite is true; enrollment trends have been rising, with only very modest declines noted in response to national reforms and policy changes. Even if equity has to be addressed further, it has been better during the period under discussion and hasn’t gotten worse as a result of changes in tuition costs. More BAME groups than ever before are represented than ever before in English universities.
Future studies should look into how the policy changes discussed in this paper have impacted educational delivery and the wellness of students and staff (particularly mental health). There is also a need for research into ways to narrow the inequality gap and further enhance equity in higher education.
Labour ran on a platform of eliminating undergraduate tuition fees in the previous two elections, however, under Keir Starmer’s leadership, the party has not yet committed to a specific policy.
With 74% in favour and only 8% against, the results did demonstrate strong support for increased scholarships for students from “poor economic backgrounds.” Bursaries for students who “achieve the highest grades” at school were backed by 56%.
Additionally, 65% of respondents agreed that institutions “should not be permitted to give spaces to persons who do not have a minimum number” of A-levels, GCSEs, or equivalents. This plan would limit student loans to those who meet minimum entrance standards. Only 21% of respondents favoured having no entry requirements.