Almost three years after the Augar review of post-18 education and funding was announced, the Government has finally responded to the review’s findings. Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner has slammed the Government’s proposals in Parliament today, saying “students will pay more, universities will get less, [and] social mobility [will] be capped”.

Highlighting the Government’s decision to lower the student loan repayment threshold, so that graduates earning more than £25,000 will begin to pay back their student loans, Mr Zeichner said “those on lower and middle earnings [will] actually [be] disadvantaged”. The Government has also announced they will extend the loan repayment period from 30 years to 40 years and cap the tuition fees at £9,250 for a further two years.

Mr Zeichner raised the impact this will have on universities. He asked the Secretary of State whether an impact assessment will be published to show the “knock-on effect for universities in terms of research and development, as we know it’s cross subsidised [and] the Government is already struggling to reach its 2.4% target”.

As the cost of living crisis continues to bite, both students and universities will find today’s Government plan hits their pockets. Universities have faced a funding freeze and students will find that with rising RPI, their debt levels are likely to rise. Mr Zeichner commented “the Government clearly wants to see fewer students entering university in future, undermining social mobility. It is disappointing that an important opportunity to reset student and Higher Education funding has been missed”.

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