Cut tuition fees and interest rates on student loans – Augar leak

The long-awaited post-18 tuition fee review is tipped to be released this week and will recommend a 20% cut in tuition fees and a nearly 5% cut in student loan interest rates

There should be a cut tuition fees and interest rates on student loans, the long-awaited Augar review will recommend, according to leaked data.

The recommendation to cut tuition fees from £9,250 to £7,500 comes as educations secretary Damian Hinds says there should be “an end to low value degrees”.

Findings from the review, led by Philip Augar, are expected to be released in the dying days of Theresa May’s premiership, and may also recommend that interest rates on student loans be reduced from 6.3% to 1.5%.

Reform of student loan interest rates was suggested in a report released in June 2018 by the House of Lords economic affairs committee. The report predicted that the size of student loans would grow to £1tn in the 25 years.

With uncertainty over the future direction of the Tory leadership, the non-binding recommendations from Philip Augar’s review may never become policy.

It has been suggested the report will make 40 recommendations which include:

  • Changing the repayment of loans. The report will say interest rates should be cut but the payback period should be increased beyond 30 years. Student loans would not grow as quickly but graduates will be required to repay the loan for longer.
  • Reducing tuition fees by 20%.
  • Reintroducing means-tested grants.
  • Supporting part-time degrees and bite-sized courses.
  • More loans to cover student living costs.
  • Boasting funding to vocational and technical courses.

The average debt for graduates is about £50,000. Last year, former education secretary Justine Greening recommended replacing the system with a tax on graduates in a blog post for Conservative Home.

Got a news story for UB? Contact James Higgins on 0117 300 5526

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