Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Government university scholarship scheme "unworkable and unfair"

The universities think tank Million+ has branded the coalition government's university scholarship scheme "unworkable and unfair". From the BBC:

"[. . . ] A scholarship scheme to part pay the university fees of students from the poorest homes has been branded "unworkable and unfair". University think tank Million+ claims the £150m funding for the scheme may not be enough to pay the fees of students who would qualify. It adds that making universities give a year's free tuition to poorer students could push fees up higher.

The government says it wants to open up universities to more people.  MPs will vote later this week on plans to raise fees to a maximum of £9,000. There are also plans to cut university teaching budgets which along with the fees rise have sparked widespread protests. Under its national scholarship scheme the government is proposing to fund a year's free tuition for students from the poorest backgrounds - those who were on free schools meals when they were at school. And universities charging more than £6,000 in fees would be required to give a second year free to poorer students. [. . .]"

Further evidence that the government should suspend a vote on these proposals until their full impact is examined more thoroughly. Will it do so? I fear it will plough on ahead regardless with potentially major future consequences for higher education in years to come . . .

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