Sunday, May 09, 2010

UK election prediction: the likely effects on higher education

Further predictions pertaining to current UK election results:

1. The next research assessment will be postponed by at least two years.

I fear higher education policy may not receive the attention it is has been enjoying in recent years by ministers. This is both because of budget cuts, but also the likelihood there will be another election before the end of the year. I say two years as there was already speculation the REF would be delayed by one year: I think everyone will be pushed back another year given the likely election and that the rest of this year will be about debating cuts and preparing for another election campaign.

2. Fees will rise.

One easy way for government to find savings in its budget may be to ask students to pay a greater share of the costs of higher education. Some speculate that the current review will recommend rises of up to £1,000 in fees per year for home students leading to a free market. Whatever the veracity of these guesses, I suspect it is now even more certain than it was before "top up fees" may rise further.

I hope I am wrong at least on (2), but we shall see soon enough . . .

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