THIS WEEK The Russell group accused Gordon Brown of damaging ‘jewels in the country’s crown’ if the governments’ £2.5bn cuts go ahead, The Lib Dems announce they can no longer abolish tuition fees and more applicants are denied as demand sky rockets and budgets plummet.
This call to the government came on a day full of bad news for Universities across the country, as the Conservatives indicated they are unlikely to reverse the cuts. The Lib Dems ‘shelved’ £18bn spending pledges to students and families and on top of that currently a review is underway into whether tuition fee’s should rise to at least £5000 a year, however this may seem in step in the right direction, after £7000 annual fees were proposed by some vice chancellors toward the end of 2009.
The Russell Group warned not only of the effect it will have on staff and students but also the damaging effect it’d have on the countries international competitiveness and the economy.
Making a bad week for students worse Liberal Democrats scaled back their original plans to scrap tuition fees by 49% from the original £3.6bn cost to £1.7bn by making third year students exempt from fees. This was not met kindly by the NUS who were quoted in The Guardian saying the Lib Dems position on scrapping tuition fee’s has been “as clear as mud” for awhile and they need to be crystal clear about their plans if scrapping fees is no longer feasible.
However a report released this month shows that 91% of Coventry University graduates* are either in employment or further study. This figure correlates with national figures and the report also shows that 95% of students are from state schools, which indicate The University will exceed targets for the “widening participation initiatives”, set by the government.
Donald Pennington, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Teaching and Learning explained how Coventry University plans to continue with these improvements:
“These figures are very pleasing for Coventry University, especially in the current prevailing economic climate.
“We have plans in place to recruit more students from the state sector and we always aim to get our graduates into employment, we have a strong emphasis on employability in all courses here.”
So the class of 2010 (at least those that weren’t rejected) may face higher fees, budget resources or a number of other cut cost measures to survive the economic slump but maybe it’ll be alright ‘The Fair Funding For All’ report by million+ has indicated ways in which fees and funding system can be improved this included extending the repayment period from 25 years to 35 years.
When extending your loan repayment period by 10 years is the most positive news of the week then it seems things will continue to get worse for Students in Britain before they get any better.