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The debate has been prompted by e-petition 182953 which calls for the following:

Change the University fees from £9250 back to the £3000 fee for the UK.

University fees are rising more and more. £9000 for university fees is too high and the stress of being in debt is what puts individuals off applying for degrees. Now that grants have been removed it makes it difficult for family’s who need financial support but can’t get that anymore.

This debate pack briefing provides background information, parliamentary material, press articles, and further reading suggestions which Member’s may find useful in preparation for this debate.

Higher education tuition fees of £1,000 per year were first introduced by the Labour Government in 1998. These fees were paid upfront by students at the start of the academic year. In 2006 fees were raised to £3,000 and a new system of variable deferred fees and tuition fees loans was introduced. 

In 2012 the Coalition Government increased fees to £9,000 per year and in 2017/18 fees rose again to £9,250.

Since 2012 there have been further changes to student finance such as the abolition of maintenance grants and NHS bursaries which have moved student support increasingly away from non-repayable grants and towards loans.  The combined effect of these changes has been to increase student debt.  The Institute for Fiscal Studies has calculated that students from the poorest backgrounds will accrue debts of £57,000 from a three-year degree.

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