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Review of Post-18 Education and Funding

On 19 February 2018, the Prime Minister announced  that there would be a “wide-ranging review into post-18 education” led by Philip Augar. The review is to look at how future students will contribute to the cost of their studies, including “the level, terms and duration of their contribution.” The Prime Minister discounted the idea of moving back to a fully taxpayer funded system. It is expected that the review will report in early 2019.

This paper will be updated with any relevant information or changes that come from the review process.

More detail on the review and associated briefing papers can be found on the page: Review of Post-18 Education and Funding

This note gives a brief summary of statistics on aggregate tuition fee liability/payment under the current and previous systems; the impact on student numbers, payment by student characteristics and the contribution of tuition fees to higher education funding. Some statistics cover England and Wales, although more recent data on variable fees and the post 2012 system is for England only.

 The cap on fees in England was increased to £9,000 for new undergraduate students in 2012. The average headline fee in the first year of the new system was around £8,400. It has increased each year since then, despite the cap remaining at £9,000, to just under £8,900 in 2016/17

All but one university in England will charge £9,000 for one or more course in 2016. Just over one in three will charge £9,000 for all their courses.

A newer higher cap of £9,250 is being introduced in 2017/18. This is expected to increase average fees to around £9,100 with all but two universities charging the maximum for one or more courses.

Institutions have shifted their Access Agreement spending (which is funded by fee income) away from fee waivers and other types of financial support and towards schemes to improve access, retention and outcomes

Home/EU applicant numbers are still below their 2011 peak, but acceptances have reached new records as have entry rates among 18 year olds, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds

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