Tuesday, 8 March 2011

The new university fees regime

The announcement has been made: any university wishing to raise fees above £6000 will have to spend £900 on 'outreach' and recruitment of disadvantaged students, and set a realistic number to reach.

So what happens to places like The Hegemon?

Director of the Office of Fair Access
Dear Vice-Chancellor,
thank you for your letter requesting permission to raise fees to £9000. Reviewing your university's intake, it appears that 97% of your students are state-educated and 48% working-class, the highest proportion in the UK. 
It therefore seems unlikely that your institution can afford to spend £900 per head on attracting more disadvantaged students. 
However, should your institution undertake a radical outreach programme to sectors of the student population you currently fail to serve, we will authorise higher fees. You will be required to initiate an urgent and radical programme of subsidies, visits, roadshows, mentoring and tuition of students at private schools. As a matter of urgency, we suggest that you set up links with Eton, Harrow, Winchester, Ampleforth and Downside to explore methods of solving the clear institutional discrimination against the moneyed community practised by your establishment.
Any suggestion that these new rules will make no difference to Russell Group universities' minimal intake of disadvantaged students is a disgraceful and cynical slur.

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