In recent days, the Universities Minister (Jo Johnson, the more sensible of the two) has announced the implementation of government provisions which would for an increase in the university fees which can be charged by universities in the UK.
The increase is due to be in line with an inflation figure of 2.8% (the origins of which can be ascertained by nobody of repute, because RPIX has not been at that level for 2 years). It’s claimed that: ‘The ability to maintain fees in line with inflation has been in place since 2004, and is subject to regulations’.
However, there were great assurances coming out of the Department for Universities. It would not be any old university that would be able to make use of this provision. It was noted by this same spokesperson that ‘the teaching excellence framework will allow universities to maintain fees in line with inflation only if they meet a quality bar’. It would make sense that the very best universities would be allowed to maintain the real value of their tuition fees. It does not help the image of these universities as something which can only be accessed with a minimum amount of family affluence, but then the Government has hardly been the greatest champion of access schemes.
It might be reasonable to expect top tier universities with great research departments to take up this opportunity.
There is a great premium attached to one’s life prospects if they were to go to one of these universities. But then you have to remember that Durham also (according to the government) falls into this category of teaching. This is a frankly inexplicable decision. Durham is basically the illegal counterfeit version of Oxford, trying as it might to mimic the college system, the formal halls and even the political socials in a petulant attempt to try to massage the ego of Jonny Toffington because he was not smart enough to capitalise on the thousands of pounds of education spent on him.