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Tuition Fees

Volume 403: debated on Monday 7 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will publish the evidence his Department has collated from (a) the United States, (b) Australia, (c) Canada and (d) New Zealand on the impact of differential tuition fees on access to university for students from different socio-economic backgrounds. [104666]

[holding answer 31 March 2003]: Our new policy has been informed by evidence from many countries as to how best to balance the burdens of funding higher education. We are confident that the approach set out in the White Paper, which balances additional fees with grants, a higher repayment threshold, enhanced outreach work by universities, clearer information on the costs of HE; and the creation of the access regulator will all ensure that we will widen access for students from less advantaged backgrounds while we expand towards 50 per cent.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much student university tuition fees have been in each year since 1998; and if he will make a statement. [106084]

The maximum contribution to tuition fees for full-time undergraduates in England and Wales attending courses at publicly-funded institutions of higher education has been uprated annually since 1998 on the basis of price inflation. The relevant figures are:

Only those who can afford to do so are asked to make a contribution to their tuition fees. Latest available figures, for the academic year 2000–01, show that some 61 per cent. of students were assessed to make either a nil or partial contribution to their fees.