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Students: Fees and Charges

Volume 485: debated on Tuesday 16 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (1) when he plans to publish the terms of reference for the tuition fees review; and whether he expects the review to report before the end of 2009; (233993)

(2) how long he expects the tuition fees review to take.

The then Secretary of State for Education and Skills, my right hon. Friend the Member for Norwich, South (Mr. Clarke) has already published draft terms of reference for the review in his statement to the House in January 2004. These include the rates of return and patterns of subsequent employment of those who paid variable fees. The assurances we have previously given this House made clear that there would be an independent review of tuition fees, reporting to the House, once we had evidence on the first three years of the variable fee regime. The first three years of operation will not be concluded until autumn next year. The timing and duration of the review will enable us to fulfil the commitment given to the House in 2004 that there will be no vote before 2010 at the earliest, and to enable the review to present Parliament with an evidence-based report covering the full range of the issues it has been asked to consider through its terms of reference.