I am today confirming that eligibility rules for students from the European Union, and their family members, who commence courses in England in the academic year starting in August 2019 will remain unchanged. EU nationals will remain eligible for home fee status, undergraduate, postgraduate and advanced learner financial support from Student Finance England for the duration of their course under the current eligibility rules. This will provide certainty to providers and their prospective EU students.
EU students, staff and researchers make an important contribution to our universities. I want that contribution to continue and am confident—given the quality of our HE sector—that it will.
I am also confirming that maximum tuition fees for the 2019-20 academic year in England will be maintained at the levels that apply in the 2018-19 academic year, the second year in succession that fees have been frozen. Freezing maximum fees at 2018-19 levels will save students up to £255 in 2019-20.
The Government consider each year what the maximum level of tuition fees should be and set a cap. I have listened to the views we have heard from young people, parents, and in Parliament and, on that that basis, have decided not to increase maximum tuition fees by inflation for the 2019-20 academic year. If the regulations setting maximum fees were not approved, providers would not be subject to maximum fees and would be free legally to charge higher fees.
The Government are committed to improving the terms on which they provide financial support to students. In addition to a freeze in fees for the second year running, the Government have increased the repayment threshold above which graduates are required to make repayments on their loans from £21,000 to £25,000 from tax year 2018-19, and rising by average earnings thereafter. This puts more money in the pockets of graduates, lowering monthly repayments for all borrowers earning above £21,000.
On 19 February, the Prime Minister launched a major review of post-18 education and funding to ensure we have a joined up education system that is accessible to all, provides value for money for both students and taxpayers, and encourages the development of the skills we need as a country.
I am laying regulations setting maximum fees for the 2019-20 academic year before Parliament today.
Under the Higher Education and Research Act 2017, these regulations set maximum fee limits for those registered providers who must abide by a fee limit condition as part of their registration with the new independent regulator, the Office for Students (OfS). These providers are known as approved (fee cap) providers.
The Act requires the OfS to impose a fee limit condition and without these regulations the new regulatory framework cannot be fully implemented. Providers can also register with the OfS in the approved category which will not be subject to maximum fees in regulations.
Both Houses will have the opportunity to debate these regulations under the affirmative procedure. These regulations do not set separate maximum fees for accelerated degrees, which are still under consideration. I expect to confirm further details on accelerated degrees in due course.
I also expect to lay regulations setting student support arrangements for 2019-20 early in 2019 which will be subject to parliamentary scrutiny.
Maximum tuition fees and fee loans for approved (fee cap) providers in 2019-20
The maximum tuition fee for full-time courses will be £9,250 in 2019-20 for providers that are registered with the OfS in the approved (fee cap) category and have a current teaching excellence and student outcomes framework (TEF) award and an access and participation plan in place with the OfS. Lower maximum fee limits will apply for approved (fee cap) providers that do not have a TEF award or an OfS access and participation plan.
New students and eligible continuing students who started their full-time courses on or after 1 September 2012 will be able to apply for a fee loan to meet the full costs of their tuition up to a maximum of £9,250 in 2019-20 for full-time courses at approved (fee cap) providers.
The maximum tuition fee for students undertaking part-time courses at Approved (Fee Cap) providers that have a TEF award and have an OfS access and participation plan, will be £6,935 in 2019-20. Lower maximum fee limits will apply for Approved (Fee Cap) providers without a TEF award or an OfS access and participation plan.
New students and eligible continuing students who started their part-time courses on or after 1 September 2012 will be able to apply for a fee loan of up to a maximum of £6,935 to meet the full costs of their tuition in 2019-20 for part-time courses at approved (fee cap) providers.
Maximum fee loans for approved providers in 2019-20
New students and eligible continuing students who started their full-time courses on or after 1 September 2012 and are undertaking courses at approved providers in 2019-20 will not be subject to maximum fees in regulations. They will however be able to apply for fee loans towards the costs of their tuition.
The maximum fee loan for new students and eligible continuing students who started their fulltime courses on or after 1 September 2012 will be £6,165 in 2019-20 for those undertaking fulltime courses at approved providers that have a current TEF award or £6,000 without a TEF award.
The maximum fee loan for new students and eligible continuing students who started their part-time courses on or after 1 September 2012 will be £4,625 in 2019-20 for part-time courses at approved providers that have a current TEF award or £4,500 without a TEF award.