David Jobbins. The UK government has got its sums wrong and could end up making no savings from increased tuition fees in England and Wales, an independent think-tank claimed this week.
The Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) warns that the new fees policy will have one or more of the following consequences:
  • Future taxpayers will need to pay more.
  • Other parts of the higher education budget will need to be cut.
  • Student numbers will need to be held down even further than currently planned.
  • Former students will have to repay more.
Report authors John Thompson and Bahram Bekhradnia conclude that the government's calculations depend on “highly uncertain and optimistic assumptions” and will be largely wiped out by the incidental impact on the way state benefits are calculated.
In The Cost of the Government’s Reforms of the Financing of Higher Education, they argue that as student loans are one of the items used to calculate the official inflation rate, the proposals will lead to a rise in the social security budget and therefore increased government spending. More...