The Browne report was released today calling for the cap on tuition fees to be abolished and a free market introduced. Conservative Future Chairman Ben Howlett has backed the plans.
After attacking Labour failures in the education system, Ben said: "By removing the cap and still contributing a loan of up to £7000, the government now has an opportunity to create world class education institutions that allow markets to improve educational quality for students, that can compete against universities across the world and can create a progressive system of education that ensures the poorest in society will not be priced out of the market."
The report seeks to balance higher charges with support for poorer families. As now, students would not have to pay fees up-front, but would receive a loan. But they would not have to start repaying it until their earnings reached £21,000 per year, up from the current level of £15,000.
All students will be able to borrow £3,750 per year - and young people from families earning less than £25,000 will receive an additional grant of £3,250.
Ben said: "We must support the progressive moves within the proposals that protect the poorest in society, including:
The threshold of repayment being raised to £21k up from £15k as set by Labour.
Real interest rates on loans for better paid students.
Bringing in extra grants and loans for the poorest students.
This is an issue not to play politics with. These are difficult decisions being made in the national interest. The proposals present an opportunity to progressively revolutionise the higher education sector while protecting the poorest. With these proposals we will once again have world class institutions of higher education."
tBg thinks this is yet another massive swipe at already hard-hit middle England. There are also many things wrong with a 3.25k grant to those students from families earning under 25k. Family demographics are different from town to town, street to street, house to house. These changes in tuition fees will see capable British teenagers not going to university.
Education must be accessible to all, no matter how much money you have. It looks as if it'll be the middle classes not sending their children to university.