Universities silent on real cost of degrees
An attempt by the Higher Education Policy Institute to find out how the £9,000 a year tuition fees are spent was met by silence from universities.
The think tank, Higher Education Policy Institute, looked to discover a the actual breakdown on where the £9000 a year tuition fees are spent, however we met with silence when the requests were made to universities. This raised further questions to the reasons behind the trebling of tuition fees implemented by the Coalition Government back in 2012.
Ministers and students alike are keen to understand the destinations of the large tuition fees and have been asked to be more open and transparent about the destination of these charges. The book that was currently being put together by the Higher Education Policy Institute was part of this understanding.
Concerns were further raised about the issue when, last month, the Higher Education Funding Council for England found the range of costs for a degree for each subject. The costs ranged from Law being the lowest, costing around £5539 and Sociology at £5581 right up to Materials Engineering at £11,078 and Clinical Medicine and Clinical Dentistry standing at £12,573 and £13,965 respectively. Overall, the average cost of an undergraduate degree was found to stand at around £7,700.
However, it is widely believed that the shortfall in funding from the government is believed to be the reason behind these differences in numbers. It is believed that the surplus of these numbers was involved in spending on administration, libraries and facilities.
Director of the Higher Education Policy Institute, and former Advisor to David Willetts who oversaw these changes to tuition fees as Minister for Universities, Nick Hillman told The Times today, 'A number of universities turned down the chance to contribute to our new book but I worry that, unless their costs are more widely understood, they could fare badly in the cuts ahead.'
by James Howell