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OECD Head says high fees are worth it

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OECD Head backs controversial fees

OECD Head says high fees are worth it

The controversial £9000 a year tuition fees have been backed by the Head of Education at the OECD, despite no data.

The Head of Education and Skills at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has appeared to back the coalition government's regime for the £9000 tuition fees introduced in 2012. Andreas Schleicher was speaking to the Times Higher Education and insisted that the £9000 a year tuition fee would be outweighed by the benefits of a University education in the long run.

Speaking to the Times Higher Education about the trebled tuition fees in the UK, the Head of Education at the OECD, Schleicher, said 'What is very clear in the case of the UK is that the private returns from higher education are way beyond the level at which tuition fees are currently set. And that includes the £9,000 fees.'

Schleicher said that it didn't matter that the fees were just around £3000 or £9000, he said 'Given that the UK has a means-tested grant system and an income-contingent loans system, we don't see any issue with the £3,000 or the £9,000. If you think about an individual getting way over £100,000 back – more in income than what they actually spent – at tuition of £9,000 or £3,000 [that] isn't actually making that much of a difference.'

The Head of Education did mention the OECD was not working from the latest set of data however. He said 'The [OECD] data are still data from the old system. The only change that we would see between the data you have in Education at a Glance pre the change and post the change is that the cost [to graduates] side is increasing. None of the conclusions really depends on the level of tuition [fees].'

By James Howell

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