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Taking action in higher education

UCU responds to possible tuition fee hike

18 January 2007 | last updated: 14 December 2015

Responding to reports in today's Guardian newspaper that vice-chancellors want to increase tuition fees for university degrees, UCU joint general secretary, Sally Hunt, said:

'Top-up fees have been a complete disaster. Already we have seen a decrease in university applications following their introduction. Further increasing the cost of degrees is not the way to ensure the UK maintains its proud position as a global leader in higher education.

'Vice-chancellors appear to be split on the issue of raising fees. Some are chasing the extra cash regardless of the consequences, whilst others are taking a more measured approach. However, some of the ideas being bandied about on the new level of fees and how they would be repaid would undoubtedly lead to a two-tier system.

'The government needs to back up its recent warm words on the future of higher education, and its importance to the country, with a clear investment programme. The government currently invests a lower proportion of our Gross Domestic Product on higher education than competing nations such as France and Germany, and also less than the United States, which is often lauded as a model for this country.

'The problems of underfunding in our universities will not be solved by private investment or by asking students and, in the main, their parents to foot the bill. If the government is serious about the UK leading the way, it has to at least match the investment of other countries.'