I've read that students who are already at university and will not be affected by the changes in tuition fees, which have been voted in today in Britain.

However, given the very deceptive wording in this article, which talks about students being "charged a near-zero percent interest rate on their loans" when it really means they are charged a rate comparable to inflation, I'm not sure what to believe.

In fact, I find it extremely hard to believe that come 2012 some students will be charged £3,600, say, while others at the same institution and on the same course, but two years behind, will be charged up to £9,000. I would really like some straight facts.


A few links that might help:

Official releases:


Note the section starting: "The current cap on fees of £3,290 per year will be removed". In other words, from 2012 the new fee structure applies.


See the loans and grants section especially.

News Outlets See also: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-11483638

Especially the section on "When will the proposals take effect?"

I see nothing that suggests the scenario you describe is real - two students, same course, different fees. If you're a student, you pay the fee.

  • Thanks for the links. The section you highlight in the BBC report states: "students who have begun their courses before 2012 will not be affected in their later years of study." This implies that there must be two different tuition fees for students on the same course, but two years apart, since if the fees are the same how one can claim that an increase of over £5,500 will not affect someone? Unfortunately, nothing which I have read clears up this issue. – Derek Jennings Dec 10 '10 at 10:32
  • In your second link we have the phrase: Students deferring from 2011/12 to 2012/13, will be able to apply for loans and grants at the 2012/13 rates. This illustrates admirably why it is so difficult to obtain reliable information. The phrase "will be able to" is intended to deceive as it implies advantage when this is clearly a disadvantage. Inevitably, people end up with different interpretations. – Derek Jennings Dec 10 '10 at 10:41
  • 1
    Yes, the news outlets definitely contain info that muddies the water. I took as a more definitive stand the first and second links as they are govt agencies and should be more reliable than the BBC (or your Telegraph references). The independent.gov info implies a single fee structure, and the deferral info from bis.gov also implies a single fee structure. Although, I share your frustration - implies and states are two different things. – gef05 Dec 10 '10 at 11:37
  • I believe that the single fee structure from 2012 is the most likely, and the removal of the cap from 2012 sort of implies this. However, everyone else for whom this is relevant that I've spoken to thinks that they (or their children) who started in 2010 or who've applied to start in 2011 are immune from this fee increase. I believe that the BBC and the Telegraph are misleading the public over this issue and, come 2012, a lot of people will be in for a nasty shock. – Derek Jennings Dec 10 '10 at 13:08

Course fees will go up for everyone from the next academic year. My reading on some of the changes to the original proposal which all relate to current and part-time students:

  • Fees will go up for current students as well;
  • The annual salary at which loans must be repaid goes up from £15k to £21k and then annually with inflation;

I saw a report which showed how the monthly loan repayment for a person graduating with a loan would be something like £68 per month once they start earning £21k until the loan is paid off.

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