British teenagers from the wealthiest families would be able to pay for extra places at the most competitive universities under Tories government proposals that could allow institutions to charge some British students the same high fees as overseas undergraduates At the most competitive universities, these students face fees ranging from £12,000 a year for arts subjects to £18,000 for sciences and more than £28,000 for medicine. University tuition fees introduced in 1998, with students being required to pay up to £1,000 a year for tuition, the maximum fees increased by 2010 to £3,290. From 2012, 64 universities have currently announced their intention to charge the full £9,000 allowed by the government in 2010. The new proposals are likely to be criticised as a means for the wealthiest to “buy places” at a time when the government is to cut 10,000 publicly funded places . The proposal is most likely to be taken up by highly selective institutions, which turn away thousands of qualified candidates a year. Oxford accepted slightly more than 3,000 British and EU undergraduates out of about 17,000 who applied for the current academic year.
In 1996, the Tories and their Prime Minister John Major commissioned an inquiry into the funding of British higher education over the next 20 years. The inquiry recommended that graduates made a flat rate contribution of 25 percent of the cost of higher education tuition. The mechanism for paying for this established in 1998 by Labor goverment. The teaching and higher education bill was passed into law in 1998, and introduced a means-tested method of payment for students based on the amount of money their families earned. Students whose families earned less than £23,000 would be exempt from fees whilst those families earning between £23,000 and £35,000 a year would be charged a percentage of the fees on a sliding scale. Those families who earned over £35,000 a year would be charged the full fees which amounted to £1,000 a year. Under the Higher Education Act 2004, universities in England could begin to charge variable fees of up to £3000 a year for students enrolling on courses as from the academic year of 2006-07 or later.
In November 2009 Business Secretary Peter Mandelson announced a further review into fees and university funding in England, led by John Browne, former chief executive of BP. The Browne Review into the future of Higher Education Funding published its report In October 2010. The
recommendations contained within the report issued by the Browne commission contained one particularly controversial area in the removal of the cap on tuition fees. In November 2010 the government responded to the review by making a number of adjustments to the recommendations, the main one being the rejection of Browne’s recommendation that the cap to Universities be completely lifted, instead agreeing a £9,000 per year cap ! In November 2010 students staged the first in a series of marches to demonstrate against the proposed increase in the rise in tuition fees. On 9 December 2010, the day of the House of Commons vote on whether to approve measures which could see the rise in tuition fees, further demonstrations were held in London. On 9 December 2010, MPs approved raising the cap on tuition fees by a 323 to 302 vote.
Now some British students say: “This Government’s “policy” goes from bad to worse … When Scotland votes for independence can we join them?! … Richer students pay more for education to subsidise poorer students. Can you believe these nasty Tories? … That’s crap. So all the rich kids get to go to the best universities … I’m mostly surprised that this surprises people. Won’t be long until the NHS goes a similar way … This makes me so angry. So other students my age, by virtue of having wealthy parents, can buy their way into education? They can get places which other students have to work hard for? … This sounds a terrible idea. Universities must admit on merit if they want to retain any credibility”
The British Universities are equal to the corruption. They have lost their credibility for Iranians, Libyans, Syrians, etc. And now the British students know the truth, too.