The review by Lord Browne’s group has now been published: the report, Securing a Sustainable Future for Higher Education in England, can be seen in full here.
The key recommendations of the report are:
• the current cap on tuition fees should be removed, so that universities would be entitled to charge whatever they think the market will bear;
• fees should not be payable at the time of university entry, but after graduation;
• fees should be payable when earnings reach £21,000;
• fees above £6,000 should be subject to a government levy to fund student finance;
• the taxpayer’s investment in higher education should remain at current levels;
• all students would have access to maintenance loans, and there would be a grant based on means-testing.
The report also contains a number of other recommendations not directly related to funding, some of which are highly interesting. More on this in another post later today.
It should be noted that the report refers to England only, and does not apply to Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. However, its recommendations may have an indirect effect on these jurisdictions, and indeed the general recommendations and the arguments in support of them may be influential further afield, including Ireland.