Universities minister Jo Johnson has today revealed that universities in England may be able to increase their tuition fees based on the quality of education they provide.
Universities will face inspection during the course of 2016-2017, after which the government will then reveal which institutions will be able to increase their fees.
Institutions that are considered to be providing a better quality of education will be able to raise their fees above the typical £9,000 a year.
The proposal comes following increasing concern among students who feel that the quality of teaching in higher education is not adequate enough.
For example many students feel that the amount of contact hours they are receiving is far too little.
Johnson has suggested an Office for Students watchdog, which will put ‘student choice, teaching quality and social mobility at the top of the agenda in higher education’.
The Universities Minister also has expressed growing concern for economic growth and has proposed that companies such as Apple, Google and Facebook should be able to open their own universities and award degrees, in order to ‘drive up teaching quality, boost the economy and extend aspiration and life chances from all backgrounds’.
The white paper is also prompting universities to publish information about the ethnicity, gender, and family income of their students, in order to provide a fairer policy.
NUS Vice President for higher education, Sorna Vieru, has expressed concern about students who will be ‘understandably outraged’ at the prospect of higher tuition fees.
Hulya Semiha Erzurumlu