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Wednesday, 6 November, 2002, 11:07 GMT
Tuition top-up fees: Will you pay them?
The government has delayed unveiling its plans to shake up the way students are funded at university. A big debate is going on about whether students and their families should pay more for their university education.

Ministers are considering bringing in top-up fees. It is thought some universities are looking at fees of between 3,000 and 15,000 per year.

Would you be prepared to pay for an oversubscribed course at a top university and if so - how much?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

Your reaction

Some weird perceived need for a nation of graduates

Martin, UK
The reason universities are oversubscribed is because of some weird perceived need for a nation of graduates. What will fix the university subscriptions is realistic entry requirements so that we get decent graduates in our workforce as well as the necessary non-graduates. A case of too many chiefs...
Martin, UK

I think the fact that this is supposed to be the government of "education, education, education", yet it allows itself to permit top-up fees that mean the value of student debt will be more than their annual earnings, is absolutely ridiculous. I didn't see Tony Blair offering to pay 10,500 to go to uni here at Oxford - so why should we?
Ryan McGhee, Pembroke College, Oxford Uni, UK

As a graduate (BSc Engineering and MBA) I know that there is much time wasted by students at university. Most courses could be cut by a year if students were made to work 'proper' hours. This would cut costs, prepare students for the workplace more quickly, and reduce their debts.
Peter Riley, UK

How ironic that a 'Labour' government is moving this country back into the days of the working classes being denied further education.
Suzy Cadman, England

This is madness!

Gillian, Northern Ireland
This is madness! It will mean that those who are less well off will have to pick a university based on how much its fees are, rather than the one that is the best in the field they wish to study. Students are already struggling to pay fees!
Gillian, Northern Ireland

Back in 1997 we students were right to oppose 1000 tuition fees and to describe them as the thin end of the wedge. The argument should be about scrapping tuition fees altogether, but instead we focus on the "merits" of top-up fees. And where do we draw the line? At this rate, the Government will soon start charging us to take our A-levels and GCSEs. After all, the logic used to justify charging students is equally applicable to sixth-formers.
Chris, York, UK

I recently finished my education at Durham University and work at an investment bank in London. I financed a BSc and an MA with standard student loans and have to repay around 25,000. I have monthly repayments of around 450. This seems a lot to me, so imagine if each year would cost 10,500. I would be almost 50,000 in debt. It is totally ridiculous. Bear in mind that the academics who teach in the universities probably paid nothing in tuition fees when they were students...
Joe Taylor, UK

The treatment of young high achievers in this country makes my blood boil

Don, UK
The treatment of young high achievers in this country makes my blood boil. Not content with pricing them out of the housing market with exploding prices and off the roads with punitively high insurance, now many many young people will be cheated out of the university education they deserve. How many young kids from poor housing estates will consider a career as a vet or doctor when they realise they will be looking down the barrel of a 30,000 debt with no guarantee of a job at the end of it.
Don, UK

If less people were talked into going to university and guided towards other careers, there would be enough money for the brightest students to do well without having to charge any fees.
Mike, Scotland

The only thing that extra fees will do is make the top Universities more elitist. A lot of high calibre, but poor, students will be put off applying to these institutions while the rich will benefit.
Jeffrey Torbo, UK

We need to stop the culture that says no one can get anywhere in life without a degree. We need to promote apprenticeships a lot more, then people will not waste time going to university when their job doesn't need university training.
Thomas, UK

Tuition fees are wrong. Education should be free for all with the ability and interest, it should not be a commodity on offer to the rich only.
Ben Drake, York, UK

The fact is University entrance SHOULD be difficult and elitist

Steve, UK
When are we going to get wise to the fact that far too many young people are going to university for the wrong reasons? The fact is University entrance SHOULD be difficult and elitist; try applying to Manchester United if you've only got a passing interest and "average" ability in football! The idea that we must get more and more school leavers into university is not only far too expensive but palpable nonsense.
Steve, UK

As a current undergraduate, I understand that Universities are underfunded. I would not oppose a graduate tax, but forcing parents (as it would generally be them footing the bill) to pay huge sums up front is utterly unfair, and would clearly deter a large portion of school leavers from applying to university at all.
Matthew Gray, UK

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01 Nov 02 | Education
30 Oct 02 | Education
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