Ministers won’t say the F-word – it’s up to us to make the case for fees

“A government-commissioned report on university top-up fees last week told us what we all suspected it would tell us: they need to go up. But those who imagine that the Government is moving its tanks into position and that the battle to raise fees is about to begin will be sorely disappointed. Sensible though it may be, the Chisholm review is little more than a political diversion. Sir John Chisholm has told us that universities need more cash and that some of it must come from the students who benefit from higher education, but the Government has been at pains to stress that this is his private view. Sir John’s report is just one of a staggering 17 independent mini-reviews on higher education commissioned by the Government, all designed to raise lots of knotty questions (not answers) and to make sure that everybody is so busy reviewing things that we hardly notice that the one review that matters – the review that decides whether we raise the £3,000 limit on top-up fees or not – does not seem to be happening …” (more)

[Anna Fazackerley, Times Higher Education, 26 February]

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