John Baron MP highlights support for disadvantaged students from tuition fees

September 18, 2017

MP welcomes greater value-for-money scrutiny for university fees

Last week John Baron MP intervened on Rt Hon Justine Greening MP during a House of Commons debate on higher education funding to highlight the success of the current tuition fees régime in enabling growing numbers of students from disadvantaged backgrounds to go to university. This is because if a university charges over £6,000 in tuition fees, around 25% of that extra income must be spent on measures to increase participation rates from students from disadvantaged backgrounds. English participation rates of disadvantaged students is significantly higher than in Scotland, despite the ‘free’ university education there.

In the House of Commons, John asked Rt Hon Justine Greening MP,

“Will the Government never cease to remind people that we are doing more for disadvantaged students, courtesy of the tuition fees – in particularly with the element of support above £6,000 – than many previous Governments? That is why south of the border participation rates by poorer students, relative to students as a whole, are so much higher than they are in the north. We need to keep drilling that message home, because it is one of the best aspects of tuition fees.”

The Secretary of State for Education agreed with John’s points.

John said afterwards,

“The current system of tuition fees is leading to record university participation rates, particularly from students from disadvantaged and BME backgrounds. It is also funding world-class universities. This is a proud record.”

“But I also welcome pressure to ensure universities can justify charging the maximum fees, whilst asking the Government to reduce the interest charge on student debt.”

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