The current panic over the cost to the government of universities deciding to charge £9,000 a year reveals a surprising degree of confidence that the number of young people going to university will be unaffected by the sudden tripling of fees. My worry is that it will drop significantly. If so, both the financial problems and the thorny issue of how to get away from quotas will become redundant. Instead, we may end up with a "lost generation" and bankrupt universities. A more gradual transition to the new regime would have been easier to deal with and better for everyone.
Susan Cooper, Professor of experimental physics, University of Oxford