All kinds of win

April 21, 2011

It is now clear that the government's plans for funding English universities are in deep trouble. I believe that there is now only one remedy, and that involves the private sector.

Upfront fees would relieve the public sector deficit immediately. But what should universities charge? The most reliable figure for their current marginal rate is the overseas student fee, which is typically £10,500 for undergraduate courses, financially guaranteed. Thus, if admission were carried out "needs blind", it could be possible for those students whose parents, grandparents or guardian angels could afford it to pay fees at a level above the current maximum but not above the overseas rate. The attraction for them would be the avoidance of debt; the attraction for universities would be a stream of income not at the behest of government or its agencies; the attraction for the nation would be a reduction in public sector debt.

Furthermore, this approach would reverse the trend of successive governments transferring costs from one generation to the next. I think it could be described as a win-win-win situation. Furthermore, "rich kids" would not keep poor ones out, as the process would apply only after admission.

Raoul Franklin, Vice-chancellor, City University London, 1978-98

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Monster behind man at desk

Despite all that’s been done to improve doctoral study, horror stories keep coming. Here three students relate PhD nightmares while two academics advise on how to ensure a successful supervision

Sir Christopher Snowden, former Universities UK president, attacks ratings in wake of Southampton’s bronze award

opinion illustration

Eliminating cheating services, even if it were possible, would do nothing to address students’ and universities’ lack of interest in learning, says Stuart Macdonald

Female professor

New data show proportion of professors who are women has declined at some institutions

Reflection of man in cracked mirror

To defend the values of reason from political attack we need to be more discriminating about the claims made in its name, says John Hendry