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

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

A group of flamingos and a Marabou stork

A right-wing philosopher in Texas tells John Gill how a minority of students can shut down debates and intimidate lecturers – and why he backs Trump

men in office with feet on desk. Vintage

Three-quarters of respondents are dissatisfied with the people running their institutions

A face made of numbers looks over a university campus

From personalising tuition to performance management, the use of data is increasingly driving how institutions operate

students use laptops

Researchers say students who use computers score half a grade lower than those who write notes

Canal houses, Amsterdam, Netherlands

All three of England’s for-profit universities owned in Netherlands