Letter: Looming gap year (1)

October 19, 2001

Have education ministers Margaret Hodge or Estelle Morris planned the financial support British universities will need to survive the crisis engineered by telling students not to come to university next September ("Student cash in melting pot", THES , October 5)? They will not if Labour's new debt-free system of support does not emerge till September 2003.

We could get debt-free student support in place inside a year if, instead of devising a new system, we allowed the benefit system to support students through full-time study for a first degree (with a penny or two on higher rates of tax). What's the betting that yet another cock-eyed student support system will be devised in preference to this simple solution?

Roger Harris
Dean of students
Middlesex University

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