Critics branded as unrealistic

July 21, 2000

The co-author of the controversial report on top-up fees commissioned by the Russell Group of top research universities has hit back at critics.

David Greenaway, pro vice-chancellor at Nottingham University, who summarised the conclusions of economists on the future of higher education funding in a report published two weeks ago, said it made no sense to "sit on the fence" over funding.

He told The THES that vice-chancellors who criticised his report for presenting top-up fees as the only viable way were being unrealistic.

Mr Greenaway thought many of his report's recommendations had been misunderstood. Its proposals for the introduction of top-up fees, backed by more scholarships and bursaries and a privatised income-contingent loans scheme, need not deter students from lower income groups, he said.

The system would mean no up-front payments and students entering lower paid professions might never have to repay a penny.

The Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals plans to present its members with an interim report on "a range of funding options" at a meeting in September.

Letters, page 15

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