The financial crisis that led to the introduction of tuition fees will be repeated unless the expansion of student numbers is fully paid for by government, the Higher Education Funding Council for England has warned.
"Any further expansion must not erode funding levels if we are to avoid recreating the funding crisis which was experienced in the mid-1990s," stated evidence from Hefce to the House of Commons select committee on education's inquiry into higher education.
"Between 1988 and 1998, student participation rates doubled from 15 per cent to over 30 per cent but the amount of funding per student declined by 35 per cent," the evidence said.
The select committee is considering whether to extend its inquiry to include student finance. It will start to take oral evidence in April and plans to publish its report later this year.