Langlands said he argued 9k fees were ‘too high’

The former head of England’s funding council thought the government was setting fees “too high” at £9,000.

January 4, 2014

In an interview with the Yorkshire Post, Sir Alan Langlands, now vice-chancellor of the University of Leeds, also said he thought another rise in fees in the next Parliament was unlikely.

Sir Alan was chief executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England when MPs voted in 2010 to raise fees to a maximum of £9,000, and oversaw the transition to the new regime before departing at the end of September 2013.

He told the newspaper he had argued with the government that the level of fee being charged was too high and that he wanted a “better balance” to have been struck between the amount being paid by the student and by the state.

Sir Alan added: “I said at the time that I thought £9,000-a-year was too high and that the increase in fees would be too sharp.”

He said that he argued his corner with the government but that the need to deliver large scale savings in the 2010 Spending Review had driven the need to cut teaching funding to universities and increase fees, the newspaper continued.

But Sir Alan said it was unlikely there would be another rise in fees after 2015, regardless of the outcome of the next general election. “I think it will be difficult for the next government to increase fees. They will see the difficulties it caused this time,” he said.

john.morgan@tsleducation.com

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