This petition was submitted during the 2015–2017 Conservative government

Petition Lower university fees down to £3,000

The tuition fees at their current prices, are too high. They penalise students. Some can't go to university because they feel as if the current fees are too expensive, and will get themselves in debt for the rest of their lives. We need tuition fees lowered back down to their previous amount.

This petition is closed This petition ran for 6 months

72,096 signatures

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Government responded

This response was given on 14 June 2016

Anyone with the ability to benefit from higher education should have the opportunity to do so. All eligible students can apply for an upfront loan to meet the full cost of tuition fees

Read the response in full

Anyone with the ability to benefit from higher education should have the opportunity to do so, irrespective of their background. That is why all eligible students can apply for an upfront tuition fee loan to meet the full costs of their tuition fees, as well as loans for living costs.

Loans are only repaid once students are earning over £21,000 a year. Students earning below £21,000 will not have to make repayments. Deductions are taken at 9% of any income over that threshold and any outstanding balance will be written off after 30 years.

Eligible full-time students from some of the most disadvantaged backgrounds will also receive 10.3% more living cost support in 2016/17 than under previous student support arrangements.

In order to charge tuition fees above the basic amount of £6,000 and up to the £9,000 fee cap, higher education institutions are required to agree an access agreement with the Director for Fair Access. Higher education institutions are expected to spend £745 million through these access agreements in 2016/17, this has risen from £395 in 2009/10. This will be invested in measures to improve the access to university and successful outcomes of disadvantaged students.

The steps we have taken to ensure higher education remains sustainably financed has enabled us to lift student number controls, so that more people have the opportunity to secure a university place. The proportion of students from disadvantaged backgrounds entering higher education is up from 13.6% in 2009 to 18.5% in 2015.

Lowering tuition fees would carry a number of possible consequences, including a cut to funding for universities and additional demands on public spending, which would be met through higher taxation, including on those who have not themselves benefited from university. This could also mean the re-imposition of student number controls, leading to fewer university places being available for students.]

The Government’s approach has struck the right balance between delivering a sustainable system and ensuring higher education remains open and accessible. This has been recognised by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which said we are “one of the few countries to have figured out a sustainable approach to student finance”.

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills