Labour fee plans `won't hit colleges'

AoC says lower tuition costs would have `no major impact'
6th March 2015, 12:00am
Darren Evans

Share

Labour fee plans `won't hit colleges'

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archive/labour-fee-plans-wont-hit-colleges

Labour's pledge to cut university tuition fees will not have a negative effect on further education colleges that offer degrees, the Association of Colleges has insisted.

Party leader Ed Miliband said that pound;9,000 tuition fees had been a "disaster" for young people, and promised that if elected Labour would cut fees to pound;6,000 from autumn 2016.

About 130,000 higher education students are currently enrolled in FE colleges, representing almost 10 per cent of the undergraduate market. Nearly 300 colleges offer HE courses designed and accredited by universities, and several offer their own degrees. The majority of colleges currently charge tuition fees significantly lower than those at universities.

But Martin Doel, chief executive of the AoC, told TES there was nothing for colleges to fear from Labour's plans.

"College HE students tend to be local, choosing to study while continuing in work or around family commitments," he said. "We do not see [there being] a major impact on FE college intake as a result of the cuts in university tuition fees."

He also said he was relieved that funding for the move would come from reducing tax relief on pensions for those earning more than pound;150,000 per year. "We previously had concerns about where the new money would be found to fund a cut in university fees, and we're pleased that they will not be taking it away from further education, which has already seen massive cuts in the past few years," he added.

You’ve reached your limit of free articles this month

Register for free to read more

You can read two more articles on Tes for free this month if you register using the button below.

Alternatively, you can subscribe for just £1 per month for the next three months and get:

  • Unlimited access to all Tes magazine content
  • Exclusive subscriber-only articles 
  • Email newsletters

Already registered? Log in

You’ve reached your limit of free articles this month

Subscribe to read more

You can subscribe for just £1 per month for the next three months and get:

  • Unlimited access to all Tes magazine content
  • Exclusive subscriber-only articles 
  • Email newsletters