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Seeking a better balance

Universities are unfairly prospering at the expense of both students and taxpayers, according to a cross-party think tank.

A fundamental rethink of university funding in England is need to ensure that the system is financially sustainable, according to a report published today. The study, compiled by the self-styled Higher Education Commission and supported by Policy Connect, an independent think tank, calls on universities to shoulder more of the financial risks. It also cautions against relying on market reforms in higher education to deliver a better system.

“The Commission is concerned about graduate indebtedness and the extent of future uncertain liabilities the government is amassing. So far universities have not taken as much of the strain, but the present unstable arrangements create risks for them as well,” it concludes.

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