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Warning that student loan costs could spiral

A public watchdog raises concerns about the rising costs of student loans, writes Alison Goddard.

The government has little idea of the precise cost to the public purse of the student loan system it introduced in 2012, according to a report published this morning by the National Audit Office. The BBC says that almost £50 billion is currently owed, which could increase to £200 billion over the next 30 years. The Financial Times says that (£) a miscalculation poses the risk of a £5 billion overspend. The Guardian says that hundreds of millions of pounds are unaccounted for. The Daily Telegraph reckons that (£) thousands of European graduates have not repaid their debts

We have an account, available only to subscribers to HE, which identifies how, until the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills develops a robust strategy for optimising the collection of student loan repayments, it is unlikely to secure best value for money for taxpayers. We also report that repayments are consistently below forecast levels at present.

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