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Tuition-fee policy goes for a Sunday spin

Weekend reports suggest that the government wants to reduce tuition fees to £7,500 a year in a move that could create real problems for higher education.

Spinning out of control

The Sunday Times led with a front-page story that Philip Hammond, the chancellor, was “set to slash university tuition fees by £5,000”. The headline figure refers to the cost over a three-year degree, reducing a £9,250 a year fee to £7,500. As we suggested in the 15 September Playbook, decisions on tuition fees have been taken out of the hands of the Department for Education and will now be taken by Downing Street, meaning that future inflationary rises are off the table. In a view article on 11 September, former policy adviser to the treasury, Andy Westwood, now at the University of Manchester, told us the government would take the opportunity of the budget on 22 November to address its universities problem in a bid to counter the Corbyn surge with young voters.

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