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White Paper Update

The Times this morning has followed up on both the ideas for the White Paper on Higher Education that I mentioned on Friday – that universities will be able to take as many students as they like provided the students have scored at least A-level grades of AAB, and that the cap on student places will be lifted for cheap degrees.

The paper is convinced that the ideas will be in the white paper, and cites Bristol as an example of the first option. With 88 per cent of its students currently passing the AAB threshold, it would lose 88 per cent of its allocated places. But the university would in turn be free to recruit as many students as it wishes/can with AAB or better. This will open the door for leading unis either to expand or to take more British students at the expense of overseas students.

The paper also says the cap will be lifted on courses where the fee is less than £6000 a year.

So we have a bit more detail on both options. And in both cases, it is those pesky universities in the lower half of the league tables planning to charge high fees that would feel the squeeze.

Comments would be very welcome on how attractive these two ideas are.