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Science Students Could See Fees Double While Arts Tuition Fees Are Lowered

Tuition fees could be cut to £6,500, but with much higher fees of up to £13,500, for some subjects that could result in higher earnings such as the sciences or medicine.

The decision would see Arts and Humanities students, whose degrees are cheaper to teach as they do not require much specialist equipment, pay far less than the current headline rate of £9,250.

Some sciences, maths and engineering subjects could see this headline rate more than double according to the BBC’s report.

The idea is based on likely future earnings, with sciences, maths and engineering students predicted much higher future wages than those who do not study science or maths. With these subjects also requiring more equipment and more teaching hours, they are also more expensive to provide.

Criticisms

In light of this, questions have been raised as to whether it is fair for subjects to have the same flat rate.

However, critics argue that such an adjustment would create a ‘two tier’ system in which arts and humanities, being given ‘lower’ status, would struggle to secure funding.

There is also concern about the change forcing those from lower-socioeconomic backgrounds out of the sciences or medicine. These subjects would be seen as ever more inaccessible.

This idea is under consideration as part of the Prime Minister’s review of post-18 education, headed by Philip Augar.

The Review seeks to establish value for money for students but refuses to comment on the findings prior to the Review’s publication.

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