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2018 Tuition Fee Review for busy students

Posted at 26 February 2018

Bitesize Politics for Busy Students: The 2018 Tuition Fee Review

Keeping up with politics might be one more thing you want to do once you’ve turned 18 – women recently celebrated 100 years since they first got the chance to vote! – but you’ve probably also got an assignment due and exams on the horizon.

If you’ve heard that Theresa May has launched a year-long review into tuition fees and you want to keep an eye on the progress – without spending hours reading BBC News articles – we’ve got you covered.

Read on to find out what the parties’ stances are and you won’t have to make your excuses next time the conversation turns to politics.

Conservatives want to:

Price courses differently depending on their value
• Ensure that graduates contribute towards the cost of higher education

Labour want to:

Abolish tuition fees altogether
• Bring back maintenance grants

Liberal Democrats want to:

• Revert to a graduate tax so graduates pay into a government university fund
• Bring back maintenance grants

Green Party want to:

• Return to a system based on merit rather than ability to pay
• Bring back bursaries for nursing and care staff

How tuition fees currently work in England

Even though many of us are, or have been in higher education, it’s no surprise that lots of people don’t understand how the current system works. We’ve summarised the key points here:

• Students are charged up to £9,250 per year in university fees which they borrow from the taxpayer

• For day-to-day living costs, students can take out a loan

• Students from less-wealthy families can take out more substantial loans, assuming that those from more affluent families will be supported by their parents

• Interest is charged on loans from when students begin university education, reaching up to 6.1%

• Students start to pay back a portion of their loans each month once they earn £21,000 which will be raised to £25,000 from April 2018

• After 30 years, any remaining debt is written off

What this means for you:

At the moment, nothing. If you’re already at university, it’s unlikely that any changes will come into effect while you’re there.

If you’re planning to go to university in future it’s hard to say how the review will pan out, but as fees are currently frozen they are unlikely to go up any time soon.

Watch this space for more bitesize updates!​