University tuition fee cap to rise by up to 300 percent in Britain

10:30, November 04, 2010      

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The British government unveiled a plan on Wednesday to raise the university tuition fee limit to 9,000 pounds a year (14,500 U.S. dollars) from the 3,290 pounds (5,300 dollars) students currently pay.

University Minister David Willetts announced in the House of Commons the cap would rise to 6,000 pounds (9,600 dollars) per year, with universities able to charge up to 9,000 pounds in "exceptional circumstances."

He said this was a "progressive" reform and the universities charging the highest fees will have to show support for widening access to students from poorer families.

According to the plan, graduates earning more than 21,000 pounds (33,700 dollars) per year will start repaying their loans at 9 percent of their income at a real rate of interest, up from the current threshold of 15,000 pounds (24,000 dollars), with outstanding loans written off after 30 years.

The university minister also announced a 150 million pounds (241 million dollars) national scholarship scheme to help bright potential students from poor backgrounds.

Most of the universities in Britain are public-owned universities partly funded by government. Under the great pressure to cut its budget deficit, the coalition government plans to reduce higher education expenses.

Source: Xinhua


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