The government’s plan to create extra places at university has today prompted controversy nationwide. Following the recent tuition fees disputes, today Young Academic can bring you the latest in UK student news in the form of the latest government proposal for the education system.
Universities minister David Willetts has today defended the government’s proposal to create extra university places which has received angry accusations of creating unfair chances to the richest students. He claimed that “there is no question of wealthy students being able to buy a place at university.”
“The scheme would create a two-tier system allowing richer, less able applicants the chance to secure a place at university.”
A spokesman to the Prime Minister said earlier today that the proposal would ensure that social mobility would be improved by increasing the number of places available at universities. Willetts insisted the idea was being examined as a way of funding additional places at university with the help of entrepreneurs and businesses however student leaders and activists have criticised the proposal arguing that it would be favouring students from richer backgrounds.
With the current system, universities are able to create extra places and set fees for overseas students. With the recent proposals, the worry is that this flexibility would be extended to wealthy UK students as well.
“People are coming to us with innovative ideas about how you liberalise the system so it was possible for extra people to get to university as well,” Willetts told BBC Radio 4 earlier this morning.
“These are people who wish to go to university and who sadly are being turned away at the moment just because there aren’t enough places,” he continued.
The proposal has prompted angry accusations from many officials, including Aaron Porter of the National Union of Students who believes the scheme would create a two-tier system allowing richer, less able applicants the chance to secure a place at university.
The proposal is currently being considered for a White Paper on education and if successful, will be published over the summer months. The latest proposal would see UK students pay up to £28,000 per year for their university education – as much as overseas students.
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