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University fees to potentially increase AGAIN

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The news broke today that universities offering 'high-quality' teaching may be able to increase their fees yet again, the BBC reports.

Universities Minister Jo Johnson announced the plans, stating that from autumn 2017 select English universities may up their fees, in a bid to encourage more competition and better value for students. It is also believed such plans will make it easier for more new universities to open but may also lead to more private institutions being given university status.

The results were laid out in a whitepaper called higher Education: Success as a Knowledge Economy. Under the plans fees could rise in line with inflation above £9,000 for students starting in 2017-18, if a university is deemed to offer high-quality teaching.

Inspections will be carried out to determine which universities pass, with a list of such institutions being announced by the government in 2016-17.

Ministers have stated that the jobs market requires a boost of highly-skilled graduates and that the policy will help encourage more innovative providers to equip students with the skills they need in the future.

However Chief Executive of The Edge Foundation, Alice Barnard, stated: “The whitepaper fails to address the massive skills mismatch in the UK. [...] Only around half of graduates are working in professional or management jobs over time and over a quarter of them are in jobs which don’t require a degree at all.”

Johnson concluded that the policy will “help drive up teaching quality, boost the economy and extend aspiration and life chances for students from all backgrounds.”

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