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The Future of Fees

The Browne review is published today. What does it mean for Higher Education?


Channel 4's Live Broadcast from Leeds University on Student Finance.

Jon Snow interviews the Vice Chancellor Michael Arthur and Rachel Wenstone, Leeds University Union's Communications and Internal Affairs Officer.



Our response

We support the response issued by the National Union of Students (NUS) which has described the Browne review as recommending "a foolish and exteremely risky approach to funding the higher education sector". The NUS response can be found here.

We agree that higher fee levels will cause prospective students to make judgements about their education based primarily on cost and debt, with a particularly detrimental effect on students from families relying on lower incomes, and believe that access to Higher Education should never depend on the financial barriers of individual students.

We will be issuing a full response to the Browne review soon, and will also be working to gather feedback from Leeds students as we look to represent them on this issue.

Rachel Wenstone, Communications & Internal Affairs Officer at Leeds University Union has voiced her opposition to higher fees here.


The Browne Review: what is it?

The Browne Review, formally the "Independent Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance", was launched on the 9th November 2009. The review was tasked with making recommendations to Government on the future of fees policy and financial support for full and part-time undergraduate and postgraduate students.


What does the review say?

The recommendations in the Browne Review propose a radical shake up of higher education funding in England. The key change proposed is removal of the current cap on fees of £3,290 per year, allowing Universities to set them independently. A tapered levy would be placed on institutions charging more than £6,000 per year.

The review also suggests the government could remove funding from all but 'priority' subjects, such as medicine, science and engineering, potentially making other subjects more costly and less popular.

Read the excecutive summary as well as the report itself here.

There's also a great Q&A over at the Guardian published last night, which explains why the report was commissioned, and how it will likely affect students.


Your view: "Only 18% would recommend their degree if fees rose to £7000"

That's the view of Leeds students, revealed in the findings of our survey on Higher Education which we ran in the build up to the Browne Review being published.

The survey findings can be downloaded here.

Rachel Wenstone, Communications & Internal Affairs Officer at Leeds University Union published her views on student fees ahead of the Browne review, in an article titled 'How much is your degree worth?'

Marcus Crawley, Equality & Diversity Officer at Leeds University Union has blogged about his views on the future of student finance here, and Elliot Jebreel, Education Officer, has appeared in the Yorkshire Post to offer his perspective on the way forward.




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