Famous playwright Alan Bennett has today warned that the increased tuition fees that UK universities are introducing will stop ‘budding working-class writers’ from going to university and following a career in writing.
He said he feared that tuition fees would widen social divides in the coming years. This is true of tuition fees across all
subjects of course. Let us turn to a different view.
Jonathan Wolff, professor of philosophy at UCL wrote yesterday about the expectation that universities will increase teaching in arts and humanities, as although they will no longer receive funding for this, these are cheap subjects to teach when compared to the sciences.
The fact remains that high tuition fees will detract poorer people from going to university, even with loans available (although only one third
of school pupils understand the fees system) but perhaps it won’t have such an effect on what is studied by those that can go.
These might be people that receive funding from the universities they want to attend. All of those who want to charge more than £6000 in tuition fees per year have to commit to support students from low-income families. This will be backed up by the government’s National Scholarship Programme, which will have doled out £300m by 2014-15. All these strategies make you wonder why raise (or charge) tuition fees at all?
Amy Hannington is Editor of TotalProfessions.com and Research Assistant at PARN.
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