GuildHE response to applications figures and "no fee degrees" proposals


The higher education representative body GuildHE has responded to new figures showing demand for higher education places has reached a new high, and to Government proposals for “no fee degrees”.

The latest applications figures from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service show once again that some of the country’s newest universities, along with university colleges and specialist institutions, are growing in popularity at the fastest rate.

But Ruth Farwell, Chair-elect of GuildHE and Vice-Chancellor of Buckinghamshire New University, has warned that many applicants could be disappointed unless the Government unlocks restrictions on numbers of full-time undergraduate entrants.

“Of course we are pleased to see that the number of applications is up nearly 10 per cent compared with the same time last year. But we are concerned that, having successfully raised the aspirations of more prospective students, in too many cases the current restrictions will mean that their hopes are dashed and their potential is wasted.

“GuildHE is ready to play an active part in discussions that will hopefully bring about a solution to this unfortunate situation.”

Professor Farwell said more information was needed on Government proposals to waive tuition fees for students who are prepared to give up access to student loans and other financial support.

“We cannot make a proper judgement on these proposals before full details are known. There are some major questions which can only be answered with further analysis, including how such arrangements would affect institutional funding and whether they would mean more limited choices for students from certain backgrounds,” she said.

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