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Lower university fees could cause issues for low income families

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Education

Lower university fees could cause issues for low income families

Plans to reduce university tuition fees to £6,500 will only benefit students from high income familie

The imminent post-18 education review has caused concerns that reducing tuition fees from £9,250 to £6,250 will have a huge effect on low income students.

Most students dream of their fees being reduced however there are concerns that cutting fees will cause bursaries to be scratch. Students whose families can’t support them rely on bursaries for extra needed money.

I spoke to UAL student Joseph Markson who receives a £1k bursary from his university every year, to see how this would affect him. “Cutting tuition fees would only be beneficial when I’m paying my loan off after I finish university but I have the bursary for a reason. My family can’t support me financially that is why I get the bursary. It helps me with day to day living; buying food, bills, socialising and getting to and from university. My student loan covers my tuition fees however my maintenance loan isn’t enough for me to live on. I work three days a week and still struggle to pay my rent so the bursary is a huge help”.

I asked Joe if he would prefer to have lower fees and not receive the bursary. “I would prefer to pay more tuition fees in the long run and still receive a bursary. I would really struggle financially without the bursary”.

It has also been stated, that a cutback of fees will only benefit those who have high graduate salaries when it comes to paying their loans back. These factors could have a huge knock on effect and it is known that financial worries are one of the biggest causes of mental health issues in universities. With the cost of living rising and with graduates being left in thousands of pounds of debt, something needs to be done to help students.

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