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The impact of increased tuition fees on educational progression Emma Jackson

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Presentation on theme: "The impact of increased tuition fees on educational progression Emma Jackson"— Presentation transcript:

1 The impact of increased tuition fees on educational progression Emma Jackson

2 Overview Background to the increase in tuition fees. Explore the impact of increased tuition fees. Role of widening participation and outreach activities. Key messages. Questions.

3 The rise in tuition fees 1998: Annual up-front tuition fees for England of £1,000 was introduced. 2006: Tuition fees were increased to £3,000 after Labour stated in 2001 it would not introduce top-up fees. 2012: Students can pay up to £9,000 a year. Shift of the burden of paying for higher education from the taxpayer to the student.

4 2012 increase in tuition fees In December 2010 the motion on student funding was passed. The motion was to increase the tuition fees ceiling in England from £3,290 to a maximum cap of £9,000 But, narrowly with 323 votes to 302. (In 2005, there was a difference of only four votes) It was suggested to help low income graduates, part-timers and the long-term interest of universities. However, has this increase in tuition fees negatively impacted on progression rates, social mobility………….

5 The Protests Remember this? Thousands of students marched in protest over increased university fees. Organised by National Campaign Against Fees. The student voice would suggest this will hinder progression & social mobility.

6 Impact of Fees What is the impact in the rise in tuition fees for: Parents/guardians- families Young people Graduates Cost is one barrier to taking up higher education (Callender, 2003) Low income students are more likely to see cost of university as a debt rather than an investment in their learning (Callender, 2003). Young people may aspire to progress to higher education but in the end think it costs too much (Berzins, 2009).

7 Impact of Fees Young people as young as 11 worry about the cost of university (NFER) The NFER study tracked the rise in tuition fees on secondary school pupils attitudes towards gaining a degree qualification. An increasing number thought they would be successful without a degree qualification.

8 Is university worth the price? Moore, McNeill and Halliday (2011) used a mixed method approach to explore attitudes towards the rise in tuition fees in Greater Manchester, Greater Merseyside and West Yorkshire. Respondents in Aimhigher target areas were knowledgeable about costs. However, these young people were less likely to be interested in higher education. They were uncommitted to the idea of university regardless of the fee. Of those committed it related to viewing a university education as important for future job prospects. Cost of university would put 38% respondents off from applying to HE. To pay for a university education respondents were more likely to get a student loan, only 23% would ask parents to pay. Cost would have a negative impact on studies. Despite knowing all the benefits the costs were seen as too much and students spoke of strategies to minimise debt. Cost of university is a key issue- but it is not the only barrier. Young people require more information on costs and signposting for advice.

9 Increased tuition fees may have benefited students from poorer backgrounds… Institute for Fiscal Studies reported that the introduction of higher tuition fees in England in 2006/07 has contributed to narrow the gap in university participation ( Crawford, 2012). In 2004/05 12% of young people (aged 18/19) from lower socio-economic background progressed to university, this increased to 18% in 2009/10. The proportion of state-school teenagers has rose from 30% to 34%. New fee regime is considered more generous to poorer students. However, cannot be sure that changes in participation rates is due to just fee regime.

10 Increased tuition fees may have benefited students from poorer backgrounds… Attainment catch-up The proportion of young people from poorer backgrounds achieving two A-levels has increased. This could also impact on progression rates

11 Middle-Class shun university UCAS (2012) have suggested that applications to university from some of the most affluent areas has fallen this year. For example in North Tyneside there was a 23% drop in applications. Whereas in Rochdale, an area with the worst unemployment rates saw a 6% increase in applications, 4,273 to 5,013 this year. 9% drop in applications It therefore proposes that the question of whether the middle class are rejecting higher education. Is the hike in tuition fees making young people think twice about university?

12 How much do young people know? McNally, McGuigan and Wyness (2012) Explored the understanding Year 10 students have on the cost and benefits of higher education. 54 schools in London took part with 12, 000 students in 2010/11 completing a pre and post questionnaire. At the pre questionnaire the students knew little about the costs and benefits of HE, their answers reflected those in the media. After the young people completed a information package about higher education, attitudes towards higher education changed at post test. The authors suggested that young people need the right information and this should be given early on as decisions are made before the end of compulsory education.

13 To early to tell UCAS estimates 15,000 18 years were put off by the hike in tuition fees. This is overstated (Hepi, 2012) It is too early to judge the impact of the changes to higher education in England. Higher Education Policy Institute (Hepi) (2012), suggests there is no evidence at present that shows people are put off by increased tuition fees. They may be short- term impact such as some students started university in 2011/12 to avoid the fee increase, similar to 2005/06. Also, after the introduction of increased tuition fees in 2006/07 there was a small temporary dip in participation at HE which may be similar this year.

14 What is the impact of fees… Fees can impact on progression to higher education (Marr, 2012) It can impact on the provision. Increased fees and subsequent levels of debt can be off putting (Moore, McNeill & Halliday, 2012). This is however related to social class. Financial concerns are related to social identities (class, ethnicity and race) (Callender & Jackson, 2004) Because for some the fees may be less than school fees This area requires further research But, the increase in variable tuition fees in 2006 did not appear to affect overall demand (OFFA, 2009;2010). So this may be the same for the £9,000 fees.

15 Factors that impact on educational progression The increase in tuition fees is just one of many factors that can influence educational progression. Barriers to higher education can be categorised as either; situational, institutional and/or dispositional (Gorard et al., 2006). Lack of aspiration Prior attainment is a main predictor of educational progression (Gorard et al., 2006; Allen, 2012). Parents/siblings/ other family members School environment (young people from lower socio-economic backgrounds tend to attend less well performing schools) Teachers Peers/ Peer groups Careers advice

16 ‘I can no longer afford university’  Young people will frequently say when asked I will no longer be able to afford to go to university. Debt aversion or lack of knowledge. Key message is that students do not have to pay their fees up-front. They do not have to pay anything till they are earning at least £21,000. There is also support for students from poor backgrounds. Students will never repay the full amount (Allen, 2012). To do so, students would need to have an average salary of £40,000 over 30 years (Allen, 2012).

17 Factors that impact on educational progression Educational experiences have an important impact on educational progression. Barriers to progression can include: Resources Self-esteem Mobility Opportunity Basic Study Skills

18 Widening Participation ‘Widening Participation addresses the large discrepancies in the take up of higher education opportunities between social groups. Under-representation is closely connected with broader social issues of equity and social inclusion, so we are concerned with ensuring equality of opportunity for disabled students, mature students,women and men and all ethnic groups.’ HEFCE, 2009

19 Outreach and Widening Participation Getting to university should depend on someone's ability, not their ability to pay. There is an ongoing emphasis on raising aspirations (St Clair and Benjamin, 2011) Universities charging more than £6,000 a year in tuition fees have to offer bursaries, summer schools & outreach activities to encourage students to apply to university. Outreach activities aim to raise aspirations and awareness of higher education.

20 Outreach and Widening Participation The Outreach & Widening Participation team at the University of Hertfordshire aims to provide advice, support and encouragement to increase student numbers in higher education from under-represented groups. Events include: Activities that raise awareness of higher education General talks Mentoring Summer Schools Taster days Schools visits

21 National Scholarship Programme National Scholarship Programme was introduced this year to support students from poor backgrounds at university. Package of financial support varies between institutions but typically includes a tuition fee wavier, cash bursaries and/or campus discounts. Based on parental income, where people live as well as other factors. It is a considerable complex system for these students (Institute of Fiscal Studies, 2012). So, will it encourage young people from poorer backgrounds to progress to higher education…

22 Outreach activities Summer Schools are the chance for learners whose own background and experience of HE is limited. It gives young people a chance to experience a real life taste of what university is like. Summer Schools aim to consolidate a learner’s exposure to experiencing the higher education environment and raise their awareness and aspiration to progress. ‘I know more about what options to take at sixth form.’

23 Paying the fees The Government lend students the money for the fees. Students will start to pay back their fees once they have graduated and begin to earn over £21, 000 per year Fees are not paid up front The pay back is 9% of the student’s income After 30 years debt is cleared Potentially students could leave university with £43, 000 debt (combination of fee and maintenance loans) Lowest earners will pay less than they currently do

24 Conclusion Tuition fees can potential impact on educational decisions. However a number of factors influence educational progression. It is too early to tell whether the increase in tuition fees has resulted in a drop in student numbers. Young people need advice and guidance early on.

25 Thank you, Any Questions?

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