Government green-lights higher fees for shorter, more intense degree courses

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Georgina Hayes
Editor

Universities Minister Sam Gyimah has confirmed plans for universities to be able to charge higher fees for shorter, more intensive courses.

The plan would entail a 45-week teaching year, rather than a 30-week one. The “accelerated” courses would apparently mean paying about £5,500 less than for a three-year course – which would mean about £11,000 per year.

It would also be cheaper for the government, which would have lower tuition fee loans to fund.

The proposed courses would have to be debated and backed by Parliament – but the Department for Education says if it got approval, such courses could operate from next year.

Mr Gyimah said there were “undeniable financial, academic and personal benefits” and it would also encourage universities to “offer dynamic choices that serve students’ needs”.

Although the announcement comes with the guise of flexibility and money-saving, some critics have pointed out that this seems to be a cost-saving measure by the government to maximise productivity rather than take substantive effort to make the lives of students – both financially and educationally – easier.