Reporter 411, 1 December 1997

Lords to tackle fees

A Universities Bill to impose tuition fees and abolish maintenance grants had its first reading in the House of Lords on 27 November. A separate Education Bill, dealing with schools, will be introduced in the Commons.

The idea is to separate the controversial proposals for Higher Education, which were not signalled in the Labour Manifesto, from the Government's plans to intervene in 'failing' schools. The move will overcome fears that the schools legislation could have become bogged down amid opposition to university tuition fees.

¤ As we went to press, the Government confirmed an additional £129m funding for HE for 1998/9 (including £4m to fund 1,000 full-time places on sub-degree programmes) and stated it will take steps to prevent élite universities charging top-up fees. The CVCP welcomed the boost but said it will not be enough to resolve the funding crisis.

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