THE cap on university tuition fees should be abolished but graduates should be spared from having to repay them until they earn a minimum of £21,000 a year.
These are the key recommendations that will be put forward by Lord Browne, the former BP chief executive, in his much-anticipated report into the funding of higher education, which will be published this morning.
Currently tuition fees are capped at £3,290 per year while graduates are required to make repayments on fees once they begin to earn £15,000.
Lord Browne will recommend that while the cap on tuition fees should be removed, a tapered levy should be introduced on those universities that charge more than £6,000 a year, effectively penalising those institutions that choose to do so.
The report, which will be warmly welcomed by the Conservatives, is likely to cause their Liberal Democrat coalition partners some discomfort. In the run up to the election,?deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg signed a pledge to vote against any fee hikes, along with all 57 Lib?Dem MPs.
However, advisers to Clegg say he thinks he can sell a “radical” alternative to the status quo to his MPs. And Prime Minister David said he was confident of getting the reforms through the House of Commons. “I may be speaking too early but the signs are good,” he said yesterday.