Accueil > Revue de presse > À l’étranger > Selon une étude, une hausse importante des frais d’inscription réduirait de (...)

Selon une étude, une hausse importante des frais d’inscription réduirait de façon significative le nombre des étudiants susceptibles d’aller à l’université en Grande Bretagne, The Guardian, 21 juin 2010

mardi 22 juin 2010, par Martin Rossignole

A big rise in tuition fees would lead to a dramatic reduction in the number of teenagers aspiring to go to university, with those from poorer backgrounds the most likely to give up hope of getting a degree, research reveals today.

Four out of five young people in England and Wales currently think they will probably go on into higher education, but that figure would drop to just 45% if fees doubled to £7,000 a year, and to a third among those whose with unemployed parents, the poll found.

The findings, in a survey commissioned by the Sutton Trust educational charity, come after the universities minister, David Willetts, told the Guardian this month that the cost of hundreds of thousands of degree courses was a "burden on the taxpayer that had to be tackled", and students should consider fees "more as an obligation to pay higher income tax" than a debt. Lord Browne’s independent review into student funding reports this autumn.

Today staff and students at more than 70 colleges and universities will demonstrate against funding cuts in action organised by the United for Education coalition, which includes the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, the Educational Institute of Scotland, the GMB, the NUS, Unison, the University and College Union and Unite.

In a letter to the Guardian, they call on George Osborne to safeguard funding in tomorrow’s budget, warning that further cuts in further, higher and adult education will leave thousands of teachers, lecturers and support staff facing the dole when they have never been needed more.

"We are not scaremongering when we talk of a lost generation of learners," they write, adding that 70% of colleges are planning to cut courses and 200,000 qualified applicants look set to be denied a place at university this year.

The Ipsos Mori survey of 2,700 11- to 16-year-olds found 68% of those questioned said they would be likely to go to university if fees rose to £5,000, against 55% among teenagers with no parent in work. At £10,000, just a quarter would set their sights on a degree. The number of young people currently aspiring to go to university is at a record high, up seven percentage points since 2008.

In its submission to the Browne review, the Russell Group, which represents 20 leading research-intensive institutions including Oxford and Cambridge, called for the tuition fee cap to be lifted incrementally, with institutions able to charge different amounts for different courses.

The Sutton Trust report also raises concerns that young people do not know enough about university choices, with 57% believing it does not matter which institution they go to because getting a degree is all that matters.

Peter Lampl, the organisation’s chairman, said : "If Lord Browne’s review concludes that higher fees are necessary, there is a significant task ahead in ensuring that all young people - and particularly those from non-privileged homes - are equipped with the information they need to make well-informed decisions."

The president of the NUS, Aaron Porter, said : "These statistics are further proof that increasing the already crippling debt that faces students when they graduate from university would dramatically impact the number of young people able to enter higher education."

The university admissions service, Ucas, is reportedly drawing up a scheme to show how well a student is performing compared with their school’s average and give admissions tutors figures on its pupils’ poverty levels, so they can choose to make lower A-level offers.

A spokesman for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills of the Sutton Trust report : "All these matters are being investigated by John Browne as part of his review of student finance.

"The coalition programme makes it clear that the criteria for any reform include increasing social mobility and attracting a higher proportion of students from disadvantaged backgrounds."

He added : said : "Times are very tough and so it is not possible to exclude higher education and further education from the need for public expenditure savings, but the government is committed to protecting front-line services for students and learners."