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Tuition fees set to rise in England and Wales

In a controversial move, a report into tuition fees in England and Wales is set to be released in a few weeks time with speculation that the current cap of £3225 could be increased to in excess of £5000 a year. Lord Mandelson yet again appears to be at the head of the UK government moves in this particular field and despite promising not to interfere with the ongoing review, he has openly suggested that there is a need to increase the number of places available to less well off students - funded by a rise in fees.

Yet again it seemed as though those who can afford to send their children to university will be forced to take on ever-increasing debt in order to fund less well off students. When you consider the UK education system as a whole, where university fees are non-existent in Scotland but still remain in England and Wales, is it really fair?

Even though university education in Scotland is free, it is the UK taxpayer who is effectively subsidising the Scottish system therefore indirectly increasing the cost of university places in England and Wales. If fees in excess of £5000 a year are introduced in England and Wales the National Union of Students forecast that many students will leave university with debts in excess of £27,000. In the current economic environment how long would it take a graduate to pay off a debt of that size?

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