It’s official, not only is free higher education a thing of the past, any chance of getting a degree without racking up a shit tonne of debt has passed into history as well.
According to a new report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), England has overtaken the US and Australia and now has the most expensive universities in the world. The average UK undergraduate student will walk away with, a terrifying £54,000 worth of debt.
Now universities in England cost double what they do in New Zealand and Australia and nine times more than other institutions in Europe with UK undergraduates now paying around £6000 a year in tuition fees.
The OECD seems to think the UK’s current system is “efficient and likely to be sustainable”, however the report doesn’t address the government’s recent decision to cut student maintenance grants in a system which could see students paying back more than they first agreed to.
Sir Peter Lampl, chairman of the Sutton Trust – an organisation which supports projects providing educational opportunities to people from non-privileged backgrounds – said:
These figures should cause the government to avoid steps that could hamper access, including replacing grants for poorer students with loans leaving them more indebted than richer students.
So the rich people who got to go to university for free are making it as hard as possible for people who can’t afford it to get an education that would allow them to earn more money for themselves. Sounds about right to me.