London South Bank vice chancellor David Phoenix is the first to stick his head above the parapet and suggest that higher education funding in England may once again be indeed of drastic reform.
In the first of a new series looking at policy failure in and around higher education, David Malcolm reflects on the legacy of the controversial government decision to cease funding for Equivalent and Lower Qualifications (ELQs). How and why it came about, what effect it had on students and the sector, the debates it sparked in policymaking, as well as a look at what the future might hold for this unpopular policy.
There is no doubt that, as with most changes, the £9,000 fee system introduced in England in 2012-13 created winners and losers. We know that applications are back up for full-time undergraduates – and we know this includes students from non-traditional backgrounds, which is great. But that is not the whole story. On the day the Public Accounts Committee confirm the rising costs of writing off loans, Libby Hackett looks at the winners and losers in the current system, and calls for a fundamental rethink.