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Reaction to student loans announcement

Students on the University of Kent, Canterbury campus.
Students on the University of Kent, Canterbury campus.

by Alan McGuinness, journalism student at the University of Kent Medway campus


That's how one Kent student describes the review, released today by Lord Browne, outlining the biggest reforms of higher education in half a century.

The controversial review recommends removing the limit on tuition fees, currently capped at £3,290 a year.

The government would underwrite fees up to £6,000, paving the way for them to double.

But to soften the blow students would only begin to pay back their loans once they started earning more than £21,000 a year, instead of the existing threshold of £15,000.

On the University of Kent's Medway campus, opinions on the potential rise were divided.

Joe Clemence, 21, said it would not put him off: "If it was £6,000 I'd still apply - it's an investment in the future.

"It's good debt instead of bad debt, that's the way I look at it."

What do you think? Join the debate by adding your comments below
What do you think? Join the debate by adding your comments below

However, 21-year-old Leanne Holt thinks it is "ridiculous".

"It would certainly make me think twice about going," she said.

Patrick Nganzi, 19, studies accounting and finance. He said tuition fees were high enough already.

He said: "Raising them would put a lot of people off. I know a lot of people who didn't go because they thought fees at the moment were too high."

Nathan Reynolds, an 18-year-old IT student, said: "It's preposterous that they can raise the fees. I think middle class and lower class students won't be able to apply for university in that case. It will be families that have a wealthier background."

Audio: Students speak on Lord Browne's review

Lauren Crowley, vice president of education at Kent University's student union, said students would definitely be deterred from going to university.

She said: "Students may be forced to go to university that's lower down on the league tables because that's all they can afford rather than what their ability dictates.

"I think Lord Browne has failed to actually talk to students and put the personal aspect into the review."

For more on this story, see the blog by the People's Republic of Kent

See our business editor's blog on student loans reform

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