Sutton Trust tuition fee survey

26 June 2011

Commenting on the Sutton Trust’s survey revealing that only one third of pupils understand tuition fees Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell Group, said:

“We are concerned that the often overheated debate around university finance has resulted in misinformation among many young people and their families.

“All potential students need to know that tuition fees do not have to be paid upfront, loans and bursaries are available to cover costs, and graduates only repay their loans when they are earning a good salary.

“We will continue to encourage every student with the talent, potential and ability to succeed at a Russell Group university to apply. In addition to the Government’s student support package, many of our universities will offer fee waivers and bursaries, while actively reaching out to students from all backgrounds, especially those with no family history of higher education.

“If you’re good enough to get in, university is not only affordable, but a sound investment. Graduates earn a considerable salary premium over those with two A-levels, and Russell Group graduates receive a 10% salary top-up over others.

“Universities, Government, the Independent Taskforce on Student Finance Information and many others are working hard to tackle the myths around higher education. If misinformation stopped the best students from attending leading universities, it would be tragic.”

Notes to editors

  1. We currently invest over £75 million a year in access initiatives. This £75m is the total ‘OFFA-countable’ expenditure on access, funded from additional fee income in 2008-09. A wide range of access initiatives undertaken in our universities that are funded from other sources, including donation and endowment income, are not included. 
  2. Chevalier, A. and Conlon, G. Does it pay to go to a prestigious university? Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE (March 2003)


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