Tuition fee repayment earnings threshold to rise to £25000

Oct 03, 2017, 02:02
Tuition fee repayment earnings threshold to rise to £25000

University tuition fees are set to freeze and the repayment earnings threshold is set to rise to GBP25,000 (US$33,400) as part of a new Conservative scheme created to placate students angry at the hike in tuition fees seen under the Tory government.

Graduates will be able to earn £25,000 a year before they are required to make any payments against their student loan from the 2018/19 academic year, with annual fees being frozen at £9,250.

Low-earning graduates will benefit from a delay in their student loan repayments under a Conservative scheme created to defuse the political damage over tuition fees and attempt to woo younger voters.

The changes were quickly derided by Labour as inadequate compared with its own pledge to scrap tuition fees entirely.

In response to the news, Angela Rayner MP, Labour's Shadow Education Secretary, said the proposals showed "just how out of touch [Theresa May] is".

The promise comes as the Conservative Party conference gets underway in Manchester and as it attempts to take on the growing popularity of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn with younger voters.

Tuition fees were set to rise from £9,250 to £9,500 next year due to inflation, but May's decision to freeze them recognises the political difficulty such an increase would provoke.

Finance expert Martin Lewis said the effort on fees would have "little impact" in financial terms on "anyone but the highest earning graduates", however.

And the amount when graduates start repaying the loans will be pushed up to £25,000, from the current £21,000. This change will apply to all students with a post-2012 loan in England.

Andrew Adonis, the Labour peer who campaigned over the summer for drastic revisions to university funding, also dismissed the government's move to freeze fees.

"We are going to act to offer a fairer deal for students and young people".

At present, students must pay 9% of their salary above the threshold.