Impact of university tuition fees to be scrutinised by MPs


MPs are to examine the impact of university tuition fees as part of a new inquiry into the student loans system.

The Commons Treasury Committee has launched an investigation to look at recent changes to student fees, loans, repayments and interest rates, and how well the Government is managing the student loan book.

The inquiry comes at a time when university funding is in the spotlight amid concerns and debate about issues such as student debt and the future of tuition fees, which now stand at £9,250 a year for English universities.

Committee chairwoman Nicky Morgan said: "The Treasury Committee is appointed to examine Government expenditure.

"Student loan debt is projected to be around £160 billion within six years and the Government has announced that it will review the whole student finance system.


"The committee will scrutinise the current system and any future developments closely."

It is not the first committee to announce it is to look at higher education finances.

The education committee said last month it would look at value for money in higher education, including vice-chancellors' salaries, teaching quality and the progress of poorer students at university.

There has been a growing row over pay packages of UK university bosses, with universities minister Jo Johnson urging restraint and warning institutions they could be fined in the future if they cannot justify paying their leaders more than the Prime Minister.

Mr Johnson confirmed this week that tuition fees will be frozen at £9,250 next year and the salary repayment threshold for graduates to begin paying back their loans will rise to £25,000 from £21,000.

Theresa May first announced the plans on the eve of the Conservative Party conference.

Nicky Morgan
Nicky Morgan said student loan debt is projected to be £160 billion within six years (Lauren Hurley/PA)

Tim Bradshaw, acting director of the Russell Group which represent 24 leading universities, said: "We need a system of student finance that is fair for students, the taxpayer and for universities too.

"The announcement of an increase in the student loan repayment threshold was a positive move that will help recent graduates.

"I have previously called for the interest rate attached to student loans to be looked at again and am pleased that this will be considered by the committee."