By midnight tonight, universities that are planning to charge tuition fees must have submitted their application to the Office for Fair Access
. It has been said that tuition fees in amount of £9,000 introduced by ministers would be an exception and only some universities would charge the maximum fees. However, it is clear now that most universities would charge trebled fees.
There is confusion about the new arrangements which can result in deterring students from entering the universities in the lack of facts about fees. David Willets claimed that some students may pay less than "sticker price" because of the "hidden discounts".
However, if these discounts are hidden, then few students could benefit from them. It is strange that the government has failed to launch an effective publicity campaign for potential applicants, essay writers
and their parents to know all facts about new fees regime. David Willets’ suggestion that students should pay nothing upfront and will pay only after they start earning as a graduate was approved by the majority of students. However, the idea of introducing discounts, bursaries and scholarships and other measures by universities to help students from low income families to meet costs will not probably be accepted.
The reforms on higher education carried out by the government have left potential applicants making decisions in the dark. Students from low-income backgrounds feel lack of information and guidance about their options. Consequently, if students are deterred by higher fees, the government will have to rethink its policy over tuition fees. But in case they are deterred because of misunderstanding of the system, this could turn into a tragedy.