The nightmare scenario is what is much discussed since the number of university applications and the availability of places do not correspond. Soon the latest figures on this year’s applications will be published by Ucas, the University admission service. The hot-button but sensitive issue was not discussed during the general election because the preliminary statistics points out that many applicants will not enter the universities because of the lack of places. According to statistics, the number of applicants has risen up to 100,000 while a growth in places accounts for just 10,000.
Although directly only universities in England will be directly affected, the other part of UK would feel the negative effects of the Barnett formula which settles funding allocations to the devolved administrations. The essence of the so-called “nightmare scenario” is as follows: firstly, student tuition fees will be raised. Lord Browne's proposal will surely be accepted by the government. Still, in the current situation, Treasury decides that the governments funding for universities should be cut down because the universities will soon get additional money from the increased fees. Finally, the Parliament may ignore the government and refuse to approve the higher fees.
In case Backbench Labour MPs finds the supporters of opposing higher fees among leadership candidates, universities may lose not only government funding but also the money which were to replace it. Steve Smith, President of Universities UK, is concerned for his setback for higher education, though the nightmare scenario may still be realized. The mentioned-above scenario is more likely to happen if the Browne Review will be brought to an end before the Labour leadership contest. That is the reason why many say that the Browne Review, which was expected by August, will now be delayed until October. If this delay happens, the tuition fess would probably be no more the issue of Labour leadership. Moreover, such a delay will make it easier for the government to get the titbit and not to approve the proposals.
Even if these worst assumptions happen, there is still a more serious problem that will not let higher tuition fees fill the terrible hole left by government spending cuts. Since the universities could start to charge higher fees in autumn 2012 and since they would only apply to first-year students, it would be only in 2015 that universities receive the higher fee income from undergraduates. According to Steve Smith's custom essay, "It's going to be a very, very bumpy few years."