Anglia Ruskin to fight confusion over tuition fees

Published: 11 November 2011 at 14:13

National Student Finance Day to spread message that university is still open to all

Anglia Ruskin University is intent on debunking the myths surrounding the new student finance system following worrying findings from a YouGov poll.

The poll, carried out for the Independent Taskforce on Student Finance Information, found that 59% of people in England feel they have little or no understanding of the new finance system for Higher Education, while (79%) of those who gave an answer wrongly think the amount 2012 starters will repay each month when they graduate will be the same or more than today’s graduates.

The YouGov poll also found that less than four in 10 (37%) correctly know that you don’t need to pay the fees up-front, and, worryingly, over a quarter (26%) think they have to pay the entire year’s tuition fees in advance.

Speaking ahead of Student Finance Day on Monday, 14 November, Marc Rothera, Anglia Ruskin’s Outreach & Recruitment Manager, said:

“The student finance system represents a fair system of loans and grants to support all students to achieve their potential at university and, what’s more, the average graduate will be around £500 per year better off under the new system thanks to the lower level of repayments they have to make.

“When you look into the details I think you’ll find that whilst there is a lot of money involved in going to university, it still makes financial sense for a lot of people, because the earning potential of graduates, on average, still outstrips that of people without a university education.

“Graduates are only eligible to repay if they are in work and earning over £21,000 a year. If you’re not earning over £21,000 you’re not repaying and what’s more any money that you haven’t repaid within the 30-year term of the loan is written off. If anyone is aware of any commercial finance that’s available on similar terms I’d love to hear from them!

“Student Finance Day is an excellent opportunity to get the message across to students and parents that if you want to go to university you can. It’s a great way of letting people know what financial help is out there and how they can take advantage of it.”

Student Finance Day is the first national event of its kind aimed at ensuring people realise that anyone can afford to study at university, despite the changes. It is organised by the Independent Taskforce on Student Finance Information, headed by consumer champion and founder of Martin Lewis, alongside the National Association of Student Money Advisers (NASMA) and the Higher Education Liaison Officers Association (HELOA).

Martin Lewis said:

“We have a near national crisis with the perception of student loan 2012 debt in England. Prospective students are making their decision based on headline fee levels rather than how much it’s actually likely to cost them.

“Many students, especially from lower income families, are unnecessarily being put off.  We need to ensure they understand how it really works so they can make an informed decision.

“We want to help with the great work I know is already happening in many schools to try and explain what the changes will mean and how they’ll work. As part of this we’ve picked a day to try and focus the attention, and that will see schools, colleges, universities and money advisors all work together to make things happen.”