Higher fees equals less BME students says UEL chief

BLACK and minority ethnic students could be priced out of a university place if the cap on tution fees is lifted, warned the head of UEL.

The comments come after the Browne Review of Higher Education Funding recommended that the current limit for fees of �3,290 per year be abolished.

Next Wednesday’s Comprehensive Spending Review is also expected to include large-scale spending cuts, which could force universities to raise their fees to as much as �12,000 per year.

UEL Vice-Chancellor Patrick McGhee fears that any significant rise could disproportionately affect students from black and minority ethnic backgrounds.

This would undo the work of UEL and other universities to get more people from these ethnic groups into higher education, he argued.

“ I do not for one moment believe that anyone in the coalition intends to further reduce the life chances of black and minority ethnic communities, but that might well be the unintended consequence of wholesale adoption of a differential fees regime.”

Research conducted by the UEL in east London found that half of young people already believe the cost of a university place is already too high and they fear not being able to pay back debts.