Just over half a million young people enter higher education in the UK each year, so Jeremy Corbyn would have to find a substantial sum of money – about £10bn a year – to make good on the pledge he made when running for the Labour leadership to abolish tuition fees and bring back maintenance grants. That is lower than the headline cost of multiplying the number of undergraduates by the £9,000-a-year tuition fees because the policy only applies to English students, and young people from households earning less than £25,000 a year are exempt. Until recently they also received top-up grants, which are now top-up loans. The devolved parliament in Edinburgh and the Welsh assembly have their own education budgets and have developed different ways of funding higher education. In Northern Ireland tuition fees are capped at £3,805 as year, leaving the assembly at Stormont to pick up about 40% of the bill. University officials agree that £10bn would pay for both policies. The figure breaks down into about £8bn to replace fees for students in England and £2bn to bring back maintenance grants. The shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner, has not ruled out Labour making good on the… Read full this story
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