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'At 18 I didn't understand implications of my student loan' - 2 years after graduating interest totals £4,000

Calls for more financial education

There are calls for young people to receive more financial education, especially with the high levels of debt some students owe when leaving university - having taken out loans to pay for their £9,000 a year tuition fees.

Nearly half of all young people - now go on to higher education. If Labour or the Greens win the election next month university tuition fees of more than £9,000 will be scrapped.

Other parties propose to restore maintenance grants, waive repayments for teachers who stay in the profession or even just abolish tuition fees for certain subjects. However the reality is that tens of thousands of young people currently leave University with huge debts, of typically more than forty thousand pounds.

Claims that interest on student loans "scandalous"

Interest charges can mean the debt is higher than expected

Student loans have been in the news headlines after the Labour Party released more details of its plans to scrap university tuition fees starting from September 2017, should the party win the General Election in June.

Meanwhile an ITV Meridian investigation reveals that the sum of debt owed by students could be a lot higher than they initially think - because of interest charges which start from the day the loan begins.

This is the first of two special reports from our Social Affairs Correspondent Christine Alsford.

The report contain interviews with: Estelle Clarke, campaigner and expert; Tom Woolf, Founder of EdAid; Jessie Hamil-Stewart, a first year student; and David Tyler, a Financial Advisor. There is also footage from a Student Loan information film.

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Debate begins again over the cost of degree. How much will students pay in future?

The debate is starting all over again about how to fund Higher Education. Christine Alsford speaks to vice-chancellors Sir David Bell at Reading, Professor Joy Carter from Winchester, and Southampton Itchen MP and former universities minister John Denham about the challenges ahead.

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Could the cost of a degree be set to rise again?

The deadline for prospective students to apply for university in September passed at 6pm today. Students are already paying fees of up to nine thousand pounds a year. But could the cost of a degree be set to rise again?

One top university has already said it wants to charge up to seventeen thousand. Meanwhile, the whole debate over who should fund higher education - and how - is rearing its head once more. ITV Meridian's Social Affairs correspondent Christine Alsford reports.

In her report Christine Alsford speaks to University of Reading Vice-Chancellor Sir David Bell, students at the University of Southampton and the University of Winchester Vice-Chancellor Professor Joy Carter.

  1. ITV Report

Student fees soar