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The student loans system is at "tipping point" due to Government miscalculations and problems with collecting repayments, a cross-party group of MPs has warned.
In a critical new report, the Commons Business Select Committee said that the current system is under threat, and an urgent review is needed to address the issue.
Figures published earlier this year show that the Government's latest estimate - known as the "RAB charge" - is that around 45% of loans taken out under the new system will never be repaid.
Changes to tuition fees will "protect those on lower incomes" who are now applying in "record numbers", according to the Government.
A Business Department spokesman said:
Through these reforms we are protecting those on lower incomes and people from disadvantaged backgrounds are now applying in record numbers.
Private colleges have an important role to play in providing students with an alternative to university.Where standards are not being met we are taking action.
The process to designate courses for student support has been strengthened considerably and where we have found evidence of abuse, we have taken swift and decisive action.
The trebling of tuition fees to £9,000 per year will "cost the public purse more than the old one", a union leader will warn.
Sally Hunt, from the University and College Union, will say the Government had claimed to have settled funding for a generation.
But the reality is that it is now a disastrous, unstable mess.
Despite the tripling of tuition fees, experts now think we are not far away from the point when this new system will actually cost the public purse more than the old one.
Meanwhile, the further education loans system has been completely abandoned for apprenticeships and is running woefully under target for other adults.
All this means funding must be an issue at the general election.
Funding for colleges and universities should take centre stage at the next general election as it has become such a "disastrous mess" under the coalition, according to a union leader.
General Secretary of the University and College Union, Sally Hunt, will also hit out at the Conservative-lead Government for their "bundled" £9,000 a year tuition fees rise and the risk it poses to the public purse.
Ms Hunt, speaking at the union'a annual conference in Manchester, will tell members the Government's "American dream" of allowing more private colleges into the higher education system has become the "English nightmare".
She will dub the Government's higher education funding policy "lamentable" and warn of universities and colleges torn apart by "poor attendance, huge debts, low standards."
Shadow universities minister Liam Byrne has waded into the debate stating David Cameron's finance system has lost credibility, he said:
"David Cameron's student finance system has lost its last shred of credibility."
He also stated that degree costs have trebled previous to this announcement which could now damage "public confidence."