Drop in university starters 'a failure of Government policy'

Fewer students at UK universities represents the failure of the Government's higher education policies.

Higher tuition fees forced a scramble for places last year, which simply highlights the unfair nature of the Government's hike in fees.

If we are to open up university to our most talented people, we need to remove punitive financial barriers.

– Sally Hunt, University and College Union general secretary

The Tory-led Government's policy to raise fees to #9,000 has put a brake on aspiration and has led people considering applying to university to decide against doing so at precisely the time that higher-level skills have never been more important to secure their future."

– Shabana Mahmood MP, Labour's shadow higher education minister

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Sharp drop in university take-up

Tens of thousands fewer students started university courses this autumn following the move to triple tuition fees. A report shows 53,900 fewer students began their studies.