Some UK universities may have their tuition costs cut by a third if they fail to boost student diversity, according to the country’s new university regulator. Good news for students – particularly those who fall into the ‘diverse category’ (hello international students!).
Chair of the Office for Students Michael Barber has warned that he’s not afraid to use his power to reduce the cap on tuition fees if certain institutions do not increase the percentage of students from diverse backgrounds, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Barber has stated he will cut tuition costs for domestic students by a third, from £9,000 to £6,000, however it is unclear whether the same cut would count towards international students.
Elite institutions have been warned Barber will not hesitate to issue a fine should they fail to meet admission targets that have already been set.
Universities that fail to improve student diversity could have tuition fees cut, regulator warns https://t.co/0zqnHI40Lk | The Independent
— EdNews (@ed_ontap) June 8, 2018
Barber claimed he is “interested in results, not just plans” to actually make a difference, the Independent reported.
“It is simply not acceptable for anyone’s background to be a barrier to accessing the rewarding opportunities that world-class universities offer, and we will not hesitate to use our powers when necessary to improve access and participation,” Barber said.
The University of Cambridge has responded to the criticism, claiming it recently accepted a third of all male black students who achieved three A*s at A level as per entry criteria. This totalled 58 black students.
Senior leaders at the university also issued a statement which said Cambridge “cannot single-handedly fix this endemic problem.”
The statement went on to say the issue of “academic attainment” in students who fall into the diverse background category is a failure on “society as a whole, reflecting deeper-seated inequalities.”