Exeter University has announced that it plans to join the group of universities charging the maximum £9,000 per year for undergraduates students. It joins the likes of Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial College in seeking the top whack.
One of the biggest impacts in likely to be felt by students in Cornwall. Not only do many local young people study at Exeter, but the university is one of the partners in the Combined Universities in Cornwall, offering a range of degrees based at Tremough.
Exeter Uni is often parodied as the choice of the rich and already a number of journalists have been bandying about statistics on the number of car-owning students and suchlike. But it is also a vital chance for young people in Cornwall to be able to move onto higher education.
The CUC is part-funded by Cornwall Council. I hope that councillors on the appropriate scrutiny committee will ask those at Exeter University who made this decision to come and justify it in public.
Although the new higher fee scheme passed by Parliament is relatively progressive, £9,000 per year is still a massive amount of debt for a young people to contemplate taking on. I was very proud of North Cornwall MP Dan Rogerson for voting against the fee rises.