HC Deb 05 March 1997 vol 291 c630W
Mr. Pike

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what estimates she has made of the effects on student numbers of(a) reductions in grant levels paid to students and (b) the introduction of requirements on students to contribute to the cost of course fees. [18418]

Mr. Forth

The proportion of young people entering full-time higher education has almost doubled since 1989–90, the last year before student loans were introduced. Our policy is not to require full-time undergraduates to contribute to tuition costs. We believe that top-up fees are neither necessary nor desirable, particularly in the light of the additional £200 million funding for higher education announced in the 1996 Budget, but it is for individual universities to decide whether to introduce top-up fees and to estimate what their effect might be on student numbers.