Press release: 18 February, 2018

The Council for the Defence of British Universities (CDBU) welcomes the government announcement of a review into university funding. We hope the review will be far-ranging and go back to first principles rather than just tinker with the current model. Poorer students have been damaged by the decision to abolish the maintenance grant, and increasingly as academics we see two tiers of full-time students: those whose living costs are met by their parents, and those who have to work part-time to fund their way through university.

Professor Anne Sheppard, a CDBU spokesperson, said: “The government review of higher education must be a radical one, unafraid to look at different options. We know that young people from the most disadvantaged areas of the UK are four times less likely to apply to university than those who are more socially advantaged. High tuition fees, combined with having to pay living costs for three years, act to deter poorer students from applying. Interest rates of up to 6.1% on loans are a further barrier. We hope that the review will look at fairer ways of managing student finance while recognising the need to protect the income of universities, which make a vital contribution to the British economy.”

Notes to editors:

The CDBU was founded in 2012 by a wide range of concerned academics and public figures to campaign for the independence of UK universities and to resist the creeping marketisation of higher education.

For more information, or to speak to Professor Anne Sheppard, please contact Kim Thomas at or 01707 332574.