Guarded welcome to student fees cut plan from University of Sheffield boss

Sir Keith Burnett, University of Sheffield
Sir Keith Burnett, University of Sheffield

Sheffield University’s vice-chancellor has given a guarded welcome to Labour’s plan to cut tuition fees for students.

The party want to reduce the fees cap from £9,000 to £6,000 and boost support for poor students.

Professor Sir Keith Burnett, vice-chancellor of Sheffield University said that if a cut was fully funded, it could be positive news.

He said: “It would be really good for students and their families and their debt, but students also have concerns about how the gap would be plugged.”

But he added the funding shortfall must be made up elsewhere.

He said university students know a £3,000 reduction in their fees means a 30 per cent cut in teaching funding.

“If we did that for schools, we would say ‘what’s going on?’”, Sir Keith said.

Megan Dunn, vice president of the National Union of Students said the current tuition fee system is ‘totally unsustainable’. She said: “Higher education is a public good, which should be fully publicly funded.”