Officials from Downing Street are currently holding discussions with the Treasury and the Department for Education about tuition fees for university students in the UK. 

Currently, students in Britain pay yearly tuition fees of £9,250. With the proposed cuts in question, it could lower expenses to £8,500, sources told The Guardian. Despite students warming themselves to the proposal, opposing ministers expressed their disapproval of the fee cut. MPs cited rising inflation and uni funding as a primary reason to keep fees at their current rate.

“The Augar recommendation of a cut of almost 20%, to £7,500, has come to look implausible, especially in the context of rising inflation, as it would have a dramatic impact on institutional finances,” said Nick Hillman, director of the Higher Education Policy Institute. “Imagine being a Tory MP for a red wall seat with a higher education institution that might be pushed to the wall by such a cut: you are not going to hold your seat easily and, therefore, you are not going to support such a change.”

As it stands, postgraduates are expected to pay 9% of their income over the initial £26,575 that they earn. Although interest is charged on the outstanding amount of money owed, the remaining interest is cleared 30 years after a person graduates. 

This isn’t the first time in recent memory there have been talks of student loans. In June, many of last year’s third-year students rallied against the government. They demanded refunds as students spent most of last year’s studies in lockdown due to the pandemic. 

Speaking on the student tuition fees, a government representative said: “The student loan system is designed to ensure all those with the talent and desire to attend higher education are able to do so while ensuring that the cost of higher education is fairly distributed between graduates and the taxpayer. We do not comment on speculation in the run-up to fiscal events.”

Later, Hillman lamented that a £750 cut to individual fees could be too large and prepositioned a smaller fee cut instead. Despite the back and forth between ministers, the Treasury is allegedly desperate to reduce student fees, with outstanding student loans totalling £140 billion in 2020.