Assessing the reforms to higher education finance

Date: 05 June 2013
Contacts: Haroon Chowdry , Lorraine Dearden , Greg Kaplan , Gill Wyness , Alissa Goodman , Wenchao (Michelle) Jin and Emla Fitzsimons

A set of policy changes to higher education finance took effect in 2012, including the headline-grabbing rise of tuition fees to £9000 a year. IFS economists provided the first detailed analysis of the financial implications for students and graduates (rich and poor), universities and taxpayers and updated the analysis as the policy details were revealed. This analysis, published in 2010, was submitted as evidence to the Browne Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance.

In addition, IFS researchers assessed the subsequent changes to student support arrangements and highlighted the complexity of the National Scholarship Programme.

The research has been widely cited in the media and helped inform political debates on the topic, for example by Labour’s shadow higher education minister.