Higher Education Timeline

1962 – Mandatory maintenance grants are introduced, covering both tuition fees and living costs.

1989 – The government freeze grants and introduce student loans. Grants of up to £2,265 remain available for poorer students, and loans of up to £420 are made available to all applicants.

1997 – The Dearing Report (commissioned by John Major) recommends that students pay 25% of the cost of tuition, but that government grants should remain in place.

1998 – The Teaching and Higher Education Act is passed into law, setting an annual tuition fee for England of £1,000. Previously university attendance was free.

2001 – Labour is re-elected with a manifesto pledge that it ‘will not introduce top-up fees and has legislated against them’.

2003 – A white paper is released by Labour setting out proposals to allow universities to set tuition fees (up to a cap of £3,000 a year, which will increase with inflation).

2004 – The proposed rise in tuition fees is passed through parliament. A maintenance grant for the poorest 30 per cent of students is set at £1,500. All student debt will be written off after 25 years.

2005 – Though fees are supposedly ‘variable’ almost all universities set them at the maximum level of £3,000 per year.

2010 – The Browne Review recommends that the cap on fees be removed entirely. Nick Clegg and all of the subsequently elected 57 liberal-democratic MPs sign the NUS led ‘Vote for Students’ pledge, opposing any fee increases.

2012 – Nick Clegg says he is sorry. From this academic year onwards universities can charge a maximum of £9,000 in fees per year. Sixty-four universities announce that they will do so immediately.

Warwick is one of them.

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