Top UK universities not high quality enough to charge £9,000 a year, says leaked government document

Photograph reveals government’s higher education concerns

A photograph of an unnamed junior minister holding a sheaf of notes relating to the higher education bill has revealed that ministers believe many British universities are not worth their £9,000 a year tuition fees.

Though the notes are partially obscured by a thumb and mobile telephone, it is possible to read that the government has concerns about the “quality and intensity” of some institutions, including some of the UK’s leading establishments.

The note says: “Education across the spectrum – from some in the Russell group to courses … through FE [further education] colleges – do not offer the quality and intensity of teaching we expect for 9k.”

In addition, it casts doubt on David Cameron’s promise to double the proportion of students from poorer backgrounds going to university.

“[There is] a stated goal of doubling the proportion of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds going to university by 2020,” the note reads.

“BIS think we will never achieve this from the established sector alone (probably because of a combination of high entry requirements and reluctance to expand too fast) – and the extra boost in access could come from growth by alternative providers.”

The document will raise doubts about the value Britain’s universities offer to students who now pay more to go to university than ever before.

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