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Until 1998 the majority of University funding came from central government. In 1998 the then Labour government introduced tuition fees at a maximum of £1000 per year

In England, in 2006, the maximum fee rose to £3000 per year and in 2009/10 the maximum fee was raised to £3250

In the 2010 General Election the Lib Dems stood on a platform of ending tuition fees, which massively boosted their vote

In 2010 the Conservative / Lib Dem coalition nearly tripled the maximum tuition fee in England that a university could charge to £9000 per year

In 2017, the limit on fees was set to £9,250 for students in England and Wales, however Welsh students can apply for grant to offset the cost

The majority of universities are charging the maximum fee allowed, regardless of the course

In 1999–2000, maintenance grants for living expenses were replaced with loans and paid back at a rate of 9% of a graduate's income above £10,000

In 2006 the maintenance grant was re-instated at the same time as maximum tuition fees were increased to £3000 per year

On average a student will leave university with debt of £50,000

The debt will grow at between approximately 3.3% to 6.3% per annum depending on the graduates salary

Interest starts accumulating on the debt as soon as the loan is taken, so students debt is increasing while still at university and students are not in a position to pay off the increasing debt

Student fees have left universities in a much less stable position

Rather than being funded centrally to allow them to plan they are subject to government policy impacting on student numbers

Because the government is looking at cutting the maximum tuition fee, but is not backing this up with a return to central funding, there is a serious risk of many universities going under

There has been a tendency for some universities to lose large numbers of students over the last few years, particularly where the cost of living is higher

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