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Raising the cost of university

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FINANCIAL/GRADUATESThousands of overloaded cars were on the move on Britain’s motorways at the weekend, as parents ferried nervous teenagers and mounds of possessions to their new university homes. Another wave is due next Saturday.

Weeks of waiting are over, both for the students who have been straining at the leash ever since A level results were announced last month and for parents, some of whom will have been sad to see their little darlings go, others quietly pleased to get them out of the nest at last.

But their bittersweet relief at seeing them go will have been tinged with worry at the news that the employers’ organisation, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), has said students should pay more for their tuition and for their government-backed maintenance loans.

The universities are facing a cash crunch and the CBI says students should bear the brunt of a planned overhaul of their finances due to start this Autumn. It says a rise in annual tuition fees to around 5,000 pounds from the current 3,200 is not asking too much and points out that Britain is one of the most generous countries in the world towards its students.

Is the cost of university too high?

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With annual student debt soaring to 5,000 pounds a year, young people face tough prospects, according to a new study by Push, an online resource for students.

New university students should expect to owe 23,500 pounds at graduation, the 2009 Push Student Debt Survey shows.

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