Opinionpanel's new report "How much more will students pay?" by Professor Anna Vignoles examines likely responses to changes in higher education tuition fees.
The foreword for the report starts:
For six years now Opinionpanel has been supporting universities with their marketing, planning and course development. Our annual Higher Expectations surveys have been tracking the importance of a range of factors in prospective students’ decision-making processes. To date we’ve learned that the salient point about undergraduate tuition fees is their unimportance in that process. They (and, in fact, most factors relating to cost) play second fiddle to the real drivers of choice: course suitability, location, reputation and UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) tariff points required (the real ‘price’ of entry into higher education). In a market in which the majority of degrees have the same price tag, it is not surprising that this is the case. But what would happen if tuition fees went up substantially? Would students taking clinical medicine degrees be prepared to pay substantially more than those doing, say, psychology degrees? Would students from a poorer family background be less willing to pay? Could Russell Group and 1994 Group universities charge a premium over other university mission groups? And, if so, by how much?