The Association of Colleges (AOC)
has given a cautious welcome to the Government’s announcement on changes to
funding in higher education.
It praised the measures to improve
access for students from poorer backgrounds and the expansion of part-time
However, the AOC criticised top-up
fees, claiming the move would deter many some students from accessing the most
expensive universities and courses.
David Gibson, chief executive at
AOC, broadly welcomed the measures but warned that poorer students could
“While welcoming the Government’s intentions to widen access, for example, through the expansion of the Aim Higher
programme, there will always be too
many students from poorer backgrounds – the very students which the Government wants to attract – who are not caught
within the financial safety net.
“We are also concerned that many smaller institutions
will not be in a position to charge top-up fees in a competitive market–place, so exacerbating a two-tier system," he