University Alliance calls for a public information campaign to explain the new graduate contribution scheme

In response to the Government’s proposals for graduate contributions of £6,000 – £9,000, Libby Aston, Director of University Alliance said:

“Introducing a fairer, more progressive, graduate contribution scheme provides an opportunity to eliminate the notion of upfront cost or burdensome debt. It will put in place a simplified system of financial support for students alongside a time-limited graduate contribution based on earnings. Quite simply – if you don’t benefit you don’t pay.

“Alliance universities have an outstanding track record of widening access to higher education whilst delivering some of the highest rates of graduate-level employment. In order to maintain access, however, we need this new system to be better understood. We would urge the Government, along with the university sector, to undertake a major national public information campaign to achieve a fundamental shift in understanding. It is the graduate that is being asked to contribute, not the student.

“It is absolutely critical, however, that this new system for graduate contributions is not used as a complete substitution for direct public investment in universities. The Government must recognise that there is a strong case for a greater level of direct public funding for teaching than it is proposing today. Even in difficult economic times, we must not forget the massive public benefit of putting direct public investment into our universities. Higher education is an investment in the essential building blocks for an innovation-driven economy and will help deliver the economic growth the UK needs.

“Alliance universities are strong and popular institutions and will of course engage
with any new system of higher education funding. We look forward to being involved in
the detailed consideration of these proposals to mitigate any risk to students,
universities and public investment alike.”

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Notes for editors:

About the Alliance:

University Alliance represents 23 major, business-focussed universities at the heart of the sector delivering world-leading research with impact.Alliance universities educate over 26% of all UK students and achieve some of the highest graduate-level employment rates. Alliance universities offer a research- informed, academic learning environment and a culture of innovation and enterprise, equipping graduates who will help deliver growth to the UK economy. Our universities maintain a revolving door with business to help ensure graduate employers get innovative and thoughtful, professionally accredited graduates with the right skills to help grow their businesses.

Alliance universities:

Aberystwyth University, Bournemouth University, University of Bradford, De Montfort University, University of Glamorgan, Glasgow Caledonian University, University of Hertfordshire, University of Huddersfield, University of Lincoln, Liverpool John Moores University, Manchester Metropolitan University, Northumbria University, Nottingham Trent University, Open University, Oxford Brookes University, University of Plymouth, University of Portsmouth, University of Salford, Sheffield Hallam University, Teesside University, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, University of Wales, Newport, University of the West of England.

For further information, please contact Sam Jones at the University Alliance office on 07767 673 982 or email

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