11 Oct 2010

The Coalition deal on university funding

David Cameron more or less confirmed at his press conference this morning that agreement had been reached between Coalition Ministers on the way ahead on university funding.

It appears the key meeting was Thursday, the culmination of a parallel political process which carried on while Lord Browne’s team continued their search for a solution.

“Signs are good,” the Prime Minister said, that they were coming together and there were “not too many tensions.”

Variable loan interest rates for graduates linked to income is the answer they’ve come up with – not far from Lord Browne’s plan to be unveiled tomorrow morning, but significantly it looks like it could go further than Lord Browne in requiring some better-off graduates to pay back MORE than the price of their degree.

That was a bridge Browne didn’t want to cross. The Tories aren’t mad keen on it either, but it’s been part of the modelling exercises going on in Whitehall and was seenĀ  by senior Lib Dems as a necessary concession to getĀ  their troops onside.

Lib Dems are being urged by text not to talk to the press. The NUS is contacting various MPs who signed the pledge to oppose any rise in tuition fees.

Vince Cable will make a statement to the Commons tomorrow afternoon and is expected to indicate then the adjustments to the Browne proposals which the Coalition intends to go ahead with.

Tweets by @garygibbonc4