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Students vow to snub university; 'pounds 9,000 tuition fees would be too much'.

Byline: DAVE HIMELFIELD

ONE-THIRD of potential students would not go to university if tution fees soar to pounds 9,000 a year.

And a further third would have serious doubts about going if the costs rises as expected.

The findings came as the Examiner carried out a major survey in the wake of the announcement on fees.

The Government's plan to raise fees has divided would-be students about whether or not to enrol in higher education, according to research we carried out this month.

Of 328 potential students who answered our on-line questionnaire, 35.1% said pounds 9,000 a year fees would stop them going to university.

And while 33.5% would be undeterred, a further 31.4% said they were unsure about whether to enter higher education.

Current and former students were more united, however, with almost two-thirds (63.3%) saying they would have skipped university had tuition fees been pounds 9,000 a year.

Over half (56.3%) of parents, relatives and guardians of students and graduates said their student would not have gone to university had fees been so expensive.

Some 53.9% of parents and relatives of potential students said their potential student would not enter higher education if fees were pounds 9,000 a year.

Of the 116 people who said they would not go to university if fees were pounds 9,000, half said they had 'absolutely no idea' what they would do instead.

Almost half said they would get a job or take alternative training.

Matt Christie, president of Huddersfield University Student Union, said universities would have to work harder to convince potential students that pounds 9,000 represented good value for money.

He said: "Increasing fees will sow the seeds of doubt in potential students.

"Smaller universities will need to up their game because they will suffer more. It's making things more elitist.

"We will have to convince people harder and that's not really the union's job but the university will be leaning on us harder to do it.

"More prestigious universities will do better."

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SEEDS OF DOUBT: Matt Christie
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Nov 12, 2010
Words:351
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