Public Event

Still fees-ible? The future and funding of higher education in England

  • Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017 09:00 - 18:00
  • Resolution Foundation, 2 Queen Anne's Gate, Westminster, SW1H 9AA


A controversial policy when introduced in 1998, tuition fees for higher education in England have remained a contentious issue. But the debate about their future and the implications for the quantity and quality of higher education in England has reached new heights in recent months. As new undergraduates arrive at universities in the coming weeks there are big questions to ask and answer.

What is the best way to protect the world leading reputation of England’s universities? What effect has raising fees had on the size and make-up of university intakes? How is the extra money raised from higher fees being spent? Who would be the winners and losers from proposals to replace fees?

This event will bring together senior UK policy makers and international experts to debate the challenges and opportunities of higher education funding in England.

Speakers will include Professor Bruce Chapman, the architect of the Australian Higher Education Contribution Scheme loans system (HECS). Also joining the discussion will be Lord Andrew Adonis, who oversaw Tony Blair’s 2004 reforms to tuition fees as Education Minister, Professor Lorraine Dearden of the UCL Institute of Education and the IFS who has written extensively on higher education funding, and Lord David Willetts, Executive Chair of the Resolution Foundation and former Universities Minister in the coalition government.

There will be a Q&A after short speeches from the panel, chaired by Heather Stewart, Joint Political Editor of the Guardian Newspaper.


  • Heather Stewart, Joint Political Editor, The Guardian


  • Bruce Chapman, Professor of Economics, Australian National University, CGHE Co-Investigator, and the architect of the Australian Higher Education Contribution Scheme loans system (HECS) Read Professor Chapman’s blog, Should there be free higher education?
  • Andrew Adonis, Chairman, National Infrastructure Commission, and former Education Minister
  • Lorraine Dearden, Professor of Economics, UCL Institute of Education, CGHE Co-Investigator, and Research Fellow, Institute for Fiscal Studies
  • Bill Rammell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bedfordshire and former Higher Education Minister
  • David Willetts, Executive Chair, Resolution Foundation and former Universities Minister

Watch the debate

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