Will hike in tuition fees put the next generation of farmers off studying?

The cost of Higher Education is rising rapidly, with tuition fees set to rise to a maximum of £9000 from 2012.

This will clearly have implications on all subjects, but the worry is with agricultural wages often lower than the national average, young farmers will be put off embarking on an agricultural degree, which could in turn have a knock-on effect on the future of UK farming.

The Royal Agricultural College (RAC) at Cirencester, Reading University and Nottingham University have all announced plans to set fees at £9000 pa, subject to approval by the Office for Fair Access (OFFA).

The RAC said the fees will be directed at improving the student experience on campus at Cirencester and will enable the RAC to widen participation and fair access.  As part of the new arrangements the RAC will be developing student funding packages to encourage more applications from less well-off students.

The University of Reading, which has a strong and well established agricultural faculty, said the fees would help to provide first-class facilities and student accommodation.

Harper Adams University College have said that plans for tuition fees would be announced next week.



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