Law students favour tuition fees over grad tax

Most aspiring lawyers would not be prepared to pay £6,000 per year on tuition fees, according to a new College of Law (CoL) survey.

Two-third of students surveyed supported university tuition fees in favour of a graduate tax but a whopping 75 per cent said they would be unwilling to fork out more than £5,000 per year to pay for their studies.

These findings arrive despite 66 per cent of students in the study agreeing that cuts to public spending are necessary to cut the UK’s bulging budget deficit.

Nigel Savage, chief executive of CoL, said: “The survey shows that the students are realistic about the issues of Government cuts and tuition fees.”

The radical reform in tuition fees follows the publication last week of Lord Browne’s much anticipated review of university funding, which recommended the abolition of the cap on tuition fees. Tuition fees currently stand at £3,290 per year but if the cap is lifted law faculties are expected to charge the highest fees of around £6,000 per year.

Meanwhile, the survey also revealed that students’ average debt has risen from £14,200 to £14,800 in 2009, with 35 per cent currently owing more than £20,000.

Elsewhere in the survey 75 per cent of students said that the Legal Aid budget should be ring-fenced to uphold access to justice for all. While, 65 per cent said they were deterred from pursuing a career in legal aid because of the threat to the Legal Aid budget.

The annual study was conducted on 2,000 students on the CoL’s Graduate Diploma in Law, Legal Practice Course and Bar Professional Training Course last month (September).