Theresa May is reportedly looking at plans to ease the burden of student debt in a bit to win back young voters who appeared to back Labour in their droves at the general election.
The Prime Minister’s authority has been diminished after a disastrous campaign in which the Tories lost their House of Commons majority and Jeremy Corbyn’s party gained seats on an anti-austerity platform that included a pledge to scrap tuition fees.
With the Conservative Party conference just weeks away, Ms May is looking at proposals to change the formula through which many graduates pay interest rates of more than six per cent, more than double the inflation rate, according to the Sunday Telegraph.
The PM is also considering a plan to name and shame universities that charge high fees but fail to improve students’ earning potential, the newspaper said.
A Number 10 source described the report as “pure speculation” but Mrs May’s close allies have this summer voiced concerns over student debt and higher education.
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Last month her former chief of staff Nick Timothy described higher education as an “unsustainable and ultimately pointless Ponzi scheme” that burdens graduates with debt and needs radical reform.
Her most senior minister, First Secretary of State Damian Green, has also suggested there may need to be a “national debate” on tuition fees.