New Student Support Arrangements: Follow-up to Institutional Case Studies

The Higher Education Act 2004 led to several key and significant changes in the financial arrangements for full-time undergraduate higher education students - changes to charges or fees and to financial support arrangements - and these continue to evolve. These new student support arrangements have been the focus of much research attention and media speculation, which has intensified during the run-up to the independent review of variable tuition fees (autumn 2009). Our research aimed to capture evidence of, and institutional perspectives on, the impact of the new arrangements on universities and colleges - on their finances, on their provision and on student demand. An initial study by the Institute of Education collected baseline evidence prior to the introduction of the arrangements. Now, some three to four years later our follow-up built on this evidence to explore the real impact on institutional behaviour, policies and planning, to provide evidence for the independent review.