London, Feb 18

University tuition fees should partly be based on how a degree course could benefit a student's future career, British Education Secretary Damian Hinds said.

In an interview with the Times published on Sunday, the newly-appointed secretary said he wanted to see a system which would consider a course's value for money to decide the level at which fees are set.

He hoped to see tuition fees slashed for arts and social science courses that do little to boost students' careers, Xinhua news agency reported.

"We have a system where you have got almost all institutions and almost all courses at those institutions charging exactly the same price.

"Some have higher returns to the student than others. It's right that we now ask questions about how that system operates. I would like to see options available which have different costs," he said.

He revealed that in the future the fee should be determined by "a combination of three things: the cost (to the university) to put it on, the benefit to the student and the benefit to our country and our economy".

Under the plan, British universities will also be told to offer more two-year degrees and more "commuter courses" which may allow students to study at home so as to cut costs.

The education secretary's comments come ahead of the government's long-awaited review of university funding which is expected to be announced in the coming days.


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