Comment: Vice-Chancellor welcomes prime minister's commitment to review university tuition fees

Comment: Vice-Chancellor welcomes prime minister's commitment to review university tuition fees

Professor Sir Keith Burnett, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Sheffield, who last week called for a Royal Commission to review the broad purpose and funding of higher education, welcomed a commitment to review university tuition fees

"I very much welcome a review of university tuition fees and a recognition of the impact our current system is having on students and graduates. However it is vital that this review does not consider any one part of higher education in isolation.

"What students and indeed the country need is a proper open and independent debate about what higher education is for, who benefits and how. It needs to draw in the needs of students and the needs of the nation, public and private benefit, and how education should develop to encompass both vocational and digital education in the future.

"Who should be involved in such a review? Everyone affected. Students themselves but also industry, health, local and global communities who are dependent on the scholarship of which the UK should be proud.

"We have inherited a university system which is the envy of many around the world but it is very far from perfect. If we are to make changes - and we should in many areas - we need to do so with wisdom so we do not kill the very things we most need. This is too important a question to be lost in party politics, it needs breadth and independence. I am committed to working with our students, graduates and partners to develop proposals about how we should address the full range of challenges we face, and to sharing this with government and our many partners in the UK and around the world."