Universities places are predicted to fall, and fees predicted to rise again rise, because of cuts in the higher education budget.
Why don’t they create 2 year degree courses for all those subjects where the students have so much free time – how many students freely admit the first year is a doss? Make terms longer if necessary –most second and third year students have to pay for 12 months rent anyway. Make them study more but save them a whole year of fees and living costs –I think a lot of hard up students would prefer this, plus the option of graduating with a third less debt. Cut out frivolous courses too. Then apply the money saved to provide those students who need it with better grants. And if some courses become two years, with tutor time reduced, then more students could be offered the opportunity of a university place, so that problem could be eased too.