Student debt to cost Britain billions within decades

New statistics show that the cost to the country of paying for student debt will rocket to billions of pounds a year over the next three decades, almost equalling the entire higher education budget, writes Richard Garner for The Independent.

The figures, obtained by Labour's former universities minister John Denham, show that writing off students' debts plus net lending – the amount loaned to students less the amount they repay – will add up to more than £8 billion by the 2040s, or 0.6% of UK gross domestic product, or GDP. In addition, interest payments on outstanding loans will amount to a further 0.3% of GDP – bringing the annual cost close to one per cent of GDP (or £14 billion in today's terms), according to figures obtained from the Office for Budget Responsibility by Denham.

An independent Higher Education Commission late last year warned that the current fees-and-funding system was "unsustainable", and left three-quarters of students unable to pay off their loans.
Full report on The Independent site