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One in four families already saving for higher tuition fees

But four out of five believe would-be students should take responsibility, Virgin Money research shows

Nearly one in four parents and grandparents* are already saving into deposit accounts and stocks and shares ISAs in response to higher university tuition fees, new research from Virgin Money shows.

And another 11% are planning to set money aside to help fund students ahead of the rise in maximum tuition fees to £9,000 a year from the current £3,290 in September 2012.

However four out of five adults (82%) believe would-be students themselves should also take some or most of the responsibility for paying their way through further education.

The study shows 55% of adults believe the financial burden should be split between families and students with another 17% believing most of the saving should be done by students.

Just one in seven (14%) believe the introduction of higher tuition fees, which have been criticised for deterring the less well-off from going on to further education, should not mean more saving by students and families.

Around 14% are saving into deposit accounts for higher tuition fees while 10% have opened stocks and shares ISAs to help fund students, while 64% have either not started saving or have yet to consider how to fund tuition fees.

Up to 22% of over-65s are saving to help their grandchildren through university, the research shows.

Grant Bather, spokesman at Virgin Money, said: "From September 2012 onwards tuition fees are going to rise substantially and it is clear that parents and grandparents are already starting to prepare for the financial burden.

“It is interesting that people believe students themselves should be contributing as well. Ultimately they will be the beneficiaries so there is some justice in them saving. However saving for potential bills of up to £27,000 will be a major undertaking.”


Notes to Editors

* Consumer Intelligence surveyed 1,193 adults aged 18+ through an online methodology between 13 and 25 January 2011.

For further information
Grant Bather
Virgin Money
Tel: 07834 844 427

Kevan Reilly/Chris Jarvis/Toby Clark
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Tel: 0207 638 9571

About Virgin Money:

  • Virgin Money is Virgin’s financial services arm and was established in 1995 as a joint venture between the Virgin Group and Norwich Union.
  • In 1997, Virgin Direct Personal Financial Services Limited launched The Virgin One Account, a joint venture with The Royal Bank of Scotland that offered the UK’s first current account mortgage direct to the retail market. In 2001, RBS bought out the Virgin Group’s stake in the joint venture.
  • In April 2004 the Virgin Group took 100% ownership of Virgin Money.
  • Virgin Money currently has over 2.5 million customers and offers Payment Cards (Credit Cards & Prepaid Cards), Savings and Investment products (Stakeholder Pensions, Children’s Pensions, Employers Pensions, FTSE Tracker ISA, Bond & Gilt ISA, Climate Change ISA, Cash ISA, and Unit Trusts), General Insurance products (Motor, Home, Travel, and Pet) and Life Assurance products to the UK market.
  • Virgin Money’s brand ambition is to make “everyone better off” – this philosophy underpins our approach to business by offering good value to customers, treating employees well, making a positive contribution to society and delivering a profit to shareholders.
  • Virgin has signed a five-year deal to be the official sponsor of the London Marathon, the biggest annual fundraising event in the world. The inaugural Virgin London Marathon is on 25 April 2010. Virgin Money, the financial services division of the Virgin Group is leading the London Marathon sponsorship with the ambition to help runners raise £¼ billion over 5 years and will use its infrastructure, online capability and financial expertise to deliver that through Virgin Money Giving.