The Prime Minister will address concerns that universities are using “cheap to teach” subjects to profit from students who pay identical fees to those on much more expensive courses such as medicine and the sciences.
Mrs May will also vow to break down “false boundaries” between academic and vocational post-18 education and to build a system that works for all youngsters.
The review comes as the Tories struggle to challenge Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s hugely popular vow to scrap tuition fees.
Education Secretary Damian Hinds hinted yesterday that England’s tuition fees of up to £9,250 a year could be tailored more towards the actual cost of delivering the course and how it will boost the future earnings of students.
Colleges could also be urged to offer more two-year degrees that let learners start work sooner, “sandwich courses” where students work and study, and “commuter courses” where they save by living at home.
Speaking in Derbyshire today, Mrs May will say she shares’ the concerns of families about funding.
She will admit making university accessible to all “is not made easier by a funding system which leaves students from the lowest-income households bearing the highest levels of debt, with many graduates left questioning the return they get for their investment”.
But a spokesman for the Russell Group, representing the UK’s top universities, warned: “Any changes to the current funding model need to be fair and affordable to students, while still meeting the needs of taxpayers and universities in providing students with a high-quality education and experience.”