New students face £25,000 debts

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Students starting university courses this autumn will have built up debts of about £25,000 by the time they finish their studies.

A survey of 2,000 first-year students shows they expect, on average, to leave with debts totalling £23,200 when they graduate. With inflation coupled to a scarcity of jobs to offset their costs, experts predict this debt will rise to £24,700 for those starting this year.

The figures, contained in the Push Student Debt Survey, come at a time when a government review of student finance is considering increasing contributions from students towards the cost of their degree courses.

More than 180,000 applicants face being turned away by universities, which have been threatened with fines if they over-recruit.