Oxford University has called for the government to end subsidised tuition fee loans for the ‘middle classes’.All British students currently pay back their tuition fee loans to the state at a low interest rate after graduation.This is, however, only when they earn over £15, 000 per year, meaning the taxpayer is effectively subsidising the cost of their education.The estimated cost of this subsidy is £2.7 billion. In its submission to the Browne Review of student fees, Oxford argued that “the subsidy is expensive, while student support is not effectively targeted at those with the greatest financial need”.The University suggested that those that go into higher paid jobs after graduation should pay more of their loan back faster than they already do.While there were concerns that Oxford was suggesting that the availability of loans should be restricted, the University was quick to respond that the claims were based on a “misunderstanding” and said that what would differ is “at what rates the loans would be paid off upon graduation”.A University of Oxford spokesperson clarified the issue, which has been widely reported in the national press this week.“Recent news stories imply that Oxford is recommending that certain [middle class] students be barred from applying for loans at the point of entry to university. This is absolutely not the case,” they said.“The subsidised government loans are available on the basis of post-graduation earnings, not family background – therefore a student who grew up on a council estate, for example, and went on to work at Goldman Sachs would not be eligible for the government subsidy.”Johnny Isaac, a first-year historian, said, “Obviously if a person earns more, they should pay more. However the lack of specifics means that a conclusion is hard to reach.“If they raise the fees too high then I, like many others, would not be able to afford to come to this University.”In a related story, Oxford University was criticised for admitting only a small number of students from economically deprived backgrounds.Reports suggest that only 45 students a year who receive free school meals will go on to achieve a place at ‘Oxbridge’.This compares to the extraordinary application success rate from some independent schools. For example, around 50% of the pupils at the Westminster School go on to achieve a place at Oxford or Cambridge.St Paul’s Girls School in London has the same number of former students in Oxford as all of those who have received free school meals put together.Michael Gove, the Shadow Education spokesman argued that these statistics “show the true extent of Labour’s failure”.