There is a record-level of interest in applying to university, making it increasingly difficult for politicians to perform the balancing act of satisfying this demand and paying for the rising cost of higher education.
Universities are demanding more funding, would-be students and their families are demanding more places, industry needs more employees with the right skills – but neither students, the taxpayer nor industry will want to shoulder more of the cost.
Much of the political controversy will focus on tuition fees – the headline figure which students have to pay each year, currently Â£3,225 [$5,400] in England.
Many universities, particularly when talking in private, would like to see this figure increased, lifting the upper limit and allowing them to charge perhaps Â£5,000 [$8,373] or Â£7,000 [$11,722] per year.
In this area, the Brits would do well not to imitate us.