Tuition fees - have they put people off university? Here two people have their say.
Dan Seamarks, 18, Gloucester, Year 13 Student, Churchdown School Academy
‘Tuition fees’ – perhaps the most controversial two words associated with universities nowadays.
In 2012, the Government allowed universities to charge up to £9,000 for full-time courses, an increase of over 166 per cent. Fundamentally it’s wrong.
How can any course, or indeed any product, be worth £3,000 one day and £9,000 the next? It boggles me.
Regardless of political jargon like ‘added incentives’, the Government made university another source of poverty, well for the students, not the institutions. The cost is clearly out of line with current financial trends. The scale of debt made me consider whether it was worth the extra years of education. But with the threshold for repayment at £21,000, nine per cent taken from your pay and the loan wiped after 30 years, it’s obvious that the Government are just wasting money.
Does it bother me that I’ll be chipping away small amounts of this money in 2043? No, but that doesn’t make it right.
While the Government was fundamentally wrong in raising fees, at a time when the country was financially unstable, the financial side of university has not deterred me or the majority of students I know.
Councillor Barry Kirby (Labour, Grange and Kingsway)
I was the first member of my family to go to university. I was fortunate to be sponsored by the Army to attend the Royal Military College of Science where I studied for an engineering degree that has allowed me to work for some of Britain’s world leading aerospace and defence companies and establish my own business.
University changed my life. While I accept studying for a degree is not for everyone, for many young people university provides a once in a lifetime opportunity to study and gain the skills for their future career.
Many now feel it is quite simply too expensive and sadly we as a country are now seeing the consequences.
The Tory-led Government’s policy of trebling tuition fees to £9,000 has been disastrous. When the policy was first introduced, applications slumped and it remains low for young people from poorer backgrounds. Labour’s proposal is to lower the tuition fee cap to £6,000. It would be an important step towards a more progressive system with wealthier graduates asked to pay more but at the time of the next election, if we can afford to go further then we will.