Chris Carter is a 2nd Year Politics Student and Labour Councillor for Loughborough Ashby. His new regular column for Label Magazine will be republished Online once a fortnight.
The financial cost of tuition fees policy hangs over the country like the morning after a night out at your first FND at Loughborough Students’ Union. According to official government figures, the cost of introducing higher tuition fees will in fact cost the taxpayer more money over the next four years. It amounts to an extra £1 billion, derived mainly from the cost of paying extra money to new students who require loans from the government just to even begin their studies. Let’s not forget here the primary justification for raising tuition fees was to cut the national deficit in the short term, whereas clearly raising tuition fees will cost more money!??
The fundamental problem is, however, the personal cost. Under government proposals, most graduates earning the average graduate wage upon leaving university will not pay off their debts until they are 47 years of age. That, for many, could be when their kids go to university, and this horrendous cycle of off-putting long-term debt could continue for many years to come.
In the maelstrom of this agenda set out by the government, we can all see there are a lot of questions which still need answering, in particular how higher tuition fees have not done what they were supposed to do; in cutting the national deficit in the space of one parliament and increasing access to students from poorer backgrounds. Whether the latter actually happens remains to be seen, but I hope for the future of Higher Education in this country, something changes to bring down this flawed policy.
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