The Tuition Fee Hike
A vote was passed in parliament on 9th December 2010 to raise tuition fees for university students from £3,290 to up to £9,000. Almost tripling the cost. At the same time they are cutting teaching grants by 6% in 2011 and by a further 16% in 2012/2013. Capital funding for teaching-related projects, such as some university buildings, has been cut by more than half, from £207m to £95m. In total, the cuts for 2011-12 amount to about £680m.
I didn’t make it to university. I dropped out of college to get a full time job in my last year, but my oldest child has real ambitions to go to university. I’m very proud of her for that and want her to achieve that dream. She is a bright kid, which is amazing considering what she has been through (I will explain in another post).
These new limits for tuition fees have created real sadness and uncertainty for alot of people, myself included. I have stated before that we are, and will most likely continue to be, a low income household. I try my hardest to stay out of debt (which isn’t always easy) and preach to my daughter that debt is a very bad idea and I don’t like it. I have no credit cards, no loans, no HP items in my house (I despise places like Brighthouse). Now the government wants me to teach my children that a £40,000 debt is a very good thing. It doesn’t matter if they have to pay it before or after they graduate, it is still a debt and an enormous one at that!
I know mature students who are seriously considering not trying to get a degree, or finishing one they have already started, purely because of the debt they are going to be plunged into. I thought this government had previously been harping on about social mobility, raising the standards of education in this country etc etc. Now they are telling us they cannot afford to fund universities, that the students must pay for their entire courses themselves, unless they are studying the courses the Tories deem useful. I’m sorry but if it’s true that most students will never repay their whole loan, and alot of graduates will never pay anything back, how can this policy be actively funding an education? The whole idea of this was supposed to be to save the government money, and to help fund the universities wasn’t it? It doesn’t take a genius to work out that their claims are contradictory. It funds nothing. From where I am sitting all this policy does is deter students from all walks of life from getting a degree, in anything!
The current line of the government is that it’s all ok, you don’t have to pay anything up front, all your debt comes when you graduate. Yeah, because that makes it all better doesn’t it? They continue to patronise students and parents with the same line, over and over again, believing that we are all too stupid to realise the facts. They don’t seem able to grasp the idea that young people do not want to be a slave to debt, of any kind! I can see that, can you?
The personal result of this ridiculous policy is that my 12 year old daughter wants desperately to attend a protest, to show David Cameron and his government how disgusted she is. She wants to learn, she wants a better life, she wants to be the first person in our entire family history that goes to university and gets a degree. How can these people make that so difficult for her? Why are they attacking our children? In this country an education is supposed to be an opportunity for everyone, something to be encouraged. I think the Tories have seriously forgotten where they are.