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November, 25, 2010

Tuition Fees and Student Protest

This story was prepared by press agency London Media based on fieldwork conducted by OpinionPanel using our Student Omnibus Survey.

10th November 2010 demonstration. Photo by Andrew Moss

The majority of students in the UK feel betrayed by Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats over rising tuition fees, according to damning new figures.

A new survey shows 73 per cent of university students feel let down by Nick Clegg and his party, for supporting a rise in tuition fees when they signed pre-election pledges to oppose the rise. The poll, by student market research specialists OpinionPanel, includes the views of a representative sample of 1002 undergraduate students from nearly every university in the UK.

The results show the strength of feeling among the country’s student population and comes on the eve of another protest in London, this time targeting the Liberal Democrats’ headquarters. The findings indicate strong opposition to the proposed changes to Higher Education funding, with the introduction of an upper cap of £9,000 on tuition fees.

Of the 1002 full-time undergraduates who took part in the survey, 85 per cent said they feared higher education will become the preserve of people from a wealthy background.

Of those questioned 51 per cent said they felt ‘very’ let down by the Lib Dems and Nick Clegg. A further 22 per cent said they felt ‘slightly’ let down. Feeling was even stronger amongst students who voted Lib Dem in May 2010, 58 per cent felt ‘very’ let down and 25 per cent ‘slightly’ let down.

One student said: ‘Expecting students to balance the economy with loan repayments is not the way forward. It is already the case that universities have few spaces and will take on foreign students for extra revenue. This approach will just increase student debt and make an already difficult situation worse.’ In total, 81 per cent of students said they opposed the new proposals, and a similar proportion said the protests at Millbank were right but that it was wrong to use violence.

Nine in ten students agree students should protest against the rise in tuition fees, while Eight in ten felt lecturers should do the same.

Alarmingly, one in ten students said they would be prepared to break the law, (without using violence), to make their point during protest over tuition fees, according to the OpinionPanel survey.

One student said: ‘Violence is wrong, but what did the government expect from such drastic changes? Increasing tuition fees is an understatement, they intend to almost quadruple them in some cases. The protests should occur more often.’ Another said: ‘I feel very let down by the Lib Dems. They are a bunch of power hungry lying bastards.’

The National Campaign Against Fees And Cuts has planned a national day of protests on Wednesday and at least one in ten students are planning to protest. Radical student group, The Education Activist Network, say they intend to occupy Lib Dem HQ in Cowley Street, central London. Seventeen per cent of students said ‘maybe’ when asked if they would be prepared to break the law without violence, such as occupying a government building.

However, a few students did speak out against the protestors. One said: ‘I would not wish to be associated with the students protesting in any shape manner or form. Surely people who are studying to be professionals should be able to rise above the violence and criminal damage caused.’ Another said: ‘This is something I feel very strongly about. However I can’t be violent because I’m against that and I’m cautious about breaking the law because a criminal record will ruin my future prospects of a medical career and get me kicked out of medical school.’

Asked how they felt about the Lib Dems, only nine per cent said they felt any sympathy for the party over claims it did not realise how dire the financial situation was before forming the coalition government.

Some students admitted they could see some benefits from rising fees; Forty per cent strongly agreed that higher tuition fees would help to discourage applications from those not serious about university or without the necessary qualifications. The majority, however, disagreed that the new regime with its higher repayment threshold would lead to more people taking part in Higher Education.

With many thanks to our friends at London Media for this write-up, in particular Rick Hewett

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  1. Mila Wali

    Instead of encouraging us students and help us plan our future for the better change of this world or motivate us for higher education they breaking our dreams and by simply increasing the tuition three times more. So we start our future and living our life by a debt? Education supposed to be free, motivating the students and studying isn’t supposed to start with money problems all they now doing is increasing the number of jobseekers. After finishing their A-levels/College we will get lazy and just disappointed because of the money issue their giving us and living in the UK is not getting any cheaper, their cutting all budgets for all kind of benefits and young, qualified students will just get lazier this increase of tuition fee is a suicide for education. Such a shame…

  2. Coral Barber

    People in government stupid. They moan that Britain is less academic, yet they raise our fees that we can’t pay. They say were in a credit slump, yet they force higher fees. Dum Dums!

  3. Mary Wiley

    There is no excuse for increasing tuiton fees, less people are choosing to go to university purely because they are convinced that they will not get a job at the end of it all. Having to deal with dept like this without a job that pays well can be a stain on most people so its understandable why they would avoid it.

  4. Victoria Zografu

    Tuition fees keep growing and why is that? The truth is no matter what the fees are we’ll still pay back the same amount of money or just won’t pay anything after 30 years. The stupid thing is that the fees grow every year and that just scares people off which is why they don’t go Uni.

  5. Angelika Palacz

    Tuition fees are incredible now, why can’t we have decent tuition fees like some other countries do? The amount of people that are not going to Uni and are not continuing their education because they’re scared of being in debt in future is unbelievable.

  6. Shivani Gudka

    I’m totally against the violence but there’s no valid reason why they increased tuition fees – and by so much. At the beginning they said only a few universities would raise their fees but after applying, it seems like every university has. All it’s done is make people think twice about applying and it’s stopped people from continuing their education. Surely this is the opposite of what the country wants and needs?

  7. Zhamilya Taibekova

    I am against any form of violence, however I do understand how hard it is to keep up with tuition fees rising rapidly, being a student myself. Also, it is wrong that not everybody is given an equal chance of getting a higher education which is so important nowadays.

  8. Sophie Wilmott

    Bring student fees down. I am not looking forward to being in thousands of pounds of debt!

  9. Rachel Fowler

    Bring the fees down and get the lecturers to stop protesting when they’re in such a privileged position in comparison!

  10. Madeleine Farrant

    Bring student fees down, and stop giving so many benefits to old people! They have had their chance to earn their money for their retirement.

  11. iqrah gul

    I say bring the fees down!!

  12. Maryam Khan

    increase in the tuition fees is the most absurd thing for a student like me. I don’t understand the government is all for giving education for a more successful country but in the other hand they decide to put obstacles in the way of the new generations that would be able to fulfil that.

  13. marian mohamed

    the increase in tuition fees will affect the working class a lot. and it can lead to high levels of debt, also students will have to pay back their student loan with higher interest, this just adds more stress on to graduates..

  14. Chloe

    I think the education cuts are really unfair and shouldnt happen , as it will be leaving poorer people with less money without a fair chance to learn and get a good job

  15. claire

    So where do I begin –

    1) Being an adult student recently has made me more aware of the tuition fee problem. I agree that there should be a small fee charged to give students the incentive to work hard, but the proposed new fees are utterly absurd and dangerous when we as a country should be investing in students for a better future and all students should be on a level playing field. The debt of student fees should be cleared by the student each year by working in their spare time and over holidays. This is possible if the person is willing. Also it means that the debt will be clear by the time they start their professional work or interim position subject to employment vacancies. They can also still have fun!

    2) Peaceful protests are required with regularity but without violence although I understand the frustration that some people feel by the political lies that have occurred.

    3) So much money is wasted in this country when it should be invested in the future of the nation.

    I hope someone uses their knowledge, intellect, power and position to have a beneficial influence in this conflict of scholars. Common sense should hopefully prevail.

  16. Shakira Dyer

    I’m 17yrs old and am planning to go University next year, but I ‘m really scared that I won’t be able to pay my way. I’m scared as I Know that the University fees are £9000 per year. So after 3-4 years I will be in debt of £27,000-£36,000!!! I will be owing over £27,000 at the end of the course. I will never be able to pay that off and will be in debt for a lifetime.Even when I find a decent job, i’m guessing my total repayment will be twice what I originally borrowed( this is a conservative figue that will drive me into my grave). I won’t be able to buy any luxury things like a car or a house. I won’t be able to afford a decent holiday abroad. Also I probably will end up in a low paid job not able to pay off the Student Loan.This is a Department of Education Scam many students are being tricked each year. Beware of these Scams the Government won’t protect you.

  17. Kajol Mohammed

    People get scared with the aspect of being in debt with universities and they have this myth that they will achieve a degree but won’t find a job after and will forever be in debt! I think the Uni fees should’ve stayed at £3,000 that way everyone had ATLEAST a chance to try and achieve their maximal good.

  18. Lala Ayina

    That’s so true , children from wealthy background would be able to have a great financial stability while others will be in debt for a very long time, its really unfair. How can people be eager to carry on with their education when they fear of being poor or never having to even enjoy their time at uni. Life is just becoming harder and harder.

  19. Mariam

    What are the government going to do by increasing tution fees ?!
    All they keep doing is increases TAX fees, and leaving lives for the working class deprived and they are starting to struggle.
    TAX’s have increased as more people are claiming benefits as they cant afford to go onto getting a higer education!!!
    no one is winning from this..EXCEPT THE BANKERS!!
    The bankers are the ones who caused the recession and price increases on everything!! so why are they enjoying life whilst everyone else is suffering..!! i thought the goverment was meant to look after and help the econony and the people in it. But all they are thinking about is themselves and it is truly disgusting!

  20. amy moger

    Increasing the tuition fees will affect the working class a lot. It will lead them into very high debt. Also, the student loan will have to be repaid with higher interest than before adding to the difficulty students have to face

  21. homaira rahimi

    i think rising tution fees is A HUGE MISTAKE this will even rise to a point of poverty in britain stealling murder will increase an the goverment is thinking about builing britan i dont think this will help this is another step of brtian getting destroyed in the future.i am 14 years old and iam worried about whats going to happen in my future willl i get to a point of reaching uni becuase of the tution fees going up by the time i go uni it might be 15 thouand pounds no one noes . thia is totaly destroying the hopes and dreams for the younge people not much people would be educated becuase of no money .also they have cut down on the benifits and again thats another step of destorying britain i dont even no what to do and the lib dems where saying how they were going to help the younge peple and the people of britain this is not helping its destroying your own country rising tution fees wont help i think it was their right of the students to go and protest a few weeks ago some one killed them self on the train tracks .more suicide is going to happen becase theres no jobs what are people going to do about this starve i could think worse THIS IS A HUGE MISTAKE LIB DEM NICK CLEEG AND DAVID CAMRON i thought they are going to heal britain becuase of they were in debt taking money from innocent people is not going to help.theres going to be more poor people i could go on and on and on :Z

    i hope this does help

  22. Alex

    I still see no real disadvantages to this new system. The benefits seem to severely outweigh costs – could someone please explain what the problem is? I’m genuinely interested: I understand the reforms well and know the figures, I’ve read the commentaries in the papers and have listened to fellow students; however, despite being the first year to be affected by these changes (current Year 12), I have little against the change and see virtually no case against this. Someone enlighten me please!

  23. Jasmine Watts

    I’m Jasmine. I’m 15 and sitting in the Senate House in Cambridge now with 300 other people who believe strongly about the situation. As for the people saying “get a job” on some websites – this is why we’re sitting in at the top university in the country… yeah?

    We have had 3 marches- the most successful being Tuesday’s march which gathered over 700 people and we were on the news that evening. Cambridge has completely peaceful protests apart from the the first when the police made 5 arrests for stupidity among some members of the public. Other than this we have had an absolutely great turnout with the marches and had students as young as 12 turning up because they have always been encouraged to want to go to university and now, with the rate we are going, we can’t because of the financial state. University shouldn’t be a financial investment its should be a right and the Liberal Democrats lied.

    In London last week as I know you have probably all seen there were a huge amount of problems in Millbank where damage to buildings happened and the police started to use force on students not even of sixth form age yet where some ended up with broken ribs and legs. This was brought upon by the actions of Nick Clegg but yes I do also agree with the people saying that Labour got us into this mess. He said that Higher Education prices would go down not be tripled and that EMA would stay. Looking at it on the bigger picture by putting these prices up and having students not being able to afford to receive an education is just going to put Universities out of business which means unemployment to professors and teachers of the highest qualifications possible who have an exceptional amount of different qualifications themselves.

    Over 70 different universities have occupied now including some in Wales where the price difference won’t apply to them but they are standing up for the thousands of other people that will have to deal with going to university and coming out with, yes, a very high standard qualification but also with a £40000 debt to deal with for pretty much the rest of their lives.

    As I’m in my last year at secondary school I’ve always been told throughout my years “go to school”, “go to school” day after day with a negative response each time but now it’s turning into this situation-Parents: “go to school” Me: “Sorry, I can’t because Nick Clegg has been a bit of a backstabber to the whole of the United Kingdom population and I now can’t afford to get an education”. As for taxpayers-Should you pay for Mr Taxman’s mistake? And think about it- If you took a survey with the following options on: Health and Education, Royal Weddings and Pensions I guarantee that 99% of the population would put Royal Weddings at the complete bottom of the list and Health and Education at the top because it’s a right not a privilege.

    Well can you see where I’m coming from here?

  24. Avision Ho

    With the rise in tuition fees, combined with cuts in funding for front line services, it’s no wonder why the ConDem coalition is feeling the full force of anger, frustration and loss.
    Because the Liberal Democrats leader Nick Clegg made a promise to us – a promise that not only would he stop any sort of rise in tuition fees, but he would abolish them too. Has that come true?
    The answer is a resounding NO. Not only has he gone back on his word but he did this with the such such a controversial policy.
    Raise the fees by multiplying it by three…yes please!

    Now I’m sure Nick Clegg is an intelligent man, but surely he must’ve realised that this was a step too far. Sure he must’ve seen this a mile away. And surely he must’ve known the consequences of his actions.
    We as students, voters and citizens of this country don’t want to pay exorbitant prices.
    What we want is an education that we can afford; an education that we can take without worrying about debts and an education which we can use as a springboard for a future career.

    With this rise, many students will bear the brunt of the financial collapse which is hardly their fault. Many students will be priced out of the opportunity of higher education and therefore be cast off from their dream job; be it a doctor, a lawyer or a lecturer.
    Yet it is argued that apprenticeships can also act as a gateway to a future career but it must be asked: “Do apprenticeships offer the leaders of the future the chance to break into very competitive, oversubscribed jobs which require a degree?”

    It isn’t just Nick Clegg’s fault but David Cameron’s as well. He was the fulcrum of this policy yet he wasn’t the one who lied, who cheated and who swindled the public for votes. Nick Clegg on the other hand did what politicians should never do…they should never make false promises.
    And to rub salt further into the wound, it has been widely publicised that even before the elections, Nick Clegg knew of the unlikelihood of abolishing tuition fees.

    In reference to Ken Fletcher’s argument of UK students having things swung in their favour, I must ask you to look at the bigger picture. International students have their fees higher than UK students because they are leaving their country to study in the UK. What this means is the country is unable to provide them with a higher education and this in turn leads to a loss of money. This money could be used to reinvest in the university itself, to improve standards.
    Furthermore the fact that the country is losing potential university applicants would lead to the multiplier effect. The student would not study in their country and instead go to another one. They get a better standard of education of elsewhere which would increase their chances of finding employment there. Instead of working in their home country, they would be working somewhere else therefore meaning the money the government have spend putting the child through primary, secondary and upper education is wasted because the person is no longer working in their country and so cannot bring income into it.
    For countries such as Kenya, this is becoming increasingly problematic as they lost their most skilled, most intelligent and most able students.

    It will be the same for England too, albeit in a different form. The higher fees would drive some of the best students away from here to study oversees and leave the country without world leading professionals. England will become a wasteland of talent.

    Thank you for taking your time in reading my argument.
    I hope I have either supported you further or changed your mind.

  25. Amar

    Hi there,

    received an opinion panel non-commital spouting on student protests, can I make a few points:

    1: nursing students at Wolves uni are frighteningly apolitical and have adopted in general the unthinking consumerist personna.

    2: the whole debate about student fees has been skewed by the cororate controlled media mannikins that play at reportage, the news is mainly laughable (or infuriating) propaganda nowadays

    in days past, students used to have a more enlightened approach to social and political matters and were more or less uncensored in those views through their university rags and media

    3: fortunatley a few intelligent voices have been given air on the ‘news’ some of them student reps but I would add that the apathy and lack of political awareness of students in general

    or rather the purchase of unconscionable and sometimes unthinking materialism for its own sake has fomented the widespread social crisis, false education, and unprincipled short termism

    that acts against enlightened self interest and for corporate dominion over every aspect of our lives – in other words students must get political and active as a matter of course and this politicisation should be

    legislated for and incorporated into eduction to avoid the inevitable social evils and upheaval where corporatism and laissez faire marketing is left to its own parasitic devices!!!

    4: as pointed out by the intelligent voices the whole crisis ‘non crisis’ has been generated by corporatist greed and economic violence against ‘the people’ – we have to have a significant controlling voice co-directing the world of corporatism, government and generate enlightened politics – for the benefit of the whole of society – corparations, banks, and the business community cannot possibly decide what is best for students and therefore the emergent social fabric. Their raison detre is profit and monopoly, not the ‘wealth of nations’ or social justice.

    5: the universal declaration of human rights should be taught, embraced, understood, preached, nurtured and practised by all students and forums and a branch of the student union should offcially help coordinate this process of education and practice.

    6: I applaud the students who have finally given over with doffing their cap’s to the priveleged and the academics who hide behind their academic credentials whilst encouraging political apathy

    and compromised dull witted ‘education’ – they know who they are

    and of course I support all the lecturers who have supported students and themselves in opposing these cuts,

    they may now see the wisdom of arming their students with real knowledge and why they shouold encourage and reward altruism, free thought and creativity??!!

    take this as a message of hope and support


  26. Paulina

    For me the case is easy, if UK will have higher fees I will move for post graduate studies somewhere else. There are countries offering countries offering studies for free and additionally masters in England. If not I will just return to study in my home country, I will have great experience without spending a penny for studies. My friends also admit they would do the same. I took a loan to study there, but I wouldn’t like to start live with even higher debt and my course lasts 7 years overall (!) – Architecture.

  27. anna

    the tory’s have been left with a HUGE deficit, our country is in a bit of a mess and cuts have been made in every aspect of society, and the £10bn we just saved went to ireland!
    i dont want fees to raise as much as i dont want to pay more tax but as a country we have to share the burden of recession and that means students too. we cant be protected from the big bad world all the time,
    we need to be realistic.

  28. Caroline

    ref Phils post no 11 above. I am curious that there appears to be an assumption here that there is a need to maintain a ‘class divide’? Your ‘class’ and your money do not dictate your IQ or capacity to potentially contribute to society in some greater way than perhaps your birth circumstances might otherwise dictate. One of the more famous Conservatives of recent times founded her beliefs on opportunity for all – the grocers’ daughter was all for people rising out of their lower class backgrounds to achieve their full potential.
    Why on earth should the ‘value’ of a BA or MA be diminished if more people manage to achieve one? What ever happened to learning for the love of learning? I was brought up in a house that valued books and reading and finding out about things simply for the joy of knowledge. Without any thought that somehow this must lead to some high flying job earning loads of money and all the pressures and responsibility that entails. It is possible for someone to have a thirst for knowledge without necessarily wanting to be highly competitive. I should love all the ‘lower class’ ( whatever that means!) people in this country to have a degree if it meant that their eyes had been opened to appreciating the joy in a painting , a beautiful poem, or in being able to pursue a well thought out argument rather than a monosyllabic conversation. Perhaps there might be less problems in society if we could aspire to ‘educate’ in the widest possible sense.
    I am astonished that the proposed fee increase is so much in one amount. Surely some sort of phased increase would have been more sensible and allow some time to plan for the changes?

  29. Hayley Morris

    What I don’t understand about tuition fees is that currently we get 3000ish to pay for the course and its alot of money over 3 years, plus the bursary. You don’t pay back till you earn 15000.
    And even then you pay like 8 pound a month, and its written off at 60. So if your 20 when you finish and never earn more than 15000 you only ever pay back about 4000 over your lifetime.
    With the increase to 9000 and the need to be earning 21000 which some people may never do, and the fact it will probably still be a loan from the state, how is this helping people one iota? In the end its putting more pressure on the system because they’re letting universities choose their own fees, and I bet we still have to pay for print outs.
    What they need to do is get companies to open up to interns with no experience. Such as fashion. I do a course in fashion but if fashion designers and manufacturers trained people from scratch then less money would be spent by the state and companies would have hand tailored staff with relevant skills. It would also let people find out much sooner if they like that part of the industry. There needs to be a lot more in-job training. it’s only sensible after all. Carpenters had apprentices, they didn’t used to wait for a someone to turn up with the right skills.

  30. I, personally, think that this is a bad idea. The reason why UK is different from any other places (such as the countries in Asia etc.) is that the students are more likely to go to higher education because of the chance they got given by the government, which is at the moment the fair prices of tuition fees. Hence, the more chances of highly skilled worker in the coming future. The government should think this through properly as it is threatening the economy at the same time. The higher the tuition fees are, the less chances of the people going to universities and the less chances of getting highly skilled workers. The point is, UK isn’t like any other countries when higher education became preserve of the wealthy. Look how they turned out. The outcome were – the Economy is bad, there are more people struggling for money, the countries are recognized as poor or slow growing economy, most people with great skills and ability couldn’t get high level qualification because they didn’t go to higher education.

    This is why i think that this idea is going to be a complete and utter failure.

    Thank you.

  31. Phil

    I for one believe that British students have been getting away with paying ‘pocket change’ for a university education. I am Canadian and have attended university in Canada and the United Kingdom. It seems in the UK, education is seen more of a right than a privilege. If too many people from the lower classes have a university degree, the class system will become narrower and a BA or MA will mean less for the average citizen. Post-Secondary education should be considered a right for the few. By raising the tuition fees to 6000-9000 Pounds it should clear the way for a better quality of degree recipients and maintain the gap between the working and middle class.

  32. ednora qerimi

    I feel really let down by the lib dems, especially after I voted for them this year. What is the point of voting if MPs won’t even consider what the puplic want. The rise of tuition fees will not affect me directly but it will affect some of my friends and most importantly my siblings. This has made me feel like I have no say in what goes on and therefore I don’t see the point in voting anymore. I am very disappointed. Also I don’t believe many people will go to university after this as the only people who will be able to afford it will be the wealthy.

  33. Ken Fletcher

    I wonder how much these students and potential students have really considered what they are protesting about and what they can hope to achieve by doing so. As a second year student I have already seen the recent cutback result in the cancellation of many modules and a reduction of lecture time. This is something I find unsatisfactory as it not only affects my university experience, but is also likely to affect my future career.

    Non-EU students already pay nearly £9,000 per year to study here, which they have to pay upfront. UK students already get a very good deal in that they are given tuition fee loans that they only have to pay back once their income exceeds a certain threshold. Many graduates will go on to earn £60k per year plus, why shouldn’t they contribute fairly, not just £3,225 per year, to the education system that enabled them the achieve this position?

    If there is any issue at all, it is perhaps that people gaining apprenticeships, with similar potential job earnings, are not required to contribute in the same way.

    The reality is that many students education is already being affected. In order to prevent the education system from sliding further and becoming second rate, tuition fees need to rise. If not, the alternative must surely be, less places and the likelihood that our universities will once again become elitist.

  34. Ben Middleton


    As per usual, people only care about themselves. I believe that this country is in a terrible state at the moment in terms of the public finances. The way they have been spent over the last 13 years has been an absolute embarrassment. Complete and utter wastage. I am happy that the current government is taking the steps to control the finances properly and I trust that they are much more sensible with the money than the last Labour government.

    In regards to education. The government has stated that for lower income families, the fees will actually be less. It is the higher income and middle income families that will have to pay more. I agree with this. It is a more equal to a student’s income. I also feel that with the higher prices, only those students serious about doing well will go to university. This will result in students leaving with better results and reclaiming the respect that the degree qualification deserves.

    I am a student and I am in support of the Treasury’s decisions. I am positive that as money returns, spending will be allocated in a much fairer and balanced way than the last 13 years.

    Thank you,

  35. Holly

    the protests themselves are perfectly valid. segregation of the classes is a terrible idea and the knock on effect of closing universities is an insult to the whole education system that has been built by the uk. the violence that was implemented however is an insult to this cause. those who are students at university there to take studing seriously should know this and i believe they do. pants to those who mock this.

  36. Lainey

    I think the rise in the tuition fee’s will make the rich/poor divide much bigger and not give the middle or lower class the chance to improve their prospects of a better education or job prospects.

    I am a mature student and I am glad that I have had the chance to be able to attend University this year as I am now covered for the three years of my attendance. However, if I wanted to further my education by acquiring a masters, I would be out of luck as I would fall in the extended fee payments, and with the best will in the world, there is no way I could pay the amount they are asking to go further.

    The government are moaning constantly about people on the unemployment benefit but if you try to improve your situation or your education you are penalised for it.

    So, the question is, now what is the mature student supposed to do if they need to improve their academic status to be able to acquire a job?

  37. Sophie Kerr

    I am not against paying tuition fees and i’m not even against a rise in them (not to the extent of £9000 of course!). What i am against is a free market which i fear will lead to an elitist system, regardless of what you pay back when. I want to pay back all of my student loan and i’d like to do so as quickly as possible – currently estimating i’ll be £25,000 in debt by the end of my course. If that were to rise to £50000 in debt as it could for future students then theres no way i’d be studying at Newcastle.

    Grove can witter all he wants about the new repayment system but i see no problem with the current one. My mum has only just started earning £21,000, the new repayment threshold, and she never had a problem making student loan repayments before earning that much. I also fail to see how this will help the economy. Grove himself admitted that fewer student will end up repaying what they borrowed under this new system. So, the government will continue to lend out the money and is going to see less of it in return? And this is going to help our failing economy? I really can’t understand the logic there. It’s also highly unfair to penalise a generation of people too young to vote, something i feel very strongly about as i myself was too young this time around!

    I’m totally against the violence at the protests but i went along to Newcastle’s on Wednesday which was peaceful. I was surprised by the number of high school students there but i guess that shows how important this matter is. I think the best moment of the day for me was when we were blocking the entrance to a shopping centre (waiting to get out) and a woman, looking like your stereotypcial chav although i didn’t want to judge, was pushing through the crowd kicking and hitting the students effing and blinding as went – effing students, what the eff do they think theyre doing, ere right i’m effing shoppin u get me? etc etc. She booted one girl who barely looked old enough to be in high school and this lass stood up, turned to her and said
    “Just because you don’t have an education doesn’t mean you can stop me fighting for mine.”

  38. Svetlana Dimitrova

    Let’s be honest. A major part of the Lib Dem electorate in the general elections consisted of students. I remember hundreds of students queuing to cast their vote for the Lib Dems, just because they were promising to work for the scrapping of tuition fees for university. Now when in power those same Lib Dems abandoned their former policies on tuition fees and what is worse they adopted the cheap idea of boosting the economy by using students’ finances to feed the budget gaps. And yes , tripling tuition fees at once will put young people off from Higher Education and it will definitely make it possible exclusively for the wealthy.

  39. Ian Young

    Universal access to quality education is requisite for a civilized democratic society.
    Whilst being somewhat ambivalent about fee increases, I am greatly concerned about reduced government funding of the universities. Higher education must be delivered with excellence otherwise its value is fatally diluted. Facilities in many campuses across the country are presently severely compromised and in dire need of increased properly directed funding, not less.
    Protestations against funding cuts need to made to government which is predominantly Conservative.
    I voted Liberal Democrat in the last general election but I did not consider that there was the slightest chance of an exclusive Lib Dem government.
    In fact, no matter how much some of the Lib Dem policies appealed, it was more than likely that there would have been no opportunity to implement any of them.
    The fact that Lib Dems are now actually a part of the government is hugely gratifying because an otherwise hardline Tory government and its policies have been tempered.
    So let’s grow up, stop whinging just at the underdogs in the government who are actually still the best bet to represent our interests, and instead offer united peaceful protest to the whole government.

  40. Carl Brocklehurst

    The government needs to set up a whole load more internship schemes to lower the number of people applying to Uni. At the moment people go to uni and do a random degree with no job prospects. If more apprenticeships were in place, e.g business management, accounting etc etc then this would reduce the number of people needing to go to uni to get where they need to be. Also i think that partly it is a good thing for tuition fees to go up as less people will be in university for the sake of it. There needs to be an alternative to university, there simply isnt. Where do you go with 3 A- levels? Exactly, theres no other option than to go to uni.

    However, for people like myself who dont have stupidly rich parents, coming out of Uni with a £40,000 debt will deter alot of very bright young people who simply cant afford to go, this is a bad thing as they may not be able to achieve what they wish to.

    As to the stupid riots in London, trashing buildings is one step too far.

  41. Cadamban Shanmugasundram

    Increasing the tuition fees will affect the working class a lot. It will lead them into very high debt. Also, the student loan will have to be repaid with higher interest than before adding to the difficulty students have to face