8,263 reasons why Tuition fees are still wrong

John Opposing Tuition Fees in the House of Commons

My opposition to Tuition fees is well-known. I opposed Tuition Fees when Labour went back on a Manifesto pledge and introduced them at £3000; opposed them when both the Tories and Labour promised to implement the Browne Commission in their 2010 Manifestos; opposed them in the Commons when they were increased in December 2010 by this Government; and I oppose Labour’s current policy of setting them at £6000.


Here was my speech in the House of Commons in December 2010 opposing the rise in fees.


Latest figures released today show that 94 of 122 universities (77%) will charge £9,000 for at least one of their courses, and 42 institutions (34%) will charge the maximum as standard.


On average, a student will be paying £8,263. To me that is £8,263 too much.

4 responses to “8,263 reasons why Tuition fees are still wrong

  1. Although taking the average of a weighted system doesn’t really make sense, and no student will be “paying” anything – the fees are a maximum liability for a progressive graduate tax post-graduation.

    I’m not a huge fan of the current tuition fees policy. Still, it’s thanks to Lib Dem negotiation that we have a graduate tax rather than a loan debt, and the 6/9k cap would have been higher under Labour (15k) or the Tories (unlimited). And remember that those universities who are charging 9k fees are only able to do so because they’re providing extra bursaries etc. for students from the poorest backgrounds.

    I know you continue to be opposed to tuition fees, and admire you for not breaking the part of the NUS pledge which opposed an increase, but given the misconceptions about the new scheme it’s possibly a little irresponsible to build on them with statements like “On average, a student will be paying £8,263”.

    http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/students/student-loans-tuition-fees-changes is a good read for anybody who still thinks they’re going to have to save up £9k per year before they can go to University, or other such misconceptions.

  2. I agree wit Dave Page and I also cannot say I’m a great fan of the current Tuition fees policy of the Coalition. However, as far as I understand it, it is still LD party policy to seek to abolish Tuition fees over the course of several parliaments. IMHO, it is not helpful to perpetuate the myth that, given the position of both the Labour Party and the Tory’s on the issue, i.e. they would have accepted the Browne Report as given, the Lib Dems had an effective choice to do anything else than what was done. What little choice there was had been effectively undermined by the coalition negotiations team and the apparent personal agendas of some of our Lib Dem Coalition negotiation team, who it is clear, from books such as David Laws “22 Days in May”, sold the party down the River on the issue. The Coalition agreement of the right to abstention on the issue was, to be polite, somewhat of a weak cop-out (and that is not twenty twenty hindsight, if you read the book). The fact that Vince Cable effectively turned the implementation of the Browne report, or at least the student funding bit, into a graduate tax by any other name, was a damage limitation exercise, which we should be promoting as a success. Instead, due to woeful political ineptitude at the heart of the Party’s leadership, we allow the Labour Party to get away with the popular idea that the Lib Dems in some way, had a choice and have willfully betrayed the electorate over the issue. Something that the post from John Leech is somewhat less than helpful over. And that’s before we start on the issue of the introduction of a market into Higher Education, (Bad!) which is an issue that has become completely lost in the noise.

    We have long way to come back from.

    Dave Eastham

    • Actually, there are far more than £8,263 reasons. Dave Page is plain wrong. It is not even a maximum liability. The student will be paying far more than that after the usurous interest rates are applied to loan. The longer it takes to start paying the loan, the more interest is loaded onto it. Additionally, there is no guarantee that a government in 30 years time will decide to write off all the outstanding unpaid debt. Meanwhile, the rich that can pay up front will end up paying the least.

      This policy hits the least well off the hardest and is effectively a tax on being poor and wanting to better oneself. You are to be applauded, John for your principled stand which is in line with our party’s achievement in Scotland of abolishing tuition fees. Please go on highlighting the misleading propaganda of the government!

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