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60seconds Sam - The Student Debate: Should Tuition Fees Be Increased?

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Sam Naz Sam Naz | 09:00 UK time, Wednesday, 24 November 2010

"These proposals offer a thriving future for universities...they ensure value for money and real choice for learners." Universities Minister David Willetts

That was how the government announced its plans to increase tuition fees in England to up to £9,000 a year. And this was how the National Union of Students responded:

"This is utterly unacceptable and an outrage which could decimate access into our university system." NUS President Aaron Porter

Increasing the cap on tuition fees has become one of the government's most controversial plans and the backlash from student unions is set to continue today with more protests across the country. Both men will be discussing the issue on BBC Three tonight in a special Young Voters' Question Time, so let's take a closer look at the plans and why they've divided opinion so much.

Students graduating

THE CASE FOR INCREASED TUITION FEES

What exactly does the government want to do and why?
  • Universities have had their budgets slashed over the past few years and in the recent Spending Review, so they need a new funding system to cover their costs.
  • Demand for places is higher than ever, pushing the costs up.
  • The cap on tuition fees needs to rise from £3,290 to £9,000 a year from 2012.
  • Universities charging the full amount will have to make sure they do more to help poorer students get places.
  • Graduates won't pay anything back until they earn over £21,000 a year.
  • Higher grants will be available for poorer students.
Check out Radio 1's Newsbeat's article for more on why this is happening now.

THE CASE AGAINST INCREASED TUITION FEES

What do student unions say?
  • Tuition fees will treble leaving students with massive debts.
  • Students are being forced to shoulder all the costs of higher education.
  • The Liberal Democrats, who make up the coalition government with the Conservatives, had committed to scrapping tuition fees in their pre-election manifesto. (You can read more in this article).
  • The plans are being rushed through without proper assurances for poorer students.
  • Cuts in public funding threaten the future of our universities.


Graduates

It's worth pointing out that the situation is different around the UK. Universities in Wales and Northern Ireland can charge up to £3,290 a year. In Scotland, Scottish and EU students pay no fees at all; those from elsewhere in the UK have to pay £1,820 a year. You can find out lots more about fees across the UK in this BBC News guide to tuition fees. It's pretty safe to say that everyone will be watching what happens in England closely and any increase in fees could lead to changes elsewhere too.

So, with MPs expected to vote on the plans in the next few weeks, we want to know where you stand on this. Is £9,000 a year enough to put you off uni? Or is it right that graduates should pay for their own degrees? Let us know what you think.

You can watch Young Voters' Question Time presented by Richard Bacon at 8pm tonight. The panel guests will be Aaron Porter NUS President, Universities Minister David Willets MP, Tessa Jowell MP, Simon Hughes MP, Douglas Murray, Director of the Centre for Social Cohesion and Irish comedian Ed Byrne.

Journalist Sam Naz presents the 60seconds news on BBC Three.

Add your comment.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Plans to increase student fees to £9000 per year are outrageuos. This is clearly part of a Tory plan to keep the little man down. A debt of some £40000 after a 3 year course might not scare the very rich ( such as most Tory front benchers ) but terrifies the ordinary man.

  • Comment number 2.

    The protests over these fees are totally out of context.Why should tax payers money be used to support these thugs,yes thugs,for that it what they have shown to be with their violent demonstrations.
    Has any one given the thought that these fees do not have to be paid back until over £21.000 is being earnt and then the repayments equate to approx. three pints of beer a week!!It is time these young people got real and understood that they are not the all important group that they would like to think they are.All those convicted of these mindless disorders should immediately be thrown out of Uni.

  • Comment number 3.

    I have just watched a student complaining he is being oppressed by these charge increases, "oppressed by the government" he said, perhaps if he feels being charged for a service provided is oppressive he should try moving to China/Korea/Iraq to see how an oppresive government behaves. They probably wouldn't let you have enough money to spend on stylish clothes and hair gel!

  • Comment number 4.

    I could not believe what Vince Cable said on Sunday about the student protests:

    He said that he did not see why today's student were so upset because the increase would not be applied to current students, only ones in the future.

    So Vince thinks that current students should take an 'I'm alright Jack' attitude. Still, that's what he's done, because he's had his education from free and he's alright.


  • Comment number 5.

    No one has asked the politicians the following question and I believe the media should lead:

    Will the MP's who vote on this issue include that they themselves will back pay the difference in fees from now onwards so if in the future a university charges £100,000 a year they will pay £300,000 back to set an example.

    If they refuse to then should they not be prevented from voting on such an issue as it would be classed as a conflict of interests?

    if a student is reading this or the BBC please can you ask this question

  • Comment number 6.

    I believe that the cabinet ministers are being disingenuous in their presentation of their tuition fee reforms. I will not be considered poor enough for my youngest daughter to receive help with tuition fees, and I can't afford to pay them for her, so she could leave university with debts of over £40,000. I realise that she won't have to start repaying them until she leaves university and earns over £21,000 a year, but she will still have to carry round up to £40,000 of debt for many years. If you add £40,000 to any requirement to borrow money later in life, and she could end up massively in debt. The government could end up crippling a whole generation with a life time of debt. This is a frightening prospect for me, let alone my daughter.

    As for Liberal MPs who are considering going back on their signed pledges to fight increases in tuition fees, they must consider that a pledge is a pledge, this pledge didn't have small print absolving them of sticking to it if they ended up in a coalition. Surely everyone can now see that the words of those liberal MPs who go back on their pledge cannot be trusted ever again! At the next election, the liberals, who are traditionally supported by students in large numbers, will understand that they have alienated students for the foreseeable future. They will never be trusted again. The winners here will be the conservatives whose supporters will agree with the rise in tuition fees and the labour party who will fight the rise. Well done liberals, a few short years to dance in the limelight, then a generation of political obscurity.

  • Comment number 7.

    If we have such a funding problem now, that is not the fault of FUTURE students. Why make them pay?

    If the Government wants to be fair about this, make those who are the cause of the University funding crisis pay. Make those who attained their degrees PRIOR to 1997 who did not contribute to their tuition fees, pay a Graduate Tax. Or simply repay their tuition fees. Clearly, those tuition fees, in the current day, were at least £9,000 per year. So tax pre-1997 graduates over the remainder of their income-producing lives (i.e. including those retired) until they have paid £27,000.

    Seems much fairer.

  • Comment number 8.

    Spoilt little brats. Why does everyone think they have a right to higher education? I spent 5 years at university, racked up debts of £28,000, worked full time for two years of doing a full time degree course. It was a hard few years but worth it. Ironically I now find myself on the other side in the police, trying to defend myself and colleagues from the vicious, childish, small minded violence and criminal damage of two weeks ago and today. Do these people not realise that the country is suffering and to fund 3 years of their life is unsustainable? Everyone is suffering and they should be no different. If you really want to go to university then get a job to fund your studies and take the very good offer you are being given. No money is required up front and you won't pay it back until you have a decent job anyway. It's barely any different and is hardly noticed coming out of your salary. It's just an extra tax that is needed. So grow up and make people take you seriously by not causing thousands of pounds of damage and injuring hard working police officers who don't have the luxury of striking when they don't like something. Yes it's hard but just wait until you're in the real world, you don't get given everything on a plate forever.......

  • Comment number 9.

    I went to University to increase my knowledge in Biology, and earn new skills that I would hopefully use later in my career. I was never under the impression that I had a 'right' to go to University - I worked hard, got the grades I needed and felt very lucky when I was accepted.

    If I were to apply under the new proposals, I would be able to apply for financial help. I would have more debts at the end than I do now, however, it would be an INVESTMENT in MY future and therefore I do not expect others to have to pay for it!!

    If I were living in the US, my parents would probably have set up a 'College Fund' for me to go to University, and this is what I plan to do when I have children. Top Universities in the US charge upwards of $60k A YEAR!

    Free University education was never truly sustainable, which is the conclusion that Mr Clegg has also had to come to. I don't believe he purposefully lied to get votes, he has just had to face to reality of the situation.

    I understand why people are angry and want to protest, but to me these proposals are fair, and should help give Universities the funding they need to keep providing excellent training and education.

  • Comment number 10.

    Student fees are often a very emotive subject for students and non-students alike. On one hand, we have students who decry every tuition fee rise as 'making profit out of education' and on the other, we have non-students complaining about the so-called privileges of our youth and the current education system and that they are somehow 'spoilt'. Because of this, such a debate will forever be a hot potato as neither group are wholly 'right' or wholly 'wrong'.
    However, so long as these thugs continue to undermine the students campaign for fairer tuition fees, their legitimate message they are trying to put across to the government will forever be lost. As a result, the media form a quick opinion, as well as reams of articles, about the exact nature of these student protests, condemning them because of this minority instead of focussing on the message they are carrying. Obviously here the solution will be to try and increase the police presence, but that's only a reprieve, not a permenant solution. Whenever such an opportunity to appear before the national media appears, however nefarious and violent the action, there will always be a select group of individuals hell bent to fall into the category.
    Those that protest calmly and do not seek to 'get on TV' have a reasonable message, one that should not be palmed away by those who consider such astronomic rises 'spoiling' of our youth. But I think that people are slightly naive to believe that Nick Clegg wouldn't go back on his election promise. That was purely election propaganda, there was no evidence back in his election campaign that he was ever genuinely considering scrapping tuition fees. That aside, the rise to £9,000 is both prohibitive and unfair. If universities and colleges starting charging said fee next year, it could potentially lead to a 'brain drain' of students. Whether that fee doesn't have to be paid back until you earn over a set amount is, and should be, immaterial. University is not a right to everybody, true, but those students who are academically gifted and have proven their gift through GCSEs and A levels have the 'right' to attend his/her college without facing such prohibitive fees that endanger his/her interest in progressing through Higher Education.
    I can only hope that the politicians are sensible enough to ignore the minority of disruptive protestors and listen to those that seek to protest peacefully and carry their message through.

  • Comment number 11.

    I suppose it depends on whether or not you are a student but I feel many stay at university for far too long - courses should be shortened with less long breaks and as for 'a gap year' well, words fail me - seems to me they just want to delay growing up. Their present unruly behaviour as seen on TV news does nothing for their cause and on balance I support the fee increase - they might not want to be students for so long. Have any no them considered night school to improve their knowledge I wonder ? That's what I did.

  • Comment number 12.

    I understand that Universities are underfunded. Perhaps they need to improve the financial involvement of the major industry leaders and the university courses that feed graduates into their industry. eg. How about companies like Balfour Beatty sponsoring construction or building science courses.
    I hear the government saying that students don't need to repay the increased fees until they earn over £21,000 but what is going to happen when a 25+ year old earning say £25,000 and having to repay this loan goes to a mortgage lender because they want to buy a house? The repayments will feature on the regular outgoings from their salaries and contribute to the lack of standing for qualification for a mortgage. On going debt in life is crippling especially in this time of poor bank lending to first time buyers.

  • Comment number 13.

    The Universities are underfunded so it is common sense to raise tuition fees. Labour brought these in and cut student grants for the poor which is fair enough but I do feel Universities offer too many low grade courses that dont pay their way literally hundreds of courses out there that offer no intrinsic value in attaining.
    I also feel the system should be overhauled. The 1st,2:1,2:2 system is outdated, employers dont know a 2:1 from Maths at Cambridge is worth more than a 1st in Tourism from Portsmouth, yet employers post restrictions on a minimum 2:1 grade. Surely an offsted weighting system of University rank, course difficulty and modular difficulty giving an overall % grade would be fairer for employers and students who take the asy way out yet obtain great jobs.

    The school reform needs to happen now. Too many are spoon fed model answers to exams, and need no thought in preparation, they know what to revise for and how to answer it. Years ago on the bright and hard working were rewarded for revising everything. Too much modular marks are added in where information and model essays are readily available on the internet. Record passes every yr yet we produce a generation of unruly undisciplined students throwing and causing criminal damage in protests.

    National service should be re-introduced for 17-19 yr olds and an option for those unable to afford University.

    that said £9000 is too much per student, University courses should be cut before that happens, after all what use is a media or general studies degree from a Low rank University.- none it just creates a spiral of person debt.

  • Comment number 14.

    Everyone should have the right for the opportunity to go to university.
    If the government go ahead with plans to scrap EMA, then surely they should reconsider raising the prices of public transport. Currently it costs me over £10 a week, over £40 a month to get to and from college. Once EMA is scrapped many will not be able to afford the journey. Nick Clegg said this new system will make university more accessible to the poorer in society. But, if students cannot afford to travel to school or college to do their A-Levels, university will never be an option for them. Thus making university accessible only to the wealthy.
    In regards to the protests, the majority of people protesting were peaceful. In large crowds it is inevitable that there will be some there purely to cause trouble.

  • Comment number 15.

    If we were not so obsessed with higher education, then this would be less of a problem. I do not understand why bank managers, for instance, need a degree. They never had one in the days before they had computers to do the accountancy for them - they were trained from the A-Level stage, in branch, by the company. (My Father ran the city branch of a huge financial company, and he joined having finished his education aged 14!)

    And there are many other jobs that do not need a university education, but would probably be better served by more thorough in-house training. Many of the founding fathers of modern advertising (my industry) did not have media degrees, nor did all those sound engineers (my fist job) who pioneered the best in modern music, and so on, and so forth. And yet now, you will never get those jobs without one.

    Higher education is fast becoming a yoke around our necks world wide to the detriment of industry, education funding and leaves developing countries with a huge unnecessary hill to climb.

    University degrees should be kept to those subjects where vast amounts of academic knowledge is needed - sciences, maths, history, languages...

    For the rest - let us get people back into the companies, being trained by those that do the job every day and really know what they are talking about.

  • Comment number 16.

    do they think they are the only ones effected by cuts people are struggling to find work 1000s of jobs lost in the construction industry.mine included
    my wife had her wages cut by £300 pound a month you dont see us rioting outside county hall they need to grow up and face facts all of us are being made to pay for labours mistakes over the last 13 years

  • Comment number 17.

    Tuition fees should definitely be increased. Courses have to be paid for and it's only fair that those who benefit from them should bear the brunt of the cost. If a degree isn't worth £30,000 to your career over the next 45 years (£666.66 per year, recurring), then it's not worth the paper its printed on.

    Having been a student in the recent past I feel sorry for people who will have to pay this amount, and consider myself "lucky" to "only" have £10,000 of debt.

    We have to face facts though - someone has to pay for degrees, and the stereotypes about students being lazy, promiscuous and mainly interested in spending their time and money drinking, like most stereotypes, are largely true. Labour decided to charge them for this rather than to pay them, and now tuition fees are set to stay - and increase. Rather than be furious about being placed in £30,000 of debt, pity the future students who will pay significantly more.

  • Comment number 18.

    Tuition fees of £9000 pa PLUS living expenses (food, rent, books, clothes, travel) of say £7000 = £16k pa. Say one has 2 children to pay for - £32k pa. Say they continue to Masters degree = total of 4 years x £16k per child = £64k per child total. If one earns £33k pa one is not considered poor, ergo YOU pay the lot. Of your £33k about 20% goes to tax (ignoring the NH contributions - let's say 20% of £33k ignoring also any personal tax allowance) = £6600. That leaves you with approx £26,400. You then have to pay out £16k for one child at university, which leaves you and your other family members with £10,400 approx pa to live on!
    Alternatively, you could make your child take out a loan. This would mean they would leave university with a £64k debt. Eventually, I assume, most will wish to marry and have a house of their own (and thus support the key building industry). How could they afford the necessary large mortgage repayments as well as repaying the enormous 'university' debt?
    My advice to aspiring university students is to learn a foreign language and go study in Europe - WHERE UNIVERSITY EDUCATION IS FREE.

  • Comment number 19.

    The government has no choice other than to raise tuition fees. The country's finances are in such a mess that free education is way down the list of critical actions necessary to turn the them around. Also a large percentage of courses being taken by today's students are a waste of time & money & serves no useful purpose in gaining a fruitful occupation in the future.

  • Comment number 20.

    They are all creating a fuss over having to pay tuition fees-get over it pay up or shut up! However did anyone notice the police officer beating his mount with his truncheon-great horsemanship-discusting. When are horses are afraid for their lives whilst a firework is set off under their feet by idiots lets all beat them-what a joke..............

  • Comment number 21.

    Ordinary man here - a recent graduate from the first wave of top-up fee students paying 3k/year for university - now with 22k of debt to repay. That said, I'm not against the increase in fees, I think that my education was worth every penny, considering it will hold me in a stronger stead for the rest of my life. That said, university was right for me, I have a good medical science degree from a top university - the end product was worth it. (Please read between the lines.)

    Regarding the protests in London today - I took a survey at Whitehall and asked students if they could name current cabinet ministers other than the obvious: Cameron, Clegg and Osborne. Only 11% could offer a rise on those names I gave. Of those 11%, the only other name given was Vince Cable. Other unrecorded answers were "the ginger one who looks like a muppet", Tony Blair, Ed Blunkett and Ed Miliband. I question strongly whether protest organisers realise who they appeal to. With groups of kids with their faces covered at the protest, I also question how they can control the peacefulness of their protests - they're appealing to children/young adults who do not understand the issues.

    Interestingly, when asked why they were protesting against a rise in university fees, the main reason was not the daunting debt that they'd have looming over them after graduating. Keeping the little man/ordinary man down by scaring them with the huge debt associated with uni? Not a main concern according to this survey.

    Final word, I heard protesters chanting something along the lines of "don't take away our right to education" - perhaps that highlights the narrow mindedness involved here. Clearly, in our bubble-wrapped world, some need reminding of the rights they enjoy over less privileged societies.

    P.S. Planning on going to university again from 2012 to study for 4 years (med).

  • Comment number 22.

    The 'yobbish' antics of the students today including the injuries inflicted on our policeman,(who are there to protect their democratic right to PEACEFULLY protest),have again demonstrated how little they understand about the new proposals on fees.
    They do not appear to appreciate that no students will be asked to pay for their University education, and only after graduating and earning more than £21K will they begin to pay around £7.50 a week.
    The graduates are likely to earn more than the national average wage, therefore to take back from them the equivalent of 3 pints of beer a week is not asking a great deal.

  • Comment number 23.

    I'm so angry that I was stupid enough to believe Nick Clegg and his party. I feel he has cheated the people who probably voted for him in the first place. I never wanted the Conservatives to get back in to power but felt that perhaps the Con/Lib Dem goverment might have been fairer.
    Quote from the Lib Dem manifesto 'The Liberal Democrats are a UK political party campaigning to build a fairer Britain. The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no-one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity.Liberal Democrats believe university education should be free and everyone who has the ability should be able to go to university and not be put off by the cost.'
    Shame the Conservatives don't ey Nick...?! What exactly is your job? What do you get paid for? Are my taxes better spent on you or Education? I think even you know the answer to that!

  • Comment number 24.

    "2. At 6:07pm on 24 Nov 2010, friendlyonewhocares wrote:

    The protests over these fees are totally out of context.Why should tax payers money be used to support these thugs,yes thugs,for that it what they have shown to be with their violent demonstrations."

    Here is a damn good reason, because educated people are responsible for saving lives every day, for inventing the very internet you are bashing us with, you owe graduates in science, literature and maths almost everything because without us life would be alot harder. Just think next time you go to the hospital that those people working their backsides off to save you, and think just how much you actually owe graduates.

  • Comment number 25.

    To those below who say about the marches being thugs or the fact we don't need EMA is rubbish. I get £120 a month. However I pay for a bus pass, my contact lenses and the rest goes to bills. The money I use for myself which is minor as it is hard to find jobs doesnt cover. If EMA is abolished and bus passes rising, there will be no future for many people. This system was designed to help those who need financial help at home and it is idiotic to stop something which is helpful to thousands in our country. If we need money then perhaps we should stop sending so much money abroad and use that on our education? Yes the march was mostly peaceful except for the acts of violence by few but this shouldnt overshadow the real hardhitting facts of what is happening to this country. I might be 16, but I feel I have more sense than a lot of these politicians.

  • Comment number 26.

    What I don't understand is in this country we offer free education for all under 16, in other countries they pay for it!!! If you choose to go into further education to better yourself to get a better job in the future then why should t be at the cost of the taxpayer???? They have increased the amount you have to earn before having to pay back. Personally after seeing the news earlier on it makes me wonder if this generation are going to be our future doctors and surgeons do we really want them. Personally as stated on the TV programme it may well deter people from going to university, but surely if this was true I personally would like to pay my taxes to a person who will use their university degree and not just get a degree and sit on the dole like most!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 27.

    The full facts are being put forward on this issue.I have 2 children with student loans and was horrifedwhen the youngest who completed her degree 18 months ago. She has continued to a higher degree at her own expense, but in the last year the amount owed is racking up. She now has a debt of £17.50O. It wasn't made clear to her when applying for the grant that interest accrues from the day the first payment is made. The rate is now 4.50% much higher than bank rates. If she never gets a job earning
    more than £21.000 the amount owed will continue to grow at a frightening rate. The crucial question might be what happens when she dies!! will the government be making demands on her estate? I work at a dyslexia specialist with undergraduates and am in the process of asking the students I see, whether the loans they applied for were properly explained to them, as it seems to me that these loans may be being given without the initial information being given, that any bank would be legally bound to give to you before taking a personal loan

  • Comment number 28.

    I graduated last year and am earning over the threshold for repayments. I have borrowed £18k which thanks to interest is now £23k+. My interest is £80 a month and I pay back £35 is the debt is constantly rising. Once 25 years has passed and th debt is written off, as there is no possible way it will be paid off who do the govenment think is going to pay for it?

  • Comment number 29.

    why should the many be punished by the actions of a few, we just want to learn more if you are older just think where you would be in your life with out the university experience. this is where many meet life long friends or even their spouses. i know so many people who say that it was the best time of their lives. it prohibits so many young people from proceeding in thier career choices as we both know you would be hard pushed to find a decent job in this economic climate without a university degree, let alone the job of their lives.

  • Comment number 30.

    This whole problem comes from the fact that Labour decided, in their infinite wisdom, that everyone should be able to go to university.
    Ever since, university degrees have become more and more devalued.
    Far too many degrees offer nothing to the workplace, and they are the degrees that are being taken by thousands and thousands.
    Sixth formers need to take a long hard look at themselves and decide WHY they really want to go to university. Would they benefit more from 3 years in the workplace than the, now long gone, leg-up a university education gives?
    Pesonally, I turned down my university place in 1992 to start work. 4 years on, I was interviewing people my own age for job roles I was doing 2 years previously.

    The whole idea of students paying off debt is nothing new. Only difference is, previously graduates were going into higher paid jobs that made the debt less of a burdon.

  • Comment number 31.

    I think the raise in tutition fees education is a right not a privilage!!

  • Comment number 32.

    I understand that we have to pay for higher education, and i think £3000 a year is acceptable along with the easy paying back scheme. What i don't understand is why the government want to cut back spending, but are spending a whole lot more money on tuition fees which is money that they might not even get back. I can't see any logic in that.

  • Comment number 33.

    I'll say this, why should Taxpayers keept subsidising students to do 'Micky Mouse' courses.
    Plus. some of these students cannot forget in 2005, Labour brought them in and there was no major uproar and soon as the New Government do it...all the bloody idiots are out...how can they not go after Labour? Oh yes...most of them voted for Labour!
    They should be increased, and unless you can afford it, dont go Uni...find a job!
    Because these bloody idiots are really not helping them nor are some of them whining...we should stop subsidising you lot!

  • Comment number 34.

    S Waller

    No, the debt will be written off after 25 years. Her education will cost her nothing.

    I must just echo some of the views on here. After listening to Radio 5 Live today and viewing student forums over the past few weeks, it seems the vast, vast majority of those protesting do not understand the new proposals. They could not give you a comparison between repayments now and repayments for future graduates. They do not realise that the lowest earning 30% of students will be better off in the future. Sadly the protests are just a vehicle for militant socialists and class warriors and it's highlighted the naivety and ignorance of the current generation of students. Where were these types of protesters when Labour introduced tuition fees and then trebled them?

  • Comment number 35.

    I would like to know with the current increase of tuiton fees, how will it benefit me and what does it actually cover. Why am I PAYING More for?

  • Comment number 36.

    I am a first year student and think it is absolutely justified that students who will end up earning more in their lives as a result of going to university should contribute largely towards their tution. It benefits the individual much greater than it benefits the population of the country as a whole and this new system represents that. It ensures that those that are able to pay the majority of the fees incurred during their time at university do so.

    Going to university should never be about the amount your parents earn. It is about what you WILL earn in the future. Your parents will not be paying off your student loans when you graduate so why should their income matter?

    Those who believe they shouldn't pay for their education at university need to seriously ask themselves whether the everyday tax payer should pay instead. Why should hard working people who never went to university suffer increased taxes to pay for you. That would be totally unfair and frankly selfish.

    This system requires you only to pay for university if you benefit from it by earning an average wage. It is almost like a guarntee from the goverment, they are giving you the money with the promise that you will earn enough money to pay it back and if you don't you have lost nothing.

  • Comment number 37.

    I am sick and tired of students saying 'I want this, I want that'. What right have they got to demand anything. Don't they realise that the people who will pay for what they want are the rest of us, many of whom have risked their lives for this country - and the more they demand, the poorer we will be. 'I want you lot to pay so that I can earn loads of money'. Previous generations said 'I will lay down my life for my grandchil;dren'. What a joke. They should feel ashamed.

  • Comment number 38.

    A few years ago people were bored with politics- waiting for something to happen. Fed up with all the parties. Well, the biggest service the Lib Dems have done is made themselves the villain. It's not boring anymore. I'm a student who has had an interest in politics even as a teenager listening to a lot of other people say "I don't care, it doesn't affect me". People are getting involved again and getting a wake up call. I don't want education to become a business and money motivated. What happened to the spirit of betterment? Education for education's sake. I loathe a world where everything has a price.

    I'm not a condoner of violence, but as the war protests showed, the people's opinion seems to matter little after the general election is over. It's understandable after all this media attention why people want it to continue.

    I want greater democracy- the right to vote on major policies in a ballot. Then the politicians can really see what people want and they can't say no. That's why Nick Clegg should not have broken his pledge. It's no longer democracy if you can change your policy people voted you in knowing you were supposed to REPRESENT something.

  • Comment number 39.

    I think the government should request Universities to cut down their running costs.

    If students attend non-industrial and non-lab based courses, i.e. lecturers deliver knowledge from textbooks in big classes, then their tuition fees should be very economical.

  • Comment number 40.

    Once you leave school Education is not free! University is not forced upon you! People choose this, so they need to pay the going rate and not expect others to subsidise them. ..Or do you go to Uni because you were naff at school?

    Its true £9K sounds a lot, but the Gov. only said it MAY cost UP TO £9K, not that it will! And so what if Clegg did a U-Turn? Every Gov elected has done one so get over it! Blaming the Gov for subsidising Banks and not Unis is just argumental. The country depends on Banks, it does not depend on 'students'!
    Subsidising Uni fees gives the tax payer no returns. Sure, it gives students an extra 4 years at holiday-school, but it puts nothing back in Our pockets. Their personal education does not help me to eat! Fees have been around for years so why haven't parents saved or Students themselves worked between school and Uni.. they are supposed to be 'young adults' now and that years' salary would probably pay the whole thing off in one go!

    So sorry if I sound hard, but REGARDLESS of their grades at the end of it, when they leave, they will AUTOMATICALLY get a higher salary compared to other job seekers, just because they have "University" stamped on their CV!

    Rioting or destroying property is not a form of negotiation. They are adults not terrorists and should be expelled or pay double fees to pay for the damage - but look - they get let off that as well! Either way, it should no longer be Joe public who bails them out - after all, these kids have had child-benefit all their lives because their parents *decided* to have kids, er.. excuse me ? SO as a tax-payer who has subsidised them all their lives, That makes ME one of their parent/Guardians and as their parent/guardian this is my advice - It is now time you got off your backsides, paid your way and paid some of that subsidised hand-out back!

  • Comment number 41.

    To 3043 -

    I am astounded that you are under the impression that all students want it all for free. I think I speak on behalf of 90% of students in the UK when I say that we understand that higher education shouldn't be free for us but payed for by tax payers, we accept that we loan the money and pay it back ourselves via the easy repaying scheme that is currently set up, as it is our education and futures. However, increasing the tuition fees by three times as much is over the top and pointless, as the government will only be lending out more money when they are supposed to be cutting back on spending. Please don't think that students are greedy.

  • Comment number 42.

    Don't forget that, for once, part-time students are actually getting the support they deserve.

    Gaining a degree while working shows far more to a potential employer than studying full-time, in addition, part-time study allows tax-payers to re-skill while remaining in the workforce.

    Maybe something we need more of!

  • Comment number 43.

    It annoys me when the Lib Dems say they can't follow up their pledge to vote against ANY attempt to raise tuition fees because they 'didn't win the election,' because if they had won the election there would have been no proposal to raise fees for them to vote against - it is a pledge that can only be carried out by a party that doesn't win, they didn't win, yet are using this as an excuse.

    Also, the excuse that they didn't know the financial problem - they are all highly educated people who knew perfectly well that there was a deficit before the election. In fact back in may, the deficit was thought to be significantly bigger than it turned out to be.

  • Comment number 44.

    The Straw That Breaks The Camel's Back.

    I cannot believe that University Student fees are being increased and hope the parties in and out of government get them altered to be more in line with Europe. No student or child should be paying for education and if the government want to recover some of the money then those earning more than Thirty Thousand per annum could be asked to pay between Three and Seven thousand back after three years in full time employment.
    The Banks recently criminally defrauded the public and would like to continue to do so but for the government to place people into the level of debt after graduating is criminal and maybe there should be a test case to take them to court for such outrageous and deliberately channelling discrimination. We are all aware that many will not have to pay but many will decide not to go at all because the dread of being in debt at the start of your working life. Off course it is frightening especially when you see the results of the Banks and Mortgage selling and
    that escalated out of hand and put or left people in debt. And a so called responsible government wishes to place that burden on what should be the best and most exciting part of life the adventure of work, travel and becoming a mature, well balanced citizen. For too long the government and opposition leaders have led us like cattle while trying to Demand that we shouldn't rely on the state. Nobody really wants to rely on the state we all want jobs with salaries that support living standards not to live a life of struggle but to enjoy life as we head towards that point of no return but not to be driven there by the hearse of struggle.
    How do the scales balance with the government demanding responsible lending and help for those floored by debt yet willing to put that on the young fresh shoulders of newly graduated students.
    There is selection going on here for although the liberal's will now say all those who go to colleges and for apprenticeships deserve the help to achieve this but not at the expense of their higher aspirations of attending University. If College or Apprenticeship is their first choice then that is fine and fair because the individual had and exercised their first choice. It is grossly unfair if they have been made to take such a choice because they fear the debt that awaits them or because a government might be trying to introduce the selective system to a country that is supposed to be somewhat intelligent?
    And I would advise all those involved in these debates and those that affect this Nation to take heed for the student demonstrations that are peaceful can change like those seen in Europe. All people have the right to demonstrate in a peaceful manner but our history is littered with results of the stages of Revolution. This Nation has never suffered since the end of the last war and before you all scream I mean as a Nation for there has been no unrest as in other societies where rebellion against government becomes civil war. But only intelligent men know this and as they obviously don't run the country the example set will have the same results. This intelligence by the way means communication. For if man cannot communicate and agree on all levels and I mean here all levels not American and Britain only rules. Then firstly the people of the country enjoy open government, accountability and discussions are open honest and exhausted until a workable and fair agreement is reached and implemented and then other Nations discuss and agree together on working relationships and co-operation with imports and exports. Otherwise, there is no hope and the trees still hold what we thought our ancestors.
    I believe every person is responsible for their own life and choices but for our children I believe that until they complete their education they deserve having all the information available to make their choice. I also believe each job in society is as important as another but for anyone who wants to leave school and attend University they should be encouraged to do so and not made to feel de-selected because of their early grades and left with college or apprenticeship as second best choice.
    And it's a right Royal Wedding that has been proposed as smoke screen for the Nation under crisis. Not... I wish the Royal couple all the best and hope the press have learned a lesson from HRH Diana Princess of Wales. But we do have an Ace up our sleeves...

    As a loyal subject of the UK under HRH Elizabeth II I demand that my gracious and most wise Queen do use her Royal Command to destroy the proposed Student fees and curtail the suffering imposed on your subjects by the bank and financial institutions, including those of legitimate insurance money lenders. I do humbly implore that you use the unique powers you hold to either order your government to abandon such ideas or dissolve the government and have them go to the country again.

    Your Loyal Subject
    Gary Lyndhurst

  • Comment number 45.

    Students don't seem to understand the concept of "no money". We should make these left wing lunatics pay for all the destruction they are causing.

    Labour spent all the money, whilst having 12 years of record tax receipts. When the recession hit the country was skint.

    Disgraceful behaviour!

  • Comment number 46.

    Thousands of students doing media studies smash up property, their degrees are useless to the economy anyway. We should close down these ridiculous courses.


  • Comment number 47.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 48.

    Tuition fees should not be increased because many students will be discouraged from going to university for fear of graduating with massive debts. As a consequence, more and more foreign students from well-off families and those on government scholarships will occupy these places. The universities will get thier money but in the long run, only foreign students will graduate from these institutions. One day, the UK will have no British-born doctors, dentists, pharmacists and top professionals. Such posts will be dominated by Asians BECAUSE Asian parents spare no expense to get their children into top UK universities in order to get the best qualifications.
    Our government should think twice. A shortage of professionals will mean recruiting (doctors), once again, from Asia as has been done before.
    So, increasing tuition fees is not the answer.

  • Comment number 49.

    There is a lot of talk about students from low income families. Why are they exempt from tuition fees? Surely they have exactly the same means to pay back tuition fees as any other student/graduate.(ie. they don't pay anything untill their income exceeds a certain level). There is no additional burden on the family at all because it is the student who pays back the loan regardless of whether they come from a low income familly or not. My daughter will have to take out a tuition fee loan, yet some of her peers whose parents are on low income will pay no tuition fees,yet they will come out of university with equal means to pay back a loan.It is totally unfair that some graduates are lumbered with a massive loan repayment because their parents strived to be hard working citizens, whilst others get it for free because there parents are unwilling or unable to work to achieve a reasonable income. EMA is another questionable perk. School kids who qualify at 17 for EMA give up there part time jobs because they no longer need the income, as EMA finances there shopping and social life. A good work ethic.I think not.

  • Comment number 50.

    Someone has to pay.
    (i) the current workforce, most of whom never went to university
    (ii) existing graduates, who've already paid their dues
    (iii) future graduates, who go on to be bankers or lawyers or teachers or accountants
    (iv) future graduates, who go on to be carers or stay-at-home parents - or are just never successful at all.

    Right now we have number (i), which just isn't fair. Number (ii) is a graduate tax - it's worth bearing in mind that most of the people protesting right now oppose this, too. Number (iii) is the coalition policy.

    Most of the protestors seem to want (v), "someone else please!"

  • Comment number 51.

    Of course I do not condone the violence we have seen in these recent protests, but I commend these young people in the strongest possible way for standing up for what they know is right.

    Let's not overlook the simple fact that, no matter how much he might try to squirm his way around it, Nick Clegg lied to the people of this country. He lied to students in order to canvas their vote. The Liberal Democrats lied in their manifesto pledges knowing full well that were they ever going to be in a position to implement them they would renege on them in an instant. It is largely as a result of that deceit perpetrated on the British public that the Liberal Democrats find themselves in league with the Tories now.

    Students and their parents, HE lecturers and other staff are right to be absolutely outraged by the bare-faced duplicity of these politicians. It is the largest affront to democracy that I have ever experienced in this country, and God knows there have been enough of them.

    But of course we must not forget that it is really the Tories who are behind this vindictive, divisive, ideologically-driven destruction of what was a reasonably fair higher education system. Equality of opportunity is of no concern to them. Fairness and social justice are words that do not appear in the Tory lexicon. To them, everything must have a market value. To them, every aspect of life can only be viewed in the basest of financial terms.

    There is no need for these measures. There is no mandate for these measures. There is no support for these measures.

    I urge students across the country to stage their next national protest soon and to stage it at a weekend. Then you will see, not a few thousand protesters on the streets, but hundreds of thousands: students present and future, shoulder to shoulder with parents, demanding an end to this heartless nonsense.

    Students, I wish you every success.

  • Comment number 52.

    I do not hold much faith in any party at present or for the last decade but the Liberals are in a fine position here to prove that they will alter things once they are elected a fully functioning government. They will have to work out their budgeting strategy very carefully and not rob other groups in trying to juggle as previous governments have successively achieved in robbing Peter to pay Paul. I would never have considered myself a Liberal voter but if it can deliver I could be. But seeing is believing and sacrifices were made to bed with conservatives when they should have argued and deliberated until exhausted at achieving the result hoped for - being part of a government and making a difference with less of a good cop bad cop attitude being the lesser of two evils as
    Nick Clegg explains it's better to have won on some of the concession than not at all. It's strange the conservative leaders name has slipped my mind and hasn't returned as I post this. What does that say and it still hasn't returned. I know it's not John Major or Tony Blair but I can't find it in my synergy. So apologies to you Sir. But I do hope that is not an omen. Do we have a General Election before April 2011

  • Comment number 53.

    A female student on one of the BBC radio news programmes said that she had a right to an education and that she should get it free. I would say that I am now nearing retirement and still pay tax. I have never claimed anything from the state and have never been out of work. I surely have a right not to have to pay for these arrogant, young, demanding people who see everything as their right and who complain when asked to contribue. I belive there are sufficient safeguards built into the system to enable those from the less 'well off' families to be able to participate.

  • Comment number 54.

    Ideally, student tuition fees should not be increased. Ideally education should be free of charge. However,...

    "Free" actually means that "someone else" pays your tuition fees. Mostly this means that fees get paid out of other people's income tax, national insurance, VAT, stamp duty, etc., etc. A lot of relatively poor people pay national insurance and income tax. And we all pay VAT, however poor we are. So many poor people would be paying for students who will become quite rich.

    But hang on! That is what already happens. Those poor people ARE paying your fees, in any case, because you will not be paying anything back until well after you finish studying. These loans are being paid for NOW, often by people who never had the chance of a university education.

    I think that most of the people demonstrating don't understand the proposals. They are marching and shouting mainly for the fun of it. I think they should be back in their colleges, studying.

    The new fees regime will force students to think seriously about whether they really want to study. And it will force them to consider whether their choice of subject will leave them able to earn a decent amount in future. Who knows, maybe it will even encourage them to demand decent tuition, then spend most of their time studying instead of protesting.

    PS Why does anyone give a damn when students go on strike? It matters whether or not they march and riot, as it costs the rest of us. But if they are refusing to study...

  • Comment number 55.

    It is disgusting how much they are planning to charge students, in the current economic climate it is already difficult for students to come out of uni with a manageable dept. I am one of the lucky few who wont be hit by these changes but i feel sorry and angry for those who will be put off or turned away because of the huge potiential dept, uni should be an option avaviable to everyone, not just the rich and the higher class!

  • Comment number 56.

    I was made redundant at the end of last year after fourteen years and after wanting to go to uni for years I took the plunge and became a mature student (I'm 46). I had to think long and hard as I have financial obligations that an 18 year old wouldn't have and based my decision on the cost of tuition fees for the next three years. I was under no illusions that it would be easy financially but after 3 months I'm wondering if I will complete the 3 years if tuition fees are put up to £9000. I can cope with difficult- it's impossible I have trouble with!

  • Comment number 57.

    Over and over I hear, the fees will stop the poor going to uni, well what utter rubbish, the fees are only paid after you graduate. I see the students being interviewed on TV and just think they are that dumb they should not even be at uni.

    Let get it right once and for all.

    YOU DO NOT PAY UP FRONT

    YOU ONLY PAY AT TIMES WHEN YOU EARN OVER £21K

    YOU PAY FOR A MAXIMUM 30 YEARS

  • Comment number 58.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 59.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 60.

    Sure, "free" education has to be paid for. We all pay for it, through taxes and all the imaginative ways that governments have of extracting money from their citizens. But education benefits all of society, not just those who are directly on the receiving end of it. It benefits everyone in society that we have a well-educated, creative and independently-minded population. To reduce these skills to a cynical calculation of the bottom line is wrong both socially and morally.

    OK, you want to charge HE students the full whack? Why stop there? Let's charge secondary school pupils the full cost of their education as well. And let's not leave primary school pupils out of this either - why not make them pay the full costs of their education as well? If anything, teaching someone the basic skills of literacy and numeracy is far more important and far more enabling to the individual than any university course. As for those toddlers in early years - well, all of that paint and craft paper doesn't come cheap. Make 'em pay!

    We should get ourselves out of the mindset that universities are elitist institutions to which only the sharp-elbowed middle classes should be entitled access. As a country and as a society, we should consider education in its entirety from early years to graduation. We should not make any distinction at any level about the ability to pay for it.

    I am shocked and appalled at the alarming number of mean-spirited, heartless and selfish individuals posting here who are unable to think beyond their own tiny little world and their own self-absorption.

  • Comment number 61.

    Despite the hike in student fees, there is no excuse for this outrageous behaviour! A lot of students are just time wasters, endeavouring to escape reality, by studying the most obtuse and useless subjects on the planet. We need scientists, doctors and nurses, and not the multitude applying for media and film studies, together with other non essential subjects. Fortunately, the majority of students have maturity and common sense, and are not connected to the lawless anarchic rabble who are hellbent on destruction. That shower should either be jailed for life or kicked out of this country, permanently!

  • Comment number 62.

    The issue is much more complex than "someone has to pay". It is perfectly fair and affordable for the Government to pay the tertiary education costs of that proportion of the agegroup that our economy and society need to have educated to that level. So in that sense I'm against fees and loans, no matter when paid back, for the brightest 10-15% of the agegroup. I think we could and should encourage and finance our brightest and best to achieve their potential and help our economy grow.

    But for a whole host of reasons, not all of them laudable, we've been educating a far higher proportion of our teenagers to degree level or equivalent than we need. Government finds this convenient because it keeps people off the unemployment lists and lets them point to equality of opportunity. But is it worth anything when the "surplus" gradutaes don't get graduate level jobs or the big salaries. The assumption that they can easily afford to pay later is full of holes, and claims of Value for money are drivel. The Government is guilty of artifically keeping people off the jobs market, then charging them for the privilege. You might think that the least they could then do is make sure that there's a decent market for graduate level skills, but instead they have stood by and watched our manufacturing base go overseas and in some measure also the management of customer finacial and commercial relationships. Government, especially these last ten years or so has proved dreadfully incompetent in this respect and have sold our young people down the river.

    Nevertheless the fact is that we cannot and should not be creating more graduates than the country needs at a public cost. Sadly the best of bad options is for people who don't make the top 15% ( or whatever the number needs to be) to pay the cost of their tertiary education if they wish to do so, paying now or later at their preference.

    But what should that cost be? The education establishment constantly bleat about funding . Meanwhile they spend billions on employing academic staff who spend a tiny proportion of time with undergraduates, and vast amounts of time and money on pursuing their academic interests or private matters- a privilege that should be restricted to the few at the very pinnacle of their profession. I'd contend that if universities actually deigned to orientate themselves to the education of the next generation then their efficiencies would improve and the amount that students would need to pay would reduce. I wonder what students will feel about paying £9000 pa for a very few lectures a week, waiting weeks to get their essays marked, getting lectures and tutorials for only 20 weeks a year, and then watching part of their payments used to finance their lecturers working on intellectual pursuits of little interst to anyone and trotting off to one international conference after another. Its time for these people to earn their money instead of sucking money out of the system that students are now being asked to mortgage their futures to replace.

  • Comment number 63.

    No one understands the concept of 'No Money' for that is the Rod used by the government to keep those in line who might otherwise rise above his lowly station. There is a plenty and everyone can decide what they want but don't because they haven't reached that point yet. If you are still locked in the herding of sheep by their peers then nothing will change.
    This country every year on two occasions at least prove that even though everyone talks about not having any money children in need and red nose day get millions for those less fortunate. They do not as yet have to rely on America having Britain in need day as yet but could that be round the corner.
    Students cannot and must not be labelled as thugs because of the minority of militant activists that for all we know could even be government funded and not released for ten years or so to Joe public.
    But Terry Wogan could host the new NHS appeal every March and the new Students for life appeal every June and From Small Acorns grow our future appeal for children 3-18 which will allow people to pay for things by choice and taxes could be reduced or abolished and a Special tax appeal can go out every October. This small island is generous to a fault and with all the dictatorship it has suffered under I'm amazed we haven't seen a Sadam evolve. That is down to the people of England Ireland Scotland and Wales because they have the freedom to peacefully demonstrate and live under the impression that they will be protected by the law and not have it used against them. All students are not thugs and they want the right to an education that was established to ensure that every person will have the right to all the facilities and achieve their own goals and aspirations. This can't be achieved if your youthful students are starting a life of fear and dread.
    At the age of 18 all students should be encouraged to take three years out to travel or work and then go to University. All this need to cram everything in to your first 18-25 years is madness. Education is a life long journey and many students who have felt under pressure or even taken their lives would have been and be spared the expectations of achieving in such a short period of lifeline. It also helps to balance minds as to how important their education is and allows them to live and save for a while before attending university. If travelling it opens up their world and allows them an experience that might otherwise be denied once out of University and possibly working to support a family for the pressures are great on tax incentives for marriage too although now burdened by their huge debt, before they even buy a home or car and the greatest spend of all their new offspring. Oh what a life to look forward too....! It makes it difficult to believe that the year of enlightenment is nearing with all the bleakness of Looking forward to a students life. At least we can't go back to sending children up chimneys to pay for their primary and secondary education. The approach to the year of enlightenment has already revealed truths that were hidden and there are more to come and as they unveil let us drop the negativity and move forward. If you say or do nothing you chose to allow change and therefore by default you have made your choice. There is enough. We have enough. We all deserve the best education available. Decide what it is you truly want to do. What you really want to be. And go for it. Listen to your intuition and stop feeding from fodder.

  • Comment number 64.

    BBC 3 where have you been I hadn't been drawn to debates and tv programs so much.

    And Jonos' visit to the school proves that children are best with truth and open talks and discussion. Educate and allow children to experience life in an honest and open way rather than shielding or hiding people away because they are different.

    Their education does't stop there for college and university awaits and should be there so future open and progressive political leaders emerge.

  • Comment number 65.

    I remembered the name of the Prime minister well I heard it on tv news otherwise I don't think it would have come back to me. Ronald Regan; I suppose that is as bad as the line from back to the future in saying David Cameron is our Prime Minister does that mean he'll be a good actor or a good prime minister.

    And Now For Something Completely Different... Russell Howard's Good News is on so I have to go.... A STUDENT of Laughter....!

  • Comment number 66.

    Tuition fees are wrong full stop. I am amazed and ashamed that we have got into a situation where we charge our students to go to university instead of supporting them there with grants.

    It is simply not fair or moral that current generation in power and who enjoyed the benefits of free education are now think it is right to charge the current generation. The argument hinges on money and the claim that there are just too many students requiring funding. However if we step back and look at the sacrifices our grandparents generation made for their children this claim is simply not true.

    First must acknowledge that many in that our grandparents generation gave up there live for the freedom of future generations, but then went on to pay for the building of the NHS, new universities and education of there children. All this with less people contributing to the national income. The psychology of that generation was to make the most of what you have and build for the future. There is the money, to pay for free education of the young, just not the political will.

    I think the big problem is with the psychology of current political generation. They have grown up in a world of ever improving standard of living, never really having to make do and mend (this is a general observation and I acknowledge that plenty have had hard times and scrimp and save). As a result they vote for politicians who offer a continuation of that, they don't believe or are willing to acknowledge the problems they are building up for there children's generation. This is almost the opposite world view held by there parents.

    I hope that my generation will reverse this trend and after paying for our own education will pay for our children's. The money is there to pay for university eduction, we just have the wrong generation at the helm.

  • Comment number 67.

    The problem is the haste with which massive increases in student contributions to the cost of their education are being forced upon them. When my daughter was born, higher education was still 'free' - and she hasn't even sat her GCSEs yet.

    How am I as a responsible parent supposed to ensure her support? If I were an American parent I'd have started her college fund before she was even born, instead of having to scrabble around to catch up with an ever-changing situation.

    And that's before considering the political and ethical arguments... Educating our young is an investment not just made by the students and their families but by the nation for the benefit of us all, not just the students themselves.

  • Comment number 68.

    At least these students are going out and actively trying to make a difference, rather than whinging about stuff on HYS.

  • Comment number 69.

    This government missed an opportunity here, instead of taking from the students, they should have taken from the old and infirm, they can't fight back!

  • Comment number 70.

    The media need to take some responsibility into the way this story is being covered, with the usual sensational headlines of £9000 (this is the top rate anyone would have to pay to everyone)

    The only thing that is not fair is that the generation now in power and those responsible for the current econonmic mess got their University Education for free. It ends there though.

    The arguement that poorer families cant afford to go is just not true. As had already been said a million times you only start paying the debt off when you are earning over £21,000, and it is at a rate of just over £15.00 a month (most will spend more getting their hair cut). If the amount is not paid of within 30 years then the debt is written off, what is unfair about that!!

    The trouble is that there are too many average students that are currently going to Uni at the moment rather than going on merit. This increase in charge may make people think twice about going to Uni, and hopefully may stop people going how shouldn't.

    Great quote from 1 of the protesters who shouldnt go to Uni " They want to charge us £9000 a year for 3 years, so that is like £21,000 we will end up paying"!!!

  • Comment number 71.

    These demonstrations are disgusting. Hearing comments from some of these students who believe they have the rights of cheap education etc when they have contributed nothing to society. They are no different from the benefit scroungers.
    Why shouldn't they pay the going rate for their education. Everyone now is feeling the pinch and yet these spoiled brats believe they are excluded from any hardships.

  • Comment number 72.

    Peaceful occcupation of University College London, yesterday and continuing, is brilliant and shows exactly how protest should be done. Not a single 'spoilt brat'(comment 71) to be seen.

  • Comment number 73.

    It appears that many students don't understand what's been proposed.

    Only those who go on to become high-flyers such as lawyers, barristers, investment bankers and the like will ever have to pay back the measly sum of £9,000. If students really wish to qualify in mediocre subjects offering mediocre pay, then they'll pay back little or nothing.

    Half of all university students drop out, and the other half clearly have no sense of fairness when it comes to their education. Nobody forces them to go onto university.

  • Comment number 74.

    I reall don't understand what the fuss is all about.
    Students take out a heavily subsidised loan - 0% interest - to pay for their University education (which BTW is not a right, it is a priviledge for those academic enough to make it.)
    You only have to start paying off the loan once you are in full time employment, and earning over £21k per year. As soon as you become unemployed you stop paying the debt off. If you become a highflying banker you pay more for your education. If you assume a low paid role in a VSO then your payments are minimal, and at an extremely good rate.
    This scheme is geared towards making the more well off pay more. Not a very Tory policy is it? (Or have I totally missed the boat?)
    As Nick Clegg said, breaking his pledge was extremely difficult to do, but he (and his fellow Lib Demmers) saw first hand the state of the Treasury coffers and realised there was not much else they could do, unless cutting the bloated NHS budget was an option.)
    Apart from ranting about how it is your right to a free University education, please can one of you enlighten me about why you feel so aggrieved?

  • Comment number 75.

    Can someone please teach Richard Bacon how to properly host a Question Time. He has no idea on how to be impartial and stoke debate instead of continuously interrupting it.

  • Comment number 76.

    All education should be free to British citizens.

    How do we do this you may ask ?

    Stop ALL overseas spending immediately like:

    Ireland will get £7 billion
    Afganistan no one knows the figure may be up to £200 billion
    Iraq again no one knows the figure again up to £200 billion
    India up to £5 billion in the last 12 months
    China up to £2billion in the last 12 months.
    The british government proudly boasts they give away to over 90 countries each year.
    The totals can be up to £800 billion.

    I cannot believe this subject has not been brought up by ANYONE in the gov / public or in the media.
    Is this ALL censured by the gov prior to going on line ?


  • Comment number 77.

    I am incredibly angry about the proposed hike in student fees by the government. Already our children will have debts likely to be around of 26,250 for a three year university course based on tuition fees of £3,250, accommodation £3,000 and subsistence £2,500 p.a. Before student loans parents traditionally helped their children through university which led to only those from better off families being able to attend – this was generally held to be a bad thing. I fear we are returning to this situation.
    Schools currently focus their efforts on teaching the students to attain good GCSE and A levels and students are motivated to engage because they know good grades are necessary to get into the university of their choice. Take away this goal and motivation levels will quickly drop as GCSE and especially A levels are not in themselves useful qualifications – they are mearly a means to the university place.
    I do however appreciate the fact that education is a benefit to graduates, as well as society, and that they should be able to contribute an amount back once they reach a certain earnings limit. I think the fees level is about right at the moment. To increase this debt by three hundred percent or more is, in my opinion, unreasonable and wicked.
    I listen to Liberal Democrats, who, before the election, pledged that they would not support an increase in student fees. They defend their position now by saying that, as they weren’t voted in to government and only got there by default, the decision is not theirs to make and the best they can do is try and ‘temper’ the decisions being made by the Conservatives. This is wholly inadequate, lame and a cop out. They know this decision is totally wrong and by not opposing it they are showing that they have no moral fibre and their promises mean nothing. I would have much more respect for any Liberal Democrat who votes against this proposal than any that take the ‘noses in the trough of government’ option that their ‘Leaders’ are following.
    I might remind them that the Conservatives were not voted in either and so should not feel that they have a mandate.
    Meanwhile the Conservatives try and reassure us that there will be no requirement to ‘pay up front’ and that the fees will only be recouped once the graduate is earning £21,000 or more. It is insulting to see that we are considered to be so stupid!
    What they fail to explain is that there is interest accruing on this money all the time and, if the graduate works within a sector where pay is low e.g. Early Years, Nursing, the Third Sector etc. they will never pay off the debt and merely end up paying huge amounts of interest. This will mean that a large section of a generation will be forced into greater debt than ever as they struggle to get and pay mortgages and support their own families. You would hope that the government had learnt it’s lesson on personal debt.
    The only upside of all this would be if you had shares in, or worked for, a bank or insurance company – oh hang on, wasn’t it them who created the crisis in the first place?
    Note: ‘One in 10 new MPs has previously worked in financial services’ - The Telegraph 11th May 2010 (this includes several directors) – no surprises there then. The article goes on to explain that most of these are Tories. Apologies for my cynicism.
    The result will surely be that only children from families who are able to pay all student costs from their own pockets will be able to access a university education.
    This is selection by the back door.
    In my opinion, Education is one of the most relevant influences in enabling social and economic mobility. To put this out of the reach of many very bright candidates is condeming them never to reach their full potential, never to play their part in the greater wealth creation of the country.
    I currently have one child at university, working very hard, and two children at our excellent local comprehensive, one in the Lower Sixth and one in Year 8. I cannot in good conscience encourage them to enter in to massive future debts and an uncertain future - but if they, and many like them, want to achieve their full potential they need a degree. I am very disillusioned with the current government proposals.

  • Comment number 78.

    The real culprits to be angry at is the Universities.

    Read this http://e-ducationalcom.blogspot.com if you are a student and want to know the truth. This shows where the real blame lies and just how much of YOUR money is wasted.

    Don't let poor management and bad business costs be passed on to YOU!

  • Comment number 79.

    To be honest, I think how people are reacting to the rise in tuition fees is blown totally out of proportion. Let's be honest, what else can they do?
    You don't see any of these protesters coming up with any better ideas. So what's the point in protesting something they don't know how to change, or what to change it to. I would have no objection with this whole madness if they knew what else the government could do to change it.
    And also, it's not as if the government are expecting people to pay this tuition upfront, they don't have to pay any of it back until they're earning at least £20,000 a year.
    Don't get me wrong, I don't condone what Nick Clegg did to everyone that voted for him, and I sure as hell don't support the Conservatives, but let's face it, something needs to be done. And this is the best thing possible at the moment.

  • Comment number 80.

    As a one time student I say to my peers “You quiet rightly feel angry, ill treated and aggrieved but focus these frustrations towards the right place – Your Institutions. If any raise fees then it’s a clear sign given the profit margins involved that they do not value their consumer, YOU!”

    Here is the proof : http://e-ducationalcom.blogspot.com

  • Comment number 81.

    I support the government to increase the tuition fees, because everyone need to help the country if we all live in this country. Student no doult should do their bit to help.

    I do not understand of this generation, they have been giving too much from our country and their family, they are so used to take not to give. As soon as you ask to take something from them, you know what, they are screaming, shouting and violent. I have no any sympathy for thses students. They are just a sheer self-interest.

    MPs should not feel scared to vote increase student tuition fees. You have a lot of British people out there like me who support you undoubtly!

  • Comment number 82.

    So students are yet again the source of much bitterness from those who are not at uni. When I went to uni, I used loans to cover my fees (which were 1.5k a year) and was given 4k of maintence loan a year to cover my rent and bills. I had a part time job for some of my degree and my parents helped the rest of the time. I worked 25 hours a week in lectures and labs and then another 10-15 hours a week on coursework and revision. Hardly 4 years spent lazing around doing nothing like some on here would like to imply. And now, my degree is being used to research cancer. I left uni with 18.5k of debt which is taken out of my salary at 75 quid a month. Ok, thats not loads, but as I live in Cambridge which is an expensive place, thats money that wont be saved towards buying a house. In fact I cant see myself buying a house for another 10yrs if Im lucky. My debt is already affecting my life, I dread to think how it would affect the kids paying 9k a year.

    For the record, I paid nothing in advance either. It was all paid for by the Student Loans Company at the time. N my first job was over the limit for paying back the loans under the new rules.

    I understand that universities need to pay for courses. But I dont think charging the best students is the right plan. My degree doesnt just benefit me. I work in research, which I couldnt do without a degree, trying to find causes for disease etc. That benefits many people indirectly beyond the scope of myself. I can see that too many kids go to uni though. Too many jobs ask for degrees when its not needed and kids arent given enough help if they dont go to uni as to what to do with their lives.

    In Germany, uni is basically free for all students. However, when you leave school, you either go to uni, join the miliary for 2 years or join a trade. That seems a much better course of action than we have here. Less unemployed young people, less students and more taxes as there would be less unemployment.

    I think priorities in this country are wrong and it isnt surprising that the student protesters are getting violent. Their generation is the one most affected in ALL ways by the government cuts. They are the biggest group of the unemployed and have the most debt. Id be angry too.

  • Comment number 83.

    Hi everyone,

    I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to comment on our debate and for sharing your own experiences.

    Tuition fees will be making even more headlines this week with MPs voting on the plans on Thursday, so keep your comments coming. And don't forget, you'll be able to get the latest on the vote and all the reaction over on the BBC News website.

    Thanks again.
    Sam

  • Comment number 84.

    I have been watching this debate with interest and I am amazed at the lack of articulation of a policy and the utter blindness and pack mentality of students.

    Firstly you do not pay a penny up front

    Secondly you get a maintenance grant of £3000+ per year if your parent earn below £40,000

    Thirdly you only repay when you earn over £21,000. In fact you only pay back £30 per month when you are earning £25,000.

    Is it not fair and just to ask those who have benefited from a University education to contribute to that education cost. Under these rules the majority of people will only pay back a fraction of the cost and many nothing at all.

    Students will have to ask the serious question is my chosen degree going to provide me with the prospect of a decent job.

    Again we see a policy hijacked by the BBC and the Socialists. I have just witnessed an interview on BBC news were the reporter was speaking to a student and the student was saying that in future student could not afford to go to university as their parents would not be able to afford the fees. Not once did the reporter mention that you pay nothing up front. This was a totally misleading interview. A demonstration that the BBC does not report facts impartially but seeks to create just headlines. Maybe it has been dumbed down just like our schools.

    I am from a working class mixed race family who did not go to university so I have no axe to grind. Come on report the news, debate facts offer alternatives. Don’t just follow the crowd waving placards like lemmings. What happend to civalised debate and analysis of the issues.


  • Comment number 85.

    I feel so strongly about the outrageous proposals being discussed right now by our Government regarding student fees. I wasnt lucky enough to go to university when i left school in the 1960's as my parents could not afford to support me further with education. I have however over the years studied and work hard to have a very successful career as CEO within the NHS. I have 2 teenage children (17 and 16 years old) who I am hoping to support to go to University - if they choose this option - I am a single parent and have been saving for this eventuality. We should be investing in education and the future of our next generations - not erecting barriers for them - there are enough of these already with the numerous other policies and taxes for them. Property prices / mortgages / taxes (inc VAT rises), fuel, etc etc.. Why would anyone choose to stay in England when England cannot invest in our future. I didnt vote for this government as I believed that no good would come from having a leader so focused on the status of himself rather than looking into our future and investing in our most precious resource - our people. Nick Clegg is proving to be a tory puppet - just as predicted. Please please think about what you are destroying and opportunitites that you are throwing away by introducing ill-thought policy. The coalition ought to be ashamed of themselves - they are closing down all opportunitites for our future generations. Starting your working life with huge debts is just ridiculous

  • Comment number 86.

    There is a few things wrong with both sides of the argument. First: This coalition wishes to spend money on nuclear weapons. Weapons that are of no use because they can only be used if the Americans, who retain the launch codes" give these launch codes to our elected Prime minister. Any logical person knows that were this deterrent to be disposed of it would free enough funds to pay for tuition and it would also reduce the interest on our national debt. How can anybody morally justify paying for a weapon that cannot be used because it is lacking launch and if it were used it means mutually assured destruction or M.A.D. for short?
    At the moment we are seeing the education in the country being turned into a two tier system. Science uses Latin roots, mathematics uses Latin roots and much of our language uses Latin roots. I f you desire to be a doctor and do not have Latin in your skill base then you are at a distinct disadvantage to somebody who has attended a private school that teaches Latin as a core subject. There are many of the professional occupations that require an understanding of Latin. When will it be taught in state schools? You try and learn the names for the muscles, bones, nerves and all the various systems of a human body without having a hook to hang the information on. It is quite difficult; at least that is what I have found. No hook to hang "stuff" on means that it falls to the barren floor of ones’ mind unless you can reorganize your mind when you are in your early twenties. This is a trick that most people cannot do.
    It is good to see students worry about the future but they must worry about the correct things and then attack on ethical and moral grounds the direction that the country is heading rather than attack physically as to use violence and quote an author who’s' work I admire, "Violence is the last resort of the incompetent."

 

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