Yesterday saw the passing of the controversial bill to increase the tuition fee cap to £6000 and £9000 in exception cases, the bill got through with a parliamentary vote of 323 seeing the majority of Liberal Democrat MPs voting for the increase, despite fears of a mass rebellion. Now, I ll be honest, when I first heard that the Government was planning to raises tuition fees I was against the idea, however, that was before I read the proposals properly and realised that it is in fact a very good deal for students, particularly students from a less well off background.
So lets clear up a few of the myths;
Firstly, as with the current system no student would pay £6000 or £9000 upfront, so the argument that people afford to go through University is completely unfounded.
Secondly, the earnings threshold for graduate contributions will be raised from £15,000 to £21,000. The repayment rate will remain at 9 per cent. This means that no one earning under £21,000 will pay anything and graduates earning over £21,000 will pay back £45 less each month.
Thirdly, people believe they will be paying it off all their lives, not true, all outstanding contributions will be written off after 30 years.
Fourthly, there will be more support for students on low incomes: there will be a new £150 million National Scholarships Programme to help the poorest students into the top universities; maintenance grants for students from lower-income families will increase from £2,906 to £3,250
Unfortunately, yesterday won’t be remembered as the dawn of a fairer higher education system, instead the day will be scarred into people’s memories as the day the students went too far. I won’t dwell on this for too long, because I think it is important that the fairer system introduced yesterday is the focus of this blog. However, disgracing a statue of Churchill and attacking the car of Prince Charles both great men who have done so much for our country, whether it be saving us from fascism or raising £100million a year for disadvantaged teenagers is absolutely disgusting. So to anyone who took part in these outrageous acts yesterday; shame on you!