Student fees

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Top-up fees should be rebranded not reviewed

First published on Progressonline in the Young progressives column

Sarah Mullholland writing for the newest addition to the blogosphere, Labour List, initiated a debate on the future of our higher education sector. Due in 2009 is the government’s review of the controversial variable fees that were introduced in the last Higher Education Act that passed by a mere five votes.

While I still have huge reservations about fees – NUS have set out an excellent analysis of the current situation in their report “Broke and Broken” – I have never had a problem about a student contribution while free at the point of use. I think many other opponents of fees have been pleasantly surprised that still more students and fractionally more poorer students go to university. What I really wonder is how many more might have gone if the fear of massive debt had not been a prohibitive barrier? (more…)