Sunday, 14 November 2010

Tuition Fees

I have today written to congratulate our new party president Tim Farron MP, I can say that I did vote for him and we have something in common and that is we are against the rise in tuition fees. I have offered my support in opposing this issue.

I agree that difficult descions have to be made, but this in my opinion is a wrong one and it saddens me to see MPs signing the pledge against this during the election campaign.

I think it has to be pointed out that it was Labour that introduced the fee system and they also set out the terms of reference for the Browne Review and there seems to be a little confusion and disagreement between their leader and Shadow Chancellor on moving this subject forward. I also believe that education should be free up to and to the end of the first degree. Education in my view benefits us all in so many ways. These students are our future Business Leaders, Lawyers, Doctors, Nurses, teachers and so on and they will have such a positive role in our communities in the future.

I cannot support a policy that will leave students with tens of thousands of pounds of debt when graduating and I also feel that this will put off many prospective students from going into further education. I feel we need to take a step back and really look at this policy and its implications. Yes money is very tight but surely there could be other ways of funding this, such as a graduate tax or more sponsorship from Corporate Business? Another question, could some money come out of the Trident Project, help or assist in this area?? There are some good points in the Browne Review such as a quarter of graduates would pay less under this system than the current one, you would not have to start repaying until you were earning over £21,000 but I still feel trebling is wrong and wonder what council tax payers would say if we said we were to treble this tax. The above are my views and my views only which I believe are shared with many other Liberal Democrats and this is why I feel this system needs to be looked at and reviewed. I welcome feedback regarding this issue and have taken on board the views from people such as Chris. I for one do not want to throw out the baby with the bath water, but feel the fees need addressing.


  1. "These students are our future Business Leaders, Lawyers, Doctors, Nurses, teachers"
    The problem is that a great many students are not the above but doing some useless course like media studies that benefits no-one, least of all the student. For such people, the best University is the University of Life....and that comes free.

  2. The "Anon" post above will be unpalatable to many but it is sadly true.

    The aim should perhaps be to achieve income-blind taxpayer-funded free access to a university education that is restricted only to a minority who are actually going to benefit from the intellectual rigour of a truly challenging (and therefore, sadly, elitist) environment.

    On the journey from the talent-ignoring and unfair exclusivity of the 1930's to the cuurent unaffordable aspiration of tertiary education for anyone who wants it, we passed some optimal balance between these opposing ideals somewhere along the way - perhaps 1980's/early 90's?.

    The much bigger issue here, though, is the extent to which individual Lib-Dem MP's and candidates such as you, Mike, can individually
    cherry-pick 'nice' policies such as these and yet stay solid with the Tories in the coalition. Something has to give. As a party, you are committed to either fighting the government or supporting it, not doing days-about!

  3. Huw Williams23 January, 2011

    The party made an unambigious promise to fight student fees during the election. Now the majority of them have prejured themselves. Either the party is abunch of decitful oprtunists orspinelss hypocrites prepared to sell out their pricples for a few crumbs of power. I will never bvote for the libdems again.