Featured Posts, News

UEA’s Vice Chancellor condemns Labour’s Party’s tuition-fee pledge

In a move that may appear come as music to cash-strapped students’ ears, Ed Miliband has announced that “tuition fees would be capped at £6,000 a year under Labour”. However, this announcement from the party leader has sparked concerns among universities that some students will delay applying to university this year to avoid paying up to the current £9,000 fee cap.

The Vice Chancellor of UEA, David Richardson, has argued that this will leave universities facing a “funding gap” for the academic year of 2015-16. Although Labour has pledged to increase direct public funding for universities and plans to fund the £2.7bn cost of the fee cut policy by limiting pension tax relief, there are still very valid concerns about how universities will cope with a loss of funds of £3,000 per student. Richardson also claimed that “State funding needed to be ring-fenced”.

However, whether students are repaying £6,000 or £9,000, it remains the case that the student loans system operates as described by the current Norwich South Lib Dem MP Simon Wright: a “graduate tax in all but name”. Only those students who end up in very well-paid jobs will ever come close to paying off the full amount of their loans, while those at the lower end of the income spectrum may never even begin repayments.

The Labour Party was originally responsible for introducing the concept of tuition fees back in 1997, but the current maximum limit of £9,000 a year was introduced by the Coalition government in 2011.

It has been claimed by some critics that this Labour policy is in reality an attempt to regain student support from the Greens.

Norwich South prospective Labour candidate Clive Lewis admitted the policy was “not a long term solution”. Chris Jarvis, Campaigns and Democracy Officer at the Union of UEA Students, called the announcement a “Step in the right direction… but [it is] no substitute for a properly funded, accessible university sector”.

While it remains to be seen how other universities around Britain will respond to the potential shortfall in funding, and there is also no guarantee that by September 2016 we will be living in a Labour-governed country, it is clear that this latest policy announcement will not be the last plot twist in the ever contentious issue of student finance.


About Author


Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /home/wp_35pmrq/concrete-online.co.uk/wp-content/themes/citynews/tpl/tpl-related-posts.php on line 11

Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /home/wp_35pmrq/concrete-online.co.uk/wp-content/themes/citynews/tpl/tpl-related-posts.php on line 26
August 2022
Latest Comments
About Us

The University of East Anglia’s official student newspaper. Concrete is in print and online.

If you would like to get in touch, email the Editor on L.Hargreaves@uea.ac.uk. Follow us at @ConcreteUEA.