Government Proposes Trebling of Tuition Fees

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Today the Universities secretary David Willetts announced his plans for the future of tuition fees to the House of Commons. Following the findings of the Browne review and the Government’s comprehensive spending review, Mr Willetts MP proposed detailed plans to charge fees of up to £9,000 per year, with a Government levy taken on all fees over £6,000 a year.

Under the plans reported today, graduates would commence repayment of their student loans upon earning over £21,000 p/a as opposed to the current level of £15,000 p/a. Interest would be charged on a sliding scale for those earning over this threshold, with the highest earners paying more. No interest would be chargeable to those earning under £15,000 p/a or indeed not earning at all.

Mr Willetts MP also spoke at great length about widening participation in higher education through busaries, scholarships and other methods of funding, asking universities to do more for their students. He also reported that the government proposes to increase the amount offered to students in maintinence loans and detailed a number of proposals to extend Government grants to students from less well-off backgrounds.

Today’s announcements mark a full u-turn from the Liberal Democrat party as part of the coalition Government. All Liberal Democrat MPs signed a pledge during the general election to commit themselves to not raising tuition fees. Today Mr Willetts MP confirmed that his propsals have the full support of the Liberal Democrat leadership, signifying a clear refusal to uphold their pledge. Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg sat silently by Mr Willetts’ side in agreement with the Government’s proposals. Labour’s shadow Universities secretary was then invited to respond.

As an organisation SUSU is mandated by its students to campaign against any rise in tuition fees. SUSU will be marching in London on 10/11/0 against these proposals; you can book your place for only £5 at boxoffice.susu.org

I would also strongly encourage to write to your MP if you disagree with these proposals. Details of how to can be found here.

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Discussion6 Comments

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    The funadmental point in all of this is that the Government are basically tellign students that their courses do not deserve public funding of any sort.

    They can talk about WP all they want, student support etc, but the core point of this is the withdrawal of public funding, it is morally wrong!!!

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    Is there anyway the Union and Sabbs could plug the march next Wednesday more??

    This is obviously a huge deal for students and the future of higher education, but I am slightly concerned about the amount of students who have mentioned to me that they didn’t know about the march happening (particularly first and second years), or who have said they won’t be paying £5 to go (third years thought it was free and don’t want to pay when they have too much work to do).

    If SUSU turn up at the march with embarrassing low numbers, who will pay attention?? Furthermore, isn’t there a massive debate going on regarding whether the Union should leave the NUS or not… Surely this is the perfect opportunity of those against joining the NUS demonstrating that the Union CAN speak loud enough on its own??

    I appreciate that there is alot to do, but think it would be great if the Union and the Sabbs could market the march in the same way they marketed themselves in the Union elections last year. Here, they proved that they CAN make themselves and what they stood for noticed in any way possible – through an all-day presence on concourse, lecture shout-outs, speaking with students, getting an all round buzz on campus about something important. I think it would be great if the Union could engage students in a similar way to encourage them to attend the march.

    After all – without out sounding cheesy – what greater thing can anyone think of that seems to epitomise everything that our elected Union representatives stand for other than fighting in everyway we can to protect the future of a fair higher education system?

    Rob Stanning
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    Jess, I appreciate your concerns over this but we are trying as hard as we can to get this message out. We have been doing a lot of work on publicising this since the beginning of the semester, emailing all club and society mailing lists regularly this term to keep people updated on issues and what SUSU is doing, as well as an exceptional amount of publicisation on facebook and twitter.
    We have posters all over the union building with more going up every day. By the end of the day we will also have publicity on all University plasma screens across all campuses and halls of residence.
    The entire team at present are working to their absolute maximum to fight in every way possible to stop the cuts set out in the CSR and to fight the prospect of increased fees and interest rates. I am spending almost all of my time at present lobbying our local MPs and I am soon to publish a report on what our local MPs are doing for us on this issue. We have been successful in informing our local MPs what our students think through the information provided by the fees and funding survey we ran and are working in a number of ways to make them vote for the student interest.
    I am currently spending all of my evenings going round halls informing Students of what we are doing for them and signing them up to a petition to lobby Caroline Nokes MP who intends to vote against the student interest.
    Just because you may not have seen what we are doing it does not mean that we aren’t doing anything. We are all trying to maintain our job portfolios and not let students down by neglecting them whilst trying to push the demo, info on the Browne review, CSR and other funding issues as hard as possible. Your Union cares and is doing all it can, be assured of that.

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    *I ment jre-join the NUS, sorry.

    Vincent
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    Why not protest in Southampton? Coming from France, I do have quite a good culture of student protests, and you can’t really ask students to go to London for protesting… It’s 4 hours transports (probably more actually), plus the time of the protest, and the small amount of student we will bring there (compared to the total number of students in London) won’t change anything. Plus one of the aims of a protest is to get support from and inform other parts of the population. I don’t care about Londoners, I’m living in Southampton. Having a strong protest in london is of no help if nobody else in the country apart people from London hear about it.

    On the other hand, here at home, we could probably have a decent local impact (Solent and Southampton Uni count about 20 000 students, this is just massive). Do that in every single city of the country, and this will have a much more important effect than sending 200 students to London.

    We have one of the few independent SU, that has been much more successful than NUS affiliated SUs on most of the subjects, why would they need the NUS now?

  4. avatar

    I think Vincent has a very good point, big demonstrations make an impressive point. But its the work that we do on a local level. We need to link up with local trades unions and FE colleges because the EMA will really effect the poor Soton kids hard. But also mothers groups, pensioner groups. The LGBT groups. We need to break out of our safe comfort zones and join hands with people we would normally cross the street avoid because ladies and gentlemen WE are all in this together against THEM. This shower of tax dodging Bulingdon bullies have demonstrated that they don’t have a clue about running a country but are trying very hard to ruin it. Untouched bankers bonuses, unstructured tax havens, top 100 company boses on extra 50%, richest 1000 in times rich list extra 29% last year, land ownership 69% owned by 1%. Unless you are one of those you will lose out. If you want a healthier, happier, better educated without mass unemployment and social decay I suggest you join us on the Nov 10 anti cuts march. They cannot break us because we are all in this together.

    The alternatives? Tax wealth not earnings ie land value tax break up massive aristocratic estates, and start massive environmental house building program.

    Give the HMRC the staff and powers to close the avoidence schemes. Get our tax.

    Wages, why can’t top private and public sector earnings be tide in with those at the bottom?

    We bailed out the banks and Mr king has some good ideas for restructuring them. If you want to leave after the bailout and QE then your assets we will take as payback.

    If you threaten to close shop and move abroad then we will run them like John Lewis or the coop.

    Lansley’s expensive untested and unecessary NHS reforms need to be stopped. American style competition doesn’t help the 30 million without coverage there. Greed,secrecy and profit should have no place in our Health Service.

    Every child deserves the best and free education that includes 18plus. We invest as a society in them for.the betterment of all. No elite privilege maintaining schools and universities.

    If you believe that the greedy have taken enough and no more join us. If you believe in British healthcare and welfare not US style profit grabbing join us. If you believe in the best education for all our children not just those that can afford it join us. If you want to see a society that will embrace you and nurture your talent whatever your colour, gender, sexual orientation, disability or religion join us.

    Their coalition has no mandate for their fear spreading,divisive and socially destructive policies.

    We are all in this together join us on the 10th and lets shake their little club house on the Thames to its foundations.

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