For many, the issue of tuition fees in the UK is a no-brainer. The Liberal Democrats rescinding on promises to fight against any rise in fees was a key factor in their electoral collapse in 2015, and the eventual decision by the coalition government to increase fees to £9,000 led to nationwide protests. For many, free education is an ideological red-line – but before you jump on the bandwagon, have you considered all the arguments? Read this #PoliticsPutSimply – #LetsTalkPolitics
AGAINST TUITION FEES
- Tuition fees increase inequality: when only the wealthiest can afford higher education, the wage gap gets worse and social classes grow more distant.
- Graduate debt accrued due to the tuition loans puts many off the idea of going to university and improving their life chances.
- The repayment scheme (debts are paid back over time, in amounts dependent on your income) is an economic disaster. The treasury loses millions due to it already – why don’t we just scrap the fees altogether?
- The “free-market” concept doesn’t work with education, as prices aren’t pushed down – there is no financial competition. For further info on this point: http://publicuniversity.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Reason6.pdf
FOR TUITION FEES
- Tuition fees actually decrease inequality, not increase it as claimed. ‘Free’ tuition places must be rationed, whereas places secured by tuition fees mean that there isn’t a cap on the amount of students an institution can accept.
- Tuition fees allow universities to escape a dependence on central government. This allows them to be more creative, implement teaching curriculums they wish to implement, and generally allow academics and lecturers to escape from the confines of governmental control.
- In England – universities must spend a third of each student’s £9,000 on disadvantaged students. In Scotland, where tuition is free for domestic students, far less is spent on helping the needy attend higher education – in 2010, only £10.4 million.
- Tuition fees allow universities to be research institutions, make academic progress, and provide better standards of teaching for students.
- You can read more in favour here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/general-election-2015/politics-blog/11697260/Why-tuition-fees-are-good-for-you.html
For further information, see this BBC report: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-30080662