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December 20, 2010



I think that the new tuition fees policy is the right thing to do and is a much better policy for students themselves than the pay up front tuition fees that were originally implemented by labour.

However I also think that if you sign a personal declaration that you will vote against something while running for office and then do the opposite as soon as you get in then you deserve what you get.

It is that kind of thing that turns people away from all politics.

Martin Marprelate- A Man in the Street!

BRILLIANT! Just what I needed, a good laugh on cold and snowy day! I detest Clegg and his party and this was so appropriate. Chickens have come home to roost for Clegg and the Lib-Dems and I do hope if he has seen this that he is blushing redder than Rudolph's nose!

Hat's off to whoever produced this, great artwork!


I have two teenagers starting university in 2011, and another in 2012.
From where we are sitting, a sum total of £9,000 plus low interest over three years in up front fees is far preferable to the fate awaiting our third child - up to £27,000 over three years plus higher interest rates, currently expected to bring the debt up to around £38,00.
I can only think that anyone who thinks that more than trebling the debt is a better system has not got children in this age group. We understand nothing is payable until income reaches a certain level, but how many of us would like that shadow of debt hanging over them?
They will also need to take on other financial responsibilities such as a mortgage and pension scheme at the same time.
Two of my children aspire to become teachers, so although not highly paid,a degree is neccessary to achieve this.
I think what Clegg has done is unforgivable.
Foreign aid ring-fenced while everything else is cut is bad enough,but we actually increased it! That increase alone was enough to cover the cost of tuition fees. It seems we would rather look after everybody else including students from all of the U.K. apart from the English - and to add insult to injury, every other student from the EU can also be educated cheaper here than our English student!
Angry? You bet.


Quite right, Halki. Angry looks to be the new politics, and not just for the left.


Labour policy of pushing 50% kids through university has simply resulted in dumbed down degrees and few prospects of a decent job afterwards. And now those parents who are struggling to stay in work on low incomes are being given the message that their efforts are ensuring their children will be enslaved by debt. Don't bother to work, be sure to claim for all benefits going and your kids get free university education.

What a nonsense - what was wrong with the equality of opportunity of Thatcher's era. Limit university places to the top 10% based on merit and bring back vocational polytechnics and free tertiary education with grants for accommodation based on income. The old system worked, our politically correct careerist politicians have trashed it. And why should we have to pay for students from elsewhere in the EU. We already pay a massive contribution which is increasing every year for policies which have been ruinous to the UK. We are far Better Off Out.

Martin Marprelate- A Man in the Street!

Marion, I agree with you but let us not forget these factors. Firstly it was the John Major’s government which made many Polys and Colleges of Further Education into Universities thus devaluing the currency, Secondly too many employers must take the blame with their fetish for University Graduates no matter what degree they held even if it was irrelevant to the business in question. Thirdly the snobbery we still have in England where someone who may have a difficult to attain trade or technical skill is somehow inferior to one who has a university degree. Finally the proliferation of Mickey Mouse Degrees such as Media Studies or Sports Studies reminds me of the famous Maureen Lipmann TV advert where she says of her grandson “So, you have an Ology?”

However I do not support the hike in Tuition Fees which I feel discriminates against the child of the ordinary worker and is a crude tool to correct this situation and I salute those MPs amongst the Tories and Lib-Dems who broke ranks and voted against this measure. I would rather that instead of financial measures stricter academic criteria were set with more rigorous exams and that potential students were chosen on their abilities and aptitudes so that the child of the dustman who had passed the required exams could sit with that of the director or the duke and after due study attain a meaningful and useful degree to the benefit of themselves and society as a whole.


Let's just go through the finances of the fees. UK overall expenditure is £700 bn. Foreign aid budget is 10 billion; money to Wales 12 billion; to Scotland 22 billion. Amount released by the Bank of England's quantitative easing to recapitalize the banks, £200 billion. Amount of money to be saved by abolishing the teaching grant and forcing students to pay the new fee regime -- 2.9 billion, ie within the margin of accountancy error on the overall 700 billion. Yet for this saving, millions of graduates on ordinary graduate wages will be paying several hundred pounds a month for 30 years.

And it barely helps the universities. They are still unable to expand because the govnt retains the cap on numbers. So, the opportunity for the universities to cut fees through efficiencies of scale is lost too.

I don't think this is ideologically driven. It is rather that the circumstances leading to the Browne review and the review itself set in train a narrative into which the politicians became locked. They boxed themselves in. The Lib Dems will pay for this very hard.

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