Would you pay £9k a year to go to University? I would’ve had serious doubts about coming to Birmingham University if that was the case then. Now many reading this may turn around and say “but didn’t Labour treble tuition fees?”, “didn’t Labour start the Browne report?”. Did we do those things, yes. Am I going to blog here and defend them, absolutely not.
However, it is now irrelevant what happened ten years ago, what matters now is what happens, well, now and in the immediate and long-term future. And what we’re seeing is the trebling of fees (more or less) to create the most expensive state University system in the world!! (Given the likes of the USA’s Universities are in the private not state sector).
Shame, shame on you Cleggy. We all know it’s tempting to say whatever you want when you’re the third party and have no chance of winning power. But given everyone knew that the most likely outcome of the general election was going to be a hung Parliament there was every chance you would have to compromise on this policy. A cast iron guarantee for the abolition of tuition fees was a ridiculously stupid given the context of the election. Don’t worry, I want tuition fees scrapped in the long term as much as any average student (favouring a Graduate tax in the meantime), but don’t even attempt to justify or pitifully dress this hike as “progressive”.
Finally, shame on you the Conservative party for forcing the Lib Dems and more importantly, future students into this. You rightly once opposed tuition fees, where has that once fleeting soul disappeared to?