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Tuition Fees Conundrum

July 3, 2011

It’s no secret that tuition fees has been a bit of a hot potato in England for the past year. With students and the public alike marching and protesting against the brutal rise in tuition fees it’s no secret that the public are not impressed by the rise. From roughly 3k to between 6k and 9k seems extreme for almost anyone, but to then ask eighteen year olds to pay this, you cannot help but wonder – how is this fair?

Pros of tuition fees
David Cameron‘s idea of the ‘big society‘ works at its best with everyone forking the deficit bill (even those who were to young to cause it…) Therefore the debt will go down meaning eventually more money will be put back into the economy and education, key word being eventually.

Funding from the government has been drastically cut to university’s, so by raising fees it allows them to remain providing high standards of teaching, though it could be argued that this is not a pro it is simply a justification.

Competition – the average conservatives favourite word. If students are paying higher fees, then universities will feel the pressure to perform better because students and parents are going to be demanding the teaching and resources they are paying for. This could then mean that university’s will get better and along with the so will the education system.

By increasing tuition fees after a while, fewer people will go. Now this is not  necessarily a bad thing because if fewer people go then a degree will be worth more so the chances of getting a job when leaving university is higher.

Also, it is clear that the cost of fees will deter young people from going to Uni, however, it could be argued that this would sift out the people who are not that serious about university and think that it would just be a bit of fun. That way there would be more places for serious students.

If a student from a working class background wants to go to University, they will take out a loan and go. Simple as. There is a great deal being put in place to help working class students including bursaries and the possibility of getting a first year free.

International students already pay more than triple what english students do, they bring a great deal of money into the British economy so the raise can make the system seem fairer although international students will still be paying more.

If the debt is cleared now, when students finally leave university there will be more jobs available to them, surely this is better in the long run?

The loan doesn’t have to be paid off untill you are earning a certain amount….and if you are earning that amount you can afford to pay it back!

Cons of tuition fees

Fewer people are going to be wanting to go to university. The upper classes are going to be fine but lets split this into two groups; the middle class and the working class.

The working class will be put off because they cannot afford it and they will feel like the rise in tuition fees is a warning that university is not for them which is clearly not the case. The gap between the social classes will increase which is something society have been trying to improve on  for many years. With this inequalities will grow and more and more working class children will think that university and higher education is not for them.

Middle class families have access to the loans, though they wont get the bursaries and the free years at university. Who has the right to say that ALL these families will be able to support their children at university. They may not be able to. The middle class will be hit hard by the rise as they are expected to cope fine but with rising unemployment and taxes its only a matter of time before the middle classes kick up a fuss.

Education is the future and allows people to do better themselves in life, can we put a hefty price on this? Should it be right that to want to learn more, you should have to pay more…For many people the answer to this is yes. With more and more people wanting to go to university prices have to go up but is it fair to those that can’t afford it but still want to learn?

University’s being able to charge 9k a year will clearly be labelled at the best such as Oxford or Cambridge, working class students will be put off from going to these places because they will feel they are too elite. Furthermore widening the social gap.

The deficit was not the consequence of the teenage generations mistakes. To make them foot the bill and reduce the debt seems absurd, what did they do?! With being hit by a decrease in sure start, aim higher and the cutting of EMA is then raising fees the way to make young people feel like part of a society? By making them clean up the mess!

What the politicians  seem to be forgetting is that the students this will be affecting are the ones who will be voting in the next general election, I dont think they will be voting liberal democrats or conservatives any time soon.

So there you have it, strong arguments for both sides, to raise or not to raise. Well they are rising, there is nothing anyone can do about it now except to learn why they are rising and prevent this need to do so in the future. The generation and MP’s that caused the debt should be sorting it. Reclaim the money lost through the expenses scandal and lower bank executives bonuses, that should just about pay for everyone’s tuition fees. (very exaggerated, but you get my annoyance.)

There are many more dimensions to this debate and i do not claim to know them all! But I hope this is helpful for anyone who finds the whole ordeal rather complicated and just wants it simply put.

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