PRESS RELEASE: Students Threaten to Become “Ungovernable” at Prospect of Fee Raise
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Universities UK, the representative body for vice-chancellors in the UK, has today called or the nine thousand pound fee cap to be lifted in line with inflation so that the UK “can continue to provide high quality education that meets the needs of students.”
Janet Beer, vice-president of UUK, also stated that support for students’ living costs must also increase, and that maintaining the real terms value of the headline fee was essential to maintain the delivery of high quality learning experience for students.
In Parliament too, Universities Minister Jo Johnson refused to rule out a fee increase while answering questions in the House of Commons yesterday. In response to a question from Blairite former NUS President turned MP for Ilford North, Wes Streeting, on whether he could rule out changes in fees and repayments for existing students and graduates, he simply stated that the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development had praised the English fee system as sustainable.
Kelly Rogers, National Campaign Against Fees & Cuts Women’s Officer, said: “A raise in fees would be not just an attack on current students and those who are traditionally expected to go to university, it is an ideological attack to limit the ability of the working classes and those already marginalised to access education. We have seen unrest since the election of the Conservative government; I have no doubt that the student movement will become ungovernable if a fee raise is on the agenda.”
Hope Worsdale, NCAFC National Committee, said: “We have rebuilt the student movement over the past year. The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts has already called a mass demonstration on November 4 for Free Education and the student movement is now more than ever capable of defeating governmental attacks.”
James Elliott, NUS Disabled Students’ Committee, said: “The thought that the government could prepare for a fee raise is despicable. In 2010, the government saw mass revolt at the prospect of a fee raise and we will be mobilising in our hundreds of thousands to ensure that this does not happen again and further the fight for free education. ”