Delyn MP David Hanson will vote against the Tory and Lib Dem Coalition’s proposal to treble tuition fees. He also praised the Welsh Assembly Government for paying the increase for student from Wales.
“The Government’s plans are not necessary, not fair, and not good for higher education.
“Such high fees are not necessary. This point has been emphasised by the Welsh Assembly’s decision to ensure the Welsh students do not pay more because of this Government’s careless and ideologically driven policies.
“They are going up so much because the Government has chosen to cut funding for university teaching by 80% – when other public services are being cut much less.
“Labour would not make such big cuts to Higher Education teaching grants. Indeed, only Romania is similar to the UK in cutting levels of public funding for universities.The decision to treble tuition fees for students will make them the highest of any public university system.
“These high fees are not fair because graduates will now have to pay much more over a longer period with middle income earners hit hardest. Graduates will be forced to pay the whole cost of most degrees (to replace the cut in funding), instead of sharing the costs with the state. As a result, graduates will pay much more overall, and pay back for up to 30 years.
“This rise in fees is also bad for Higher Education. England’s world class university system has been built on public investment and trust in the professional academic leadership of universities. These changes will create a student ‘market’ and there is no evidence that this will drive change in the right direction.
“I firmly believe that universities should remain public institutions, receiving significant public funding. The Coalition’s plans undermine this very principle.”