Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Response from my MP on tuitian fees

Hi there this is a email i just recieved from my local MP who appears to be backing the tuitian fees rise. If people are interested these are his views below.

07 December 2010

Dear Mr Wright

Thank you for contacting me about Higher Education Funding.

The previous Government established a review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance which was chaired by Lord Browne. This Review proposed no limit on the fees for students. After careful consideration the Coalition Government has decided to cap the fees at a lower threshold of £6,000 with an upper threshold of £9,000. Universities will be able to set their own fees however, those Universities seeking to charge more than £6,000 will have to increase their efforts to attract students from lower-income families. To support those on lower incomes a £150 million National Scholarship Programme has been announced to which upper threshold universities will be expected to contribute funds.

In addition, graduates will not be required to repay any money until they have reached an income of £21,000, £6,000 higher than the previous threshold. This means that many lower-income students will be better off under the new arrangements which the National Union of Students and others fully accept. Only those students earning above £41,000 will repay at the full rate so again, this is a better offer than has been made before. Further to this, it will be the case that part-time students would have equal access to Student Loans just as fulltime students have which again represents a better deal than currently exists.

I raise the points above because they have often not been made clear to people when looking at the national headlines. These changes mean that the system will be far more progressive in helping those on lower incomes, than has been the case to date.

Having been a student myself I remember all too well the system that used to exist where those who overran their grants or did not receive sufficient support from their parents would run up overdrafts, often at fifteen or twenty percent in interest. Whilst the system then had some merit, it did not require many students to actually contribute to their education from which they would inevitably enjoy a substantially higher income.

This is a very difficult decision to take. As a new Government we have inherited a substantial deficit and it means that everybody is having to contribute more to balance the books. I personally believe that under graduates should contribute towards the cost of their education, not least because it will often lead to substantially higher incomes than would otherwise be the case. Further to this, I do not believe it is fair that those older people who have not had the benefit of a university education should subsidise younger people who will.


07 December 2010

I also believe that it is time we struck a better balance between a university education and vocational skills. The last Government actively encouraged young people to believe that only a university education would suffice. This has been enormously detrimental both to many young people for whom university simply isn’t right and the economy in starving us of people with the appropriate technical and vocational skills needed. So, whilst I appreciate the points that have been raised by a number of people I shall be supporting the Government’s proposals with regards to Higher Education and Tuition Fees.

Yours sincerely

Mark Prisk MP
(dictated by Mark Prisk and sent on his behalf)

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