I’m pleased to have been able to sign the National Union of Students Fees Pledge:
“I pledge to vote against any increase in fees in the next parliament and to pressure the government to introduce a fairer alternative”
As a Green candidate, I’m entirely comfortable doing so, since our party policy is simple: to abolish fees.
There are so many things wrong about fees it’s hard to know where to start, but perhaps a good place is the impact on discouraging students from lower income backgrounds from going to university. And if they do go, that debt hangs far more heavily on their shoulders than it does their peers from more affluent backgrounds – often pushing them into levels of paid work harmful to their studies.
Then there’s the impact of student debt on the choices our students and young graduates make. Burdened with heavy debt, many who might be fine teachers, or social workers, or community workers, instead feel pressured into studying courses, and then taking jobs, that will pay off the debt — such as in the City — rather than where their inclinations, and society’s pressing needs, might better direct them.