Thursday, 10 June 2010
Over the course of 13 years, Labour extended the franchise of higher education to everyone.
They improved the quality of teaching and the quality of Primary Schools, Secondary Schools and Colleges. Opening up higher education by increasing the amount of young people entering Sixth Forms and Colleges with new courses whilst improving old ones. But most importantly, Labour opened up universities.
A university degree opens more doors in life than GCSE's or A Levels, in other words, it permeates class boundaries.
David Willetts has expressed today that university fees will rise Considering the average student debt is £22,000 upon leaving university, David Willetts words that students should consider university fees "more as an obligation to pay higher income tax" than a debt, are completely ignorant and misplaced. It is perfectly clear that Condem don't understand students and student struggles, their mummies and daddies paid for their education so I'm sure it must have been a terrible plight for them.
The "Liberal" Democrats come across as little more than weak, whipped liars. They gained votes among students (the student vote is a core section of their vote) on the promise of no tuition fees, so to then say that not only will it take 6 years (which, I should remind you, is longer than the maximum life of the current government) but that they will simply abstain from voting on the issue and let the Tories raise tuition fees shows a complete betrayal of progressive values. The wishy washy liberals strike again.
As a direct result of Labour's actions, more women are attending university than ever before, outnumbering men. University is now seen as the obvious next step for college students, regardless of race, gender, background or household income, as well as now being a viable option with support available for mature students.
What cannot be ignored is the implications of raising tuition fees. Do the Tories really expect people from lower income families and working class backgrounds to foot the bill for university if it's going to be hiked up? The answer - No, they don't.
And that's the point. Raising tuition fees excludes more and more people from university education. In other words, keeping the poor out and the rich in. Labour turned university into a right, and the Tories are turning it back into a privilege, for the privileged. The Tory party are preparing to oversee a return to an income based class system, re-initiating the cycle that stops people young people from low income families from breaking out of low incomes.