Tuition fees have been at the centre of political battles since their introduction under Tony Blair’s government, but ever since the Liberal Democrats reneged on their promise to vote down any increase in the cost of higher education, students present and future have been determined to see them scrapped.
In an announcement to be made tomorrow, Jeremy Corbyn, and Shadow Education Secretary, Angela Rayner, will promise to lift £38 billion debt burden from students’ shoulders should they be elected into government, giving young people another reason to register to vote before midnight on Monday.
Some 400,000 university students will be freed from an average of around £27,000 debt this autumn if Labour is elected next month, Labour will pledge to voters, as they say tuition fees will be abolished from 2018 under a Labour Government. This will include free education for EU Students, with Labour looking to create reciprocal relationships across the continent.
Labour is also pledging to write off the first year of fees for students planning to start university this September. The party can’t scrap fees that fast due to legislative reasons, but instead they’ll just write it off. In short, from September university will be free.
Tuition fees have trebled to over £9,000 a year since 2012 and graduates are starting their life saddled with debts averaging almost £45,000.
“The Conservatives have held students back for too long, saddling them with debt that blights the start of their working lives,” said Jeremy Corbyn. “Labour will lift this cloud of debt and make education free for all as part of our plan for a richer Britain for the many not the few.”
“We will scrap tuition fees and ensure universities have the resources they need to continue to provide a world-class education. Students will benefit from having more money in their pockets, and we will all benefit from the engineers, doctors, teachers and scientists that our universities produce.”
As well as abolishing university tuition fees, Labour will promise to restore the maintenance grants the Conservatives abolished in 2016 and, under its plan for a free National Education Service, will scrap college fees for adult learners too.
“Young people and students up and down the country will welcome this announcement from the Labour Party,” National Union of Students President Malia Bouattia told Huck. “NUS strongly supports a free and fair education system, which is accessible to everyone, regardless of their income or background.”
“This policy goes a long way to improving opportunities for young people, and those wanting to return to education in their adult life. It also offers a powerful incentive to register for, and use, their vote on 8 June.”
Register to vote now, please. You only have until 11:59pm on Monday.