Should university tuition fees be reduced?

By Jonny Drury | Education | Published:

Just about every election campaign will see air time or column inches given to a debate on student fees.

Should the cost of going to university be reduced for students?

Every politician will come forward and make a pledge on how much students are charged for three or more years of their time in higher education.

This week Prime Minister Theresa May has reignited the debate that will be argued about amongst current and former students for the coming days.

On Monday she admitted that fees in England were some of the most expensive university tuition fees in the world, and announced an independent review of fees and student finance.

Two students have given their spin on the tuition fee debate.

Dean Graham, 24, from Oswestry, who now lives in Chester, studied Sports Science at Liverpool John Moore's University, and paid £9,000 a year for tuition fees.

He believes they were too expensive, but having an increased fee makes potential university students think properly about whether they will go.

He said: "Considering people came out with the same degree as me two years previously, and only had to pay £9,000 for all three years, I think they are too expensive.


"Would I have preferred to pay £3,000 a year? Yes, however with £9,000 fees, people actually have to think about whether to go or not.

"At 3,000 I feel people were just going for the sake of it, and for a good time, and knowing the debt in a few years wouldn't be too severe."

Mr Graham believes fees should be between £6,000 and £9,000 per year, but questioned if the fees were reduced by the government, would he be reimbursed for the extra fees he paid.

He added: "If they go back to £3,000, will I get £18,000 knocked off what I owe? No chance.


"So why should someone now get a cheaper deal and just be in the same situation as me.

"If the fees get dropped too many people will just start going again to kill a few years and have a good time."

In the past Labour have said they would abolish tuition fees altogether and bring in maintenance grants.

Announcing the year long review, Mrs May has warned the system has failed to deliver sufficient competition on price, with almost all courses being charged at the maximum of £9,250 per year.

Chloe Edwards, from Oswestry, is a former events management student in Liverpool and is hoping the fees are lowered, to give more people a chance to go to university.

She said: "I think they were far too expensive - especially when you are in university for two days a week.

"I think higher education is too expensive as a whole, it should be made affordable again for everyone.

"The fees should be lowered again. If not to £3000 then no more than £5000.

"I wouldn't be annoyed as such if fees were lowered, I would be glad new students could go for cheaper and that more students would be likely to go to university."

Jonny Drury

By Jonny Drury

Senior reporter covering Oswestry and Mid Wales.


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