Asking for tuition fees to be scrapped is selfish and arrogant

We shouldn’t have a problem with £9,000 fees


Last week, thousands marched through London protesting the fact they have to pay tuition fees to go to uni.

It wasn’t the first time there’s been a protest about this, and I’m confident it won’t be the last.

The near-constant campaign for free education shows no sign of slowing down, but I believe it needs to stop. It dresses itself up as a benevolent plea for a fairer society, but in reality the whole thing is selfish, arrogant, and indicative of a student population with a wildly inflated sense of self-importance.

Why are you entitled to a freebie?

Why are you entitled to a freebie?

Before I go on, it’s worth stressing I believe a university education should be an opportunity available to everyone who wants it, regardless of their financial situation.

Every effort should be focused into making uni more accessible to people further down the socio-economic hierarchy, and students from poor performing schools and other minority groups should enjoy unrestricted access to further education.

At the moment, this isn’t the case. Universities are institutions enjoyed by a small, fairly homogeneous group of people which is a completely inaccurate representation of young people in Britain. But tuition fees aren’t the problem.

Yes, £9,000 a year sounds like a lot of money. I mean, just look at all those zeroes. But why should it have any impact on social mobility if you’re not paying a penny of that until after uni? Haven’t got 20-odd grand going spare in mum and dad’s bank account? Don’t worry, you don’t need it.

Post-graduation, nine per cent of our salary goes towards paying off the loan, if we’re earning more than £21,000 per year. If you’re earning that much, you’re probably already reaping the benefits of having a degree, so you can’t claim that you’d be better off if you’d never applied to uni in the first place.

NUS Prez Toni Pearce didn't go to uni - but that hasn't stopped the NUS campaigning for free education

NUS Prez Toni Pearce didn’t go to uni – but that hasn’t stopped the NUS campaigning for free education

The only reason the high fees should deter poorer children from applying to uni is that it sounds like an extremely large amount. With a bit of education as to how student finance works, and how the repayments will be calculated, there’s no reason this should be the case.

If you want to fight for fairer education, take your anger and free time and direct it at the inequalities in education at school level. This is where the disparity in opportunity comes from in the first place.

It’s a tremendous injustice that by virtue of coming from a wealthier family or living in a certain part of the country, you are more likely to go to university. This has nothing to do with the cost of a degree, but is purely down to the quality of education being offered at schools.

Rather than expecting a freebie, why not try to help the next generation by fighting for high-quality teaching at every secondary school, not just the ones that cost money or are based in an affluent area?

In 2012/2013, there were over 1.8 million undergrads in the UK, paying an average yearly tuition fee of £8,300. If that fee was to be covered by the government instead, it would cost the country nearly 15 billion pounds a year.

That’s £15,000,000,000. I mean, just look at all those zeroes.

Yes, having lots of well-educated citizens with degrees has a benefit to society, but these people are no more valuable or important than other members of the public. Expecting taxpayers to pay 15 billion quid for the privilege of having you lot around is ridiculous.

You gain far more personally from going to university than society will ever gain from you. So stop whining about the cost, you’ll barely notice it once you’re working as a graduate.