Outrage as tuition fees set to rise at Cambridge

And we’ll have to pay for it all without maintenance grants.

| UPDATED Budget Cambridge fees maintenance grants News Osbourne Rise Tab tory tuition fees university

Apparently £9000 a year isn’t enough for our education.

In his Budget speech today, George Osborne announced the potential for ‘universities of excellence’ to raise tuition fees with inflation.

This marks the next increase in tuition fees after the infamous rise from £3000 to £9000 in 2012. It also marks the second time in two consecutive governments under Cameron that the Conservative party have raised tuition fees.

The Tab got in touch with the University to ask for a comment on the planned changes. The communications department are currently formulating their policy and were unable to comment at this time, but have promised The Tab a comment soon.

The University needs to meet the rising costs of sandstone buffing somehow.

Whilst we might be jumping ahead of ourselves to assume Cambridge would be included in these ‘universities of excellence’, it seems a fair assumption that ours would be one of the first universities cleared for the fee increase.

Also announced in the budget was the plan to remove maintenance grants as we know them, and replace them with loans. Whilst the maximum obtainable loan will be increased, they will all be repayable under the same terms as the current student loan system.

CUSU have put out a statement, which lambasts the removal of maintenance grants as “destructive and wrong.”

CUSU – vox populi and all that, but can they do anything?

Helena Blair, CUSU Access Officer, posted that the budget was “punishing prospective students for being poorer”, and a first year English student at Pembroke posted that this was “scaring smart kids from low income families away from the best universities”.

Yet Osborne remarked in his Budget speech that since the increase of fees to £9000 that applications to universities from low-income families have increased, and this budget will not disadvantage such students.

The face of tuition fees, despite attending university for free himself.

Georgie Holiday, Access Officer for the Pembroke JPC, disagrees strongly, stating that the removal of grants “is a backwards step in the fight for improved social mobility and an absolutely despicable move from the Tories. As students, we need to talk about this. We need to scream it from the rooftops; this is unacceptable.”

This budget will come as a significant blow to student cities such as Cambridge, which have typically voted against the Conservatives, and particularly those students who swung from Lib Dem to Labour in response to the previous fee hike.

Sarah Mercer, who recently completed her ASNAC masters told The Tab: It’s simple. Without my grant, I would have had to drop out of university in second year. It’s just plan wrong.”

A second-year HSPS student told The Tab “it’s like Thatcher all over again, Universities are going the same way as the mines”.

Students are already voicing significant anger towards the Conservatives, with Lucy Dickson, a second year from Queens writing: “say what you like about the Lib Dems’ promises on student loans – this has just proved that, without them, the Tories are a hell of a lot worse.”

University isn’t getting any cheaper any time soon.

What do you think about the Conservatives new Budget? Is this a necessary part of the ‘long-term economic plan’, or are the Conservatives bleeding Britain dry?