We asked Leeds students what they think about Corbyn’s pledge to scrap tuition fees

It was a mixed bag to be honest

We asked students of Leeds what they thought about Corbyn’s declaration to scrap tuition fees, and if it will affect how they vote next month. This is what they thought.

Lizzie, Classics, 1st Year (on the left)

“Action does need to be taken against rising tuition fees, however scrapping them completely is an unrealistic approach from Corby.”

Navdeep, Dentistry, 1st Year

 “He’s gone a little bit too far with his manifesto however I think it’s admirable that he genuinely cares about our education and opening up opportunities for everyone.”

Matt, Comparative English, 1st Year (on the right)

“I would love for my higher education to be free, but only in the same way I’d love my McDonald’s to be free. I don’t think I’m entitled to it, and I don’t think we’re in an economic position to be scrapping them. Not to mention that the quality of teaching would almost definitely go down. I love Corbyn’s ideas but just can’t see how it works realistically.”

Faye, Art and Design, 1st Year

“It sounds very good but it’s unrealistic, cutting the fees would be better because if they got rid of it completely how will universities survive? They would have to get the money out of us some other way, cutting fees would be good though as more people would be able to go uni and not worry about high debt.”

Yasmin, English and History, 1st Year

“I think Corbyn’s proposal to abolish university tuition fees is a good initiative as education should be available to everyone, not just the privileged, with people who are unable to pay such fees plunging themselves into thousands of pounds of debt. It is evidently a viable policy since other European countries and Scotland offer free, or at least cheaper education to its citizens. I do not think loans are working anyway as a majority of student do not pay their loan back (in full, or even at all), therefore it is simply putting further strain on the economy due to increasing debt. Although I think it is a good policy I would not say it has directly influenced my vote, as it would not affect me, as far as I know; however I do think it is something that should be introduced for the future. Regardless of this policy, I would be voting Labour.”

Peter, English Literature, 1st Year

“I’m all in favour of it but can’t wholly see where the funding for it is going to come from. Corbyn’s manifesto seems perfect, except for a complete unwillingness to raise taxes when unfortunately after the past ten years, it’s going to be hard to keep the country running without doing so. It sucks, but some hard decisions like that need to be made to run the utopia he envisions, and up to now I’ve seen no evidence of him willing to make those choices.”

Serena, English Literature, 1st Year

“I fundamentally disagree with Corbyn, and this is no exception – I don’t understand (and I don’t think he understands either, given Diane Abbott’s car crash of an LBC interview) where this money is meant to come from. Something I could get behind would be establishing a cap on fees, lowering fees, or sorting out the fact that those with need for bigger loans subsequently have bigger debt. Why should those who CAN pay fees go to uni for free? Let the rich pay and let them subsidise the poor. Abolishing fees for all is not just unrealistic, it’s also unnecessary.”

Eddie, English Literature, 1st Year

“Personally, free tuition sounds like a great idea. It will allow for more people from disadvantaged backgrounds to go to University and therefore even out the growing class divide. However, nowhere in the Labour manifesto draft does there appear to be any method of paying for this programme like in taxes on the rich. Until I see this, I remain sceptical about whether or not the plan will not increase the deficit or harm economic growth or significantly raise taxes on vulnerable people. Personally I like the idea of the current tuition fee plan in the state of New York where those earning about 225,000 a year pay for university while all those whose parents earn less don’t and get to go to college for free. Also what is not mentioned in the manifesto is what will happen to students who have racked up £47000 of debt from three years of education. By not relinquishing all loans for students studying under the last two Conservative governments when fees were increased to £9000, one leaves those students at a disadvantage in adult life to those of a younger generation.

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