Student tuition fees are a favourite for Politicians when it comes to General Elections and are used to attract student votes however, it is not always as it seems …
Fees are set by the current Government; England and Wales, have the second highest University tuition fees in the developed world. Within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) group of nations, only the US has higher fees.
In England and Wales, universities can charge up to £9250 per year for an undergraduate degree and most universities charge the full amount. Scotland has no fees, for Scottish students.
Where do political parties stand on student tuition fees ? It usually depends on whether the party is interested in attracting the student vote, or does it depend on which way the wind’s blowing?
The Labour party actually implemented tuition fees in the first place and here is the history of tuition fees from the beginning in 1997.
1997 – Pre election, Labour policy is no tuition fees
1997 – Labour win the election and … introduce tuition fees in 1998
2001 – Pre election, Labour promises not to raise tuition fees
2001 – Labour won
2003 – Plans announced to increase fees to £3000
2005 – Labour won General Election
2006 – Fees increased to £3000
2009 – Fees increased to 3290
2010 – Pre election, Lib Dems – pledge to abolish tuition fees
2010 – Tories and Lib Dems form coalition government
2010 – Lib Dems abandon policy and support proposal to increase fees to £9000
2015 – Tories win General Election and change repayment terms of student loans
2016 – Tories raise fees to £9250
2017 – Pre Election, Labour policy is to scrap fees altogether
2017 – Tory party win General Election
2017 – Tory party freeze fees at £9250 and tinker with repayment terms
2019 – Pre election, Tory proposal to reduce fees to £7500 abandoned
2019 – Pre election, Labour policy to scrap tuition fees and restore maintenance grants for disadvantaged students
2019 – Pre election, Liberal Democrats :”The idea that we can have zero tuition fees is a fantasy.”
The moral of this story is
‘Beware of Politicians bearing gifts‘ it may not be all that it seems !!