Everybody has a right to a free education, but that should stop once you finish you’re A-levels. The reason for this is because doing apprentices and university degrees isn’t a necessity to get a job.
The reason people go to university is to improve their knowledge and skills around the subject you are interested in and usually want to get a job in once you graduate. To get into university you work hard to pass your exams, so if you have enough determination to work hard and get the grades then why would you then give it all up if university wasn’t free.
University fees are currently £9,000 each year. This is paid for by the government and then you only have to start paying it back once you earn £27,000 a year or more and then it is such a small percentage of your wage you won’t even notice it going out. Furthermore, your student finance debt gets written off after 30 years.
I would completely understand if we had to pay our fees out of our own pocket but we aren’t. Although it means we are getting into debt, being £12,000 in debt because of university fees is more acceptable than being in debt due to credit cards.
What people also need to realise is that having free education may be great for us now at this age but it would mean finding the money from somewhere else to cover the costs. Whether it is higher taxes or cuts in the emergency services, the government would need to find the money from somewhere. It may be great for us as students to have free education but once we graduate and start paying taxes our political priorities may change.
The problem however does not lie with tuition fees but in the way the student finance system works instead. The amount of money we get to live on whilst at university is decided on what we study and our parents’ wage, as well as where we come from.
As a student who has to work during summer and term time in order to even pay the rent, I can say that the maintenance loan is the problem.
It doesn’t matter if the money we get is a loan that we have to pay back, we need more allowances on our maintenance, not zero tuition fees.
If students don’t want to come to university out of the fear of getting into debt then they need to realise that in the real world when you get credit cards, mortgages and loans, you will at some point get into debt. It could be £5 it could be £5,000. It has become a part of life and you shouldn’t let the fear of the future stop you from doing something in the present.
What do you think? Comment below or tweet us @UCLanPluto