A recent article in the Independent revealed how the rise in tuition fees in England now make them the “…highest in the world…”. The average annual cost in England is £9,188. Even the United States has lower average fees than this, where students pay £7,518. For socialists, such figures are unacceptable and must be challenged at every opportunity. Socialist Students has long campaigned for an end to tuition fees and to make education free to all. Some countries like Germany have recently abolished fees and It was a positive step when tuition fees were abolished in Scotland in 2008, however without universal grants, and with inadequate funding, the Scottish system is still far from offering high quality, genuinely free education which all can access.
For Socialists, education is a cornerstone of creating a fair society. Education has been proven to be necessary in uplifting people from the trappings of poverty but only if there are opportunities to utilise the education students attain. However, capitalism often does not invest in the many different types of education such as music or art but instead those only considered 'necessary' or 'profitable' by the market such as Maths or English.
According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) 58.8% of graduate’s in the United Kingdom (UK) work in non-graduate jobs as of 2015, one of the highest rates in Europe. Despite the fact that Britain has one of the highest number of graduates in Europe, the UK’s economic policy of austerity, by cutting public services and not investing, has contributed to a severe lack of secure, well-paid work, including for graduates. These degrees students have earned are, however, still financed with taking out loans. This means even while graduates are not able to get well-paid work, the costs of their degree are rising with interest rates. Rates on maintenance and tuition loans for English and Welsh students are set to rise from 4.6% to 6.1% this autumn, this increase will prohibit many people from poorer backgrounds the chance at a college or university level education.
Socialists point to the need to maintain and further invest into the education system as well as to reform it to widen opportunities for people, particularly those from poorer backgrounds. The abolishment of fees and debt is essential for this expansion to be possible. Socialist Student societies across the UK have fought and will continue to fight under this ethos and we welcome ALL students and members of staff to fight under this banner: ‘Free Education for All!’.
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Theresa May admits tuition fees system is broken - organise to kick out the rest of the Tories!