We Must Fight University Fees

Article excerpt

DAVID Cameron's patronising plea for student protesters to "know the full facts" before taking to the streets reveals more about his failure to understand his own reforms.

He suggests the proposals are necessary to cut the deficit, yet they would increase public expenditure through this Parliament and into the next. Having justified a national cuts agenda on the basis that it is "immoral" to "burden the next generation with higher debts" he claims as fair a system that transfers the debt created by his and subsequent generations to current students. And he is disingenuous to play students off against low-income taxpayers while his Government refuses to meaningfully tax those who created the current financial crisis.

The notion that quality will increase if funding flows from the student is myopically ideological. What serious demands can the new "consumer student" make of an institution that ignores their democratic participation? The same argument was used to support the initial introduction of tuition fees with no tangible benefits.

We at the UCL Occupation appreciate what the PM's policy represents: an attack on education, commodifying knowledge and learning. We recognise our duty to those younger than ourselves and have joined them in fiercely resisting these reforms. UCL Occupation.

AS a prospective student who voted Conservative in May, I accept cuts to public spending are necessary and that an argument could be put forward to justify rebalancing university finance to better reflect the benefit higher education brings the individual. …


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