Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Excluded from Society: Students Have Their Say

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Excluded from Society: Students Have Their Say

Article excerpt

Byline: Ruth Lognonne Reporter ruth.lognonne@trinitymirror.com

TEENAGERS in the North East have vented their frustration with Government policies that make them feel "excluded" from society.

High youth employment and tuition fees, difficulties in getting a mortgage and cuts to benefits and services are weighing heavily on the minds of many young people in the region.

Today, members of the region's student fraternity has spoken out against Government austerity cuts and other policies, which they believe will burn a hole in their pockets for years to come.

Scott Huntley, from Sunderland, is studying medicine at Newcastle University.

Although the 19-year-old believes finding a job will not be a problem at the end of his course, the five-year-long degree with increased tuition fees will likely leave him heavily in debt for a long time.

"The Government isn't doing us any favours," he said. "For that reason, I won't be voting.

"With university tuition fees going up to PS9,000 my degree will set me back PS45,000 over the next five years. That's a lot of money to recuperate, even with a well-paid job.

"My older brother received a grant to pay him through university, so my current situation hardly seems fair. My parents couldn't afford to pay me through university so I will have to foot the entire bill myself.

"They're crying out for highly skilled workers in this country, but it costs a fortune to get there."

Tom Harrison, who also hails from Sunderland but studies English Literature at Liverpool University, is worried about securing a job after he graduates with the worrying rate of high youth unemployment in the North East and other parts of country.

"I don't trust the politicians at the moment," he said. "They don't seem to be doing anything for us so why would I support them in achieving their goals. …

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