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Tuition Fees

May 25, 2017 12:28 PM
By John Marriott in Letter to the Guardian
Originally published by South Lincolnshire Liberal Democrats

John MarriottDear Sir,

Yes, I got a 'free' university education back in the 1960s. Mind you, my County grant meant that I had to work during every vacation - and a great experience it was mixing with ordinary people after a rather cocooned life at a boys' grammar school and four years at Cambridge.

However, I was one of a very small minority of my contemporaries to receive higher education in a relatively small number of institutions offering degrees, certificates and diplomas. Today, with around 45% of school leavers succumbing to the blandishments of a seemingly ever growing number of 'universities', with teaching staff to pay and research to finance, it is just not financially feasible to offer the kind of assistance I was lucky enough to receive.

Like the Lib Dems in 2010, with little chance of forming the next government (although shooting themselves in the foot could still give the Tories some worries), Labour can afford to indulge itself and promise the earth. If I were contemplating studying for a degree today I would think twice before signing up to a 'pledge' to abolish tuition fees. If I were a graduate already paying off their debts, I would be pretty brassed off at the thought of future generations getting a free ride.


John Marriott,

18 St Hugh's Drive,

North Hykeham,

Lincoln LN6 8RD