Preston’s students have reacted to the Browne Review and its long awaited independent report into student funding that has recommended a radical shake up by lifting the cap on tuition fees.
Lord Browne of Madingley, the former chief executive of BP, charged with cross-party blessing to examine the state of higher education funding and student finance also recommended raising the rate of repayment on minimums earnings of £21,000.
Two young people from Cardinal Newman College, Preston shared their thoughts with Blog Preston.
Mary Stables thinks some parts of the Browne Review are “a good idea” however she shares her criticisms.
“It is unfair that students will be paying more for their university education whilst the public investment in university courses is under threat.
“However, I do feel that some of the changes are a good idea, I like the idea of not having to pay back until people are earning £21,000 a year as I feel that this is the kind of wage that someone who has had a university education would want to be paid, rather than the previous £15,000 which is not a massively good wage.”
But when asked if the Coalition government accepts the changes, Mary would “defiantly still want to go to university” because “debt is definitely worth it”. “I think that along with the changes there should be more information given to potential students about how the financial system at university works, as once it is understood it may deter people less,” Mary suggests.
Josh Bruney, a Member of Youth Parliament for Lancashire, living and studying in Preston, represents many thousands of voices but on reading the Browne review, he said he is “disgusted”.
“I thought that the Browne review have not considered the equality in which surrounds financial issues of University.
“In all honesty I am disgusted in the way someone can cut finding so much that us average British citizens with working class families are filtered out.
“We are the future and are therefore the reason why every individual should be given a fair attempt in life, and not just the ones who can afford it. Realistically, I feel that the Browne review is discriminative towards less economically well-off families.
“Most definitely not should young people ever think that higher education is a privilege. There is the argument that we have to pay for higher education, however the experience and the reward achieved from university should never be taken away from those who cannot immediately afford it,” Josh warns.
A rise in tuition fees, which divides opinion amongst university vice-chancellors, for those in favour of it argues it is vital to counterbalance expected cuts in teaching grants in the Spending Review on October 20.
The NUS and University and College Union will lead a national student demo in Whitehall on November 10 called ‘Fund Our Future: Stop Education Cuts’, to influence the Coalition Government’s cuts and prevent degradation in education funding.