“In higher education as with energy and water, we will not tackle the Tories’ failed economy by tweaking around the edges… what is needed is wholesale replacement of the failed market model in higher education.”
In an announcement in The Times this morning, explained in more detail (though not much!) by Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson, the Labour Leadership confirmed its ditching of tuition fees and offered its first suggestion for an alternative system – cutting monthly graduate repayments.
Labour Students Vice-Chair Fabiha Askari reiterated the group’s demand for Labour to instead commit to tuition fee abolition; the National Labour Students Committee overwhelmingly passed a motion for free education.
Momentum is campaigning for free education, from the National Policy Forum to Conference.
The UCU also criticised Starmer for backtracking on his 2020 pledge to abolish tuition fees
Earlier this week Vice Chancellors called the UK universities funding system ‘broken’ – Labour has offered nothing about replacing it
Fabiha Askari, Vice-Chair of the National Labour Students Committee: “Tuition fees were introduced to ‘level the playing field,’ but as the last two manifestos acknowledged, the experiment has failed. When Labour committed itself to abolishing tuition fees in 2017, hundreds of thousands of students flocked to the Labour Party. As more young people find themselves disillusioned with Westminster politics, Labour should make commitments that seek to build a broad coalition of voters to kick out the Tories and their failed policies.”
A Momentum spokesperson said: “Once again we are seeing a worrying poverty of ambition from the Labour Leadership. The proposed cuts to repayments will still leave young people facing mountains of debts, even as they already struggle with sky-high rents. In higher education as with energy and water, we will not tackle the Tories’ failed economy by tweaking around the edges. Instead, as recognised by the UCU and Labour’s own student wing, what is needed is wholesale replacement of the failed market model in higher education, the abolition of tuition fees and the restoration of maintenance grants.”