1. The reality is that £6,000 fees will do little to reduce the enormous burden of debt facing students, who leave university with an average of over £40,000 to pay back. This debt grows year on year following graduation as interest accumulates, with many students unlikely to ever fully repay their debt.
2. Even if tuition fees were reduced to £6,000 per year Britain would still be amongst the most expensive places to go to university in Europe. In fact, in many countries across Europe, attending university is free. Last year Germany ended it’s experiment with tuition fees, showing once again that free education is possible and is simply a question of priorities.
3. The last time the Labour Party was in government in 2010 tuition fees were just over £3,000. Far from a radical step forward, the policy of £6,000 represents a doubling of Labour’s previous policy on fees.
4. It is not "too expensive" to fund free higher education - it is a question of priorities. In fact increasing investment in higher education would not only be socially just, it would also create jobs and stimulate the economy. If countries such as Germany can recognize the economic benefits of free education, why can’t Britain?
5. The next government could easily release billions to spend on education and other public services by reducing Britain’s military budget, which is one of the largest in the world with over £33 billion per year being spent on weapons and wars, in addition to the £100 billion being spent on Trident replacement. For just about a quarter of that it would be possible to abolish tuition fees altogether, as well as bring back the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) which gave tens of thousand of the poorest young people in our society the opportunity to access further education before it was scrapped by the Tories.
We have an alternative vision for a free, inclusive and progressive education – read more in our ‘Student Manifesto 2015’ here. Get involved in the Student Assembly Against Austerity today and help us build the movement for free education.