Cost of higher education in Plymouth Sutton and Devonport sparks debate in the House of Lords
In Parliament on Wednesday Tony Young, Shadow Higher Education Minister, voiced students in Plymouth Sutton & Devonport dissatisfaction at the Coalition's decision to treble-tuition fees. During a debate on higher education Lord Young referred to figures compiled by the Plymouth Labour Party which highlights the voting intentions of University of Plymouth's students.
Lord Young said:
"We need to ensure that our higher education system meets the needs of the country, and is challenging and sustainable. We want to make sure that it boosts the science base, diversifies student choice and brings universities and business together to deliver fast enough progress towards social mobility. It is a bit worrying that in Plymouth, for example, it has been estimated that only 10% of the university's 35,000-strong student population plans to use its vote in the upcoming elections. The reason often cited by this is the decision by the coalition to treble university tuition fees."
Luke Pollard, Labour's candidate in Plymouth Sutton and Devonport for next year's general election, responded:
"Students here tell me they feel betrayed and disheartened about the current scale of debt they face when choosing to pursue higher education. We all know who is responsible for the current situation.
"A new report out today from the Sutton Trust shows that students now will be paying back an additional £14,500 than students pre 2012, and furthermore, costs to the taxpayer are going up when only an estimated 55% of graduates ever pay back the loan in full.
"We all lose from this current trend. We need urgent action to ensure our higher education system is both fair and affordable."