Karl McCartney: ‘There should be no limit on aspiration’

Karl McCartney, Tory PPC for Lincoln, tells University of Lincoln students why they should vote for him. This letter originally appeared in The Linc’s last print edition of this year, in March 2010.

The Higher Education debate, organised by the University of Lincoln and Bishop Grosseteste SU’s, was a great opportunity for the main political parties to discuss the important issues relating student funding.

Karl McCartney

Funding for education is an issue that ought to have been addressed in the last 14 years and certainly should be in the next Parliament.

The current economic state of nation and the skills shortage we are facing will have far reaching and negative effects on our nation’s economy and society’s well being. France and Germany have 50%+ and 60%+ educated and skilled workforces, whilst we have 28%.

The current Government’s solution has been to cut HE funding by nearly £500million this year with further 6% cuts planned for the next two years. By restricting funding and capping admission rates at 2008 levels, many who wish to study are denied this opportunity.

There should be no limit placed by government on an individual’s aspiration.

President Obama is increasing youth training and higher educational spending in the US by 38% because of the economic downturn, our current Labour Government is cutting spending and lowering expectation and places at a time when planning for economic and skilled workforce prosperity in the future is a must.

The proportion of young people going to university has scarcely changed in eight years. At the current rate, it would take Labour over a century to meet their 50 per cent target. So what will a Conservative Government do?:

• Introduce an early repayment bonus on student loans thus enabling more student places to be available
• Offer a fairer deal for part-time and mature students
• Create a clearer pathway from vocational routes into further and higher education.

Education should be available to all and there should be no barriers to aspiration. As I said recently in my closing remarks in the debate, my late Grandma always reminded my two brothers and I ‘nobody can take your education away from you.’

So to all students in Lincoln I would stress the need to take the opportunity you have to enjoy and fulfill your education needs and I trust and hope your future will be that much more enriched from your HE experiences as mine were.

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