Many University of Lincoln students have rejected Lord Browne’s proposals for university funding, labelling it “ridiculous”, “dangerous”, and “unfair” amongst other words — while also warning Lincoln’s MP not to betray them.
Zoe Davis, a psychology student, had stern words for Karl McCartney, Lincoln’s Tory MP: “I think Karl should support the students. Lincoln’s full of students and he could lose a lot of support.”
She added: “[Browne’s report] is an absolute disgrace. Students can’t afford to pay whatever universities want them to.”
Dave Stanley, a second-year politics and international relations student, said: “Remember Karl [McCartney], you only won by a 1,000 votes.” Gavin Hosem, a business and management student, says: “Don’t let [Browne’s recommendations] pass, Karl.”
With over 10,000 students in Lincoln, a 1,000 votes could knock McCartney from victory in the next general election.
Huseyin Kishi, a second-year journalism and politics student, says: “Education clearly isn’t a priority for the government.” He claims that the idea is an attack on poorer society, and pandering to those from well-off backgrounds.
Under the scheme, Kishi says: “If you pay the most, you get the most valuable degree.” While Phillip Harvey, a first-year law student, says that the country is at risk of “establishing a two-tier system for education”.
Kate Denny, a criminology and psychology student said: “I think it’s ridiculous.” Alex Turner, who studies business and PR, sys: “Keep the cap on tuition fees.”
The proposals have been made to inject competition into Britain’s education system, which could have a negative effect on Lincoln. Harvey suggests the university is “doing well because it charges similar fees to other universities”.
This point is echoed by another student, Alice Harper-Tarr: “The university would suffer… no one would pay £10,000 a year to come here.”
The fate of future university students now lies in the hands of Parliament.
Some students, however, don’t feel Browne’s report is as bad as suggested. Scott Wheeler, the president of the University of Lincoln Debating Society, opposes the idea that a two-tier system will emerge. He says: “I don’t think we’re going to have a situation where the rich go to uni and the poor don’t.”
Nick Carey, a third-year politics student, said: “The idea that universities will out-price students is absurd.” Ruth Brown, who studies psychology, says: “If we have higher tuition fees, it will mean less competition for [professional] jobs.”
Karl McCartney said: “Lord Browne’s report was commissioned by Labour, as required to do by legislation and supported by the Conservatives in opposition, to find ways of address the ‘black hole’ in higher education funding. The current system of funding for higher education is no longer fit for purpose. Any new funding settlement must promote world class competitiveness in teaching and research, with better quality for students.
“Generally our nation’s finances are in a parlous state due to the fiscal policies of the last Labour government. We all know that regardless of the nation’s financial economic cycle position, the system of funding for higher education in our country could not be sustained in its current format.
“I, like my party, welcome the report. The business secretary has already said stated that a pure graduate tax, as proposed by Ed Miliband and rejected by Lord Browne, is not the right vehicle to reform higher education as it fails both the tests of fairness and deficit reduction. The government remains committed to a progressive system of graduate contributions, which will be announced shortly.”Tweet