Brent: Anger at proposals to raise university tuition fees

Students and teachers have slammed proposals to lift the cap on university tuition fees

Students and teachers have reacted angrily to a Government sponsored report proposing to lift the cap on university fees.

A review by Lord Browne calls for the current �3,290 annual cap on fees to be lifted, allowing universities to charge up to �12,000 for a degree course, and that graduates would start repayments once they earn �21,000.

But students and teachers roundly condemned the proposals, which they said would saddle students with an unaffordable level of debt which would deter poorer students from applying to university.

Adeel Hussain, 17, an A level student at Copland Community School in Cecil Avenue, Wembley, said: “I was talking to other students at school about it and we feel that we will be badly hit by rising tuition fees.”

“We understand that we are in a dire economic state because of the deficit, but when cuts affect you, you start to realise the reality behind the headlines.”

Adeel is still plans to apply to study politics and international relations at university, but said that many of his friends are thinking twice about going to university after the announcement.

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He said: “One of my friends said she might as well find a job rather than go to university and get into thousands of pounds of debt.

“People are guessing at whether they will be eligible for grants, but we just don’t know.”

Vicki Fagg, principal at the College of North West London, which has campuses in Willesden, Wembley and Kilburn, said: “Ms Fagg said: “After hearing Lord Browne’s proposals students are wondering what the point of going to university is.

“How can they pay back �20,000 of debt, if not more, when there seems to be no chance of getting a job at the end of it at the moment?

“Rising tuition fees are certainly concerning and the estimated figures of potential debt will alarm a number of students all over the country let alone in Brent where there are areas of high social deprivation.”

Many youngsters may decide not to apply to university, or opt for shorter, cheaper vocational courses, to avoid leaving education with tens of thousands of pounds of debt, she added.

Sarah Teather, the Lib Dem MP for Brent Central and education minster, was unavailable for comment on the proposals.