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NUS Tuition Fees Protest

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
BBC story

Did anybody else go? And what do you think about the government lifting the cap, or about students having to pay £3,000?

I don't know if I'd have gone to uni if I had to pay £3,000 and I certainly wouldn't go if I had to pay more than that. It's just ridiculous...

We're in enough debt as it is and as somebody who probably won't end up in a high paying job (i.e. I'll probaby work in the charity sector) I'll have this debt hanging over me, the second I get a graduate job and will be there when I (attempt to) get a mortgage, get married, have kids and so on. So why do the governmen -most of whom did not pay for their degree- believe that they cannot afford to fund education?

Our doctors for example went to university, business wo/men, lecturers, people in environmental health, engineers... Why should these people only be those from well off backgrounds? Shouldn't they be the best of the best, not the most affluent?

Why can't we afford free, or at least cheaper secondary education, even if this means making university harder to get into? Where are our funds going? Iraq? Overpaid MPs?
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    BBC story

    Did anybody else go? And what do you think about the government lifting the cap, or about students having to pay £3,000?

    Its about time.
    Why should these people only be those from well off backgrounds? Shouldn't they be the best of the best, not the most affluent?

    They aren't. Tuition fees are payed back after graduation. The immediate burden on students is less than under the old system and they have also increased grants to the less well of.

    Why can't we afford free, or at least cheaper secondary education, even if this means making university harder to get into? Where are our funds going? Iraq? Overpaid MPs?

    Secondary education is free...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The system is just as unfair as before- those on middle incomes get shafted on both sides. Fees go up but because they're not "poor" they get none of the bursaries.

    On the subject of bursaries, I fail to see why the poor should get extra help when the fees are paid after graduation. A person with poor parents who gets a better job than me pays less back- how exactly is that fair? A typical sop to the poor who normally vote Labour, that's what it is, and as usual those who worked to earn more get shafted.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    NUS wrote:
    Shockingly, average graduate debt is forecast to be £44,000 by 2023.
    They don't cite a source, annoyingly, but I got it from here.

    The point is, tertiary education is not "free", because it's full-time and you can't earn any decent amount of money whilst you're doing it, it's a major financial sacrifice but it's also a means to an end.

    The fact that since top-up fees were introduced in September university admissions fell for the first time in almost a decade is indicative of the fact that people are scared of the increased cost of university, and it will price some excellent students out of the market.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The mis-representation of top-up fees is what has done that- now you don't have to find £1000 before you start, but get to pay at the end. That's better for most people who find it hard to find £1000 out of nowhere.

    The big problem is debt owed to commercial lenders, because that prevents people getting their own house, and can drag people below the waterline before they even start work. All bursaries should be withdrawn and the student loan should be increased to at least the Government's own poverty line (which is about £45 a week), plus extra money for books and supplies. At least then the people will only owe money to a non-commercial lender, and it will come out of salary only when they can afford to pay it back.

    I owe about £4000 from my uni days, excluding student loan, and the interest payments for that are high. That is where the real problem lies.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    NUS wrote:
    Shockingly, average graduate debt is forecast to be £44,000 by 2023.

    In nominal terms no doubt.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote:
    The system is just as unfair as before- those on middle incomes get shafted on both sides. Fees go up but because they're not "poor" they get none of the bursaries.

    On the subject of bursaries, I fail to see why the poor should get extra help when the fees are paid after graduation. A person with poor parents who gets a better job than me pays less back- how exactly is that fair? A typical sop to the poor who normally vote Labour, that's what it is, and as usual those who worked to earn more get shafted.


    im happy to have fees for university, as long as it's affordable fees, hell even a graduation tax would be better as those who dont go into 25k/year jobs will never pay back their loan due to interest anyway - i won't at the rate i'm going on a very average 18k a year job
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote:
    The system is just as unfair as before- those on middle incomes get shafted on both sides. Fees go up but because they're not "poor" they get none of the bursaries.

    On the subject of bursaries, I fail to see why the poor should get extra help when the fees are paid after graduation. A person with poor parents who gets a better job than me pays less back- how exactly is that fair? A typical sop to the poor who normally vote Labour, that's what it is, and as usual those who worked to earn more get shafted.

    You've hit the nail on the head. The top-up system, ostensibly introduced as a method of allowing more people access to education, is an absolute farce. Low income families still get bursaries thrown at them like money is going out of fashion; middle income families, as usual, get shafted; high income families don’t feel the pinch.

    Everyone but the student wins with a top-up fee system. The universities make more money, the loans company makes more money and the government moves closer to meet its idiotic self-imposed higher education targets. The country, however, suffers a glut of basket-weaving and media studies graduates, who are all massively in debt.

    “PAY NOTHING NOW!” screams the idiot box.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    im happy to have fees for university, as long as it's affordable fees, hell even a graduation tax would be better as those who dont go into 25k/year jobs will never pay back their loan due to interest anyway - i won't at the rate i'm going on a very average 18k a year job

    On an 18k job just paying back the standard rate on your student loan means the loan goes up.

    It's unsettling how often the proposed solution to a problem is to give the government our money.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote:
    On the subject of bursaries, I fail to see why the poor should get extra help when the fees are paid after graduation.

    Absolutely.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Top up fees are one things, the way they are being implemented are quite another.

    My nextdoor neighbour and I are on the same course, from very similar family backgrounds and will probably go into fairly similar jobs. Yet her fees are half what mine are (and this is pre top up) because her parents are now retired (thus have a lower income). We are both going to pay it back off our salaries when we graduate so I completely fail to see how this is a fair system.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote:
    The system is just as unfair as before- those on middle incomes get shafted on both sides. Fees go up but because they're not "poor" they get none of the bursaries.

    It's shit really.

    I didn't go to the NUS things as I'm not a member this year, they can fuck off, charging £10 for the NUS card. It's supposed to be free!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    We are both going to pay it back off our salaries when we graduate so I completely fail to see how this is a fair system.

    Exactly.

    And even if she becomes an investment banker earning £500,000 a year she won't have to pay back the amount you do, even if you earn £16,000 a year as an admin assistant.

    That isn't fair. It's a sop to the stupid scuffers who traditionally vote Labour, nothing more. It makes you wonder why any employed person in their right mind would vote for Blair and Brown.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's shit really.

    I didn't go to the NUS things as I'm not a member this year, they can fuck off, charging £10 for the NUS card. It's supposed to be free!

    Can you not be a member without one of those cards? I'm fairly sure I am and I haven't shelled out for one of their daft cards. My union are making their own cards, which seem to be as good as the £10 NUS ones round here.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I prefer it like this.

    I get £1400 per year bursary from the university.
    £1800 per year grant from the government.
    £3k tuition fees are covered by student loan company.
    £3200 per year maintenence loan too.

    Before I'd have to be forking up a lot more cash out of my pocket, yet now the government pays for a substantial amount of it. Pretty cool. There's also a slim chance I might get this sholarship thingy, doubt it though :p but 2 maths students per year from low income backgrounds get it.

    But I kinda agree that its not a fair system, because I have the same 'disposable income' as a lot of people, but on paper our household income is £4800 a year. But we're managing to make payments on a £100k interest only mortgage every month :p *somehow*

    The system is broke, so I may as well take advantage of the free cash!

    edit: put grant instead of loan!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You are doing well out of the new system!

    Liking that, now all I have to do is find a way to make it work for me..... :chin:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I prefer it like this.

    I get £1400 per year bursary from the university.
    £1800 per year grant from the government.
    £3k tuition fees are covered by student loan company.
    £3200 per year maintenence grant too.

    That is insane; I left university financially crippled. If my rudimentary calculations are correct, going to university was actually profitable for you?

    What an utterly back-to-front world we live in.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i think people should have to pay fees (those who can't afford it get them paid anyway) but i don't agree with the top up fees malarky.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i think people should have to pay fees (those who can't afford it get them paid anyway) but i don't agree with the top up fees malarky.

    No ones fees need to be paid by the government. It's a fallacy to claim they do. If you want to go to university but can't pay your fees upfront, then they should be paid for you and tacked onto your student loan.

    Paying your fees back with your student loan is a good idea. Effectively doubling tuition costs, that's just pure greed.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The thing that pisses me off about this whole thing is that whilst the government doesn't have enough money to give more grants to poorer students, it finds £10-30 a week to give to a college student who still lives with their parents, which in my experience, 9 times out of 10 goes on things like CD's and clothes rather than supplies for your course. God knows what they teach nowadays, but when I was in college less than 4 years ago, no-one had to fork out £30 a week to do their course. And it seems strange that you would cost your parents an extra £120 living costs per month by making the jump from school to college.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I am not entitled to any grants because my Mum remarried a night nurse and we are just over the annual income that would allow us a grant... So I live off a loan which barely covers my accomodation, let alone my tuition fees...

    I have to work on top of university (although I love my job) and this gives me money to eat and go out. A friend of mine works 35 hours a week, another has 3 jobs (I think he still has 3) and a friend of a friend has joined an escourt agency to be able to pay to live...

    Maybe a few students do get it good, but a lot don't.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    That is insane; I left university financially crippled. If my rudimentary calculations are correct, going to university was actually profitable for you?

    What an utterly back-to-front world we live in.

    Sorry, I messed up a bit and wrote grant instaed of loan. Each year I will receive in total:

    £6,200 loan
    £2,200 grant

    so after three years that's: £18,600 debt to SLC and £6,600 cash which I will have spent on living costs etc. I expect much of this to still be in my bank account etc.

    Also, if I spend into my overdraft (which will be difficult tbh) then I can just apply for a hardship grant and am likely to get it due to my income 'grade' or whatever. My brother applied for one as he had an overdraft and received £500 cash in hand.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The thing that pisses me off about this whole thing is that whilst the government doesn't have enough money to give more grants to poorer students, it finds £10-30 a week to give to a college student who still lives with their parents, which in my experience, 9 times out of 10 goes on things like CD's and clothes rather than supplies for your course. God knows what they teach nowadays, but when I was in college less than 4 years ago, no-one had to fork out £30 a week to do their course. And it seems strange that you would cost your parents an extra £120 living costs per month by making the jump from school to college.

    It can cost quite alot - well, it has for me. Mainly because I need various stuff for my placement (clothes mainly, tbh) and stuff for my course. Then there's having to pay the stupid bus fare.

    I do understand what you're trying to say though. TBH, even if I didn't get this money, I would've still ended up staying on and would've just had to have found a way of finding money for the stuff I need.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What also bothers me about these stupid, stupid top up fees is that the university can just charge what they want, up to 3 grand (as far as I am aware). I don't know what the universitys are charging but I know that if I had had to pay 3 grand for my course I wouldn't have done it.

    This is simply because mine, and many many other courses, have very few hours of tuition. I have on average 6-8 hours. And I know people in there third year that have less than 4 hours.
    So basically, what the fuck is it I'd be paying 3 grand for? It is by far not a fair price for 6 hours tuition a week. And then theres the incredibly short university terms. And it's not like I get all my books included in the price, that's another few hundred quid a year on top. Really, it is plain robbery on the part of the university, and the government for letting them do it.

    Then I'd think that maybe it's fair enough that those who are in lessons all day every day pay a high price, because at least they are somewhat getting there moneys worth. But the people with these courses are (often) on the courses that will provide us with teachers, doctors etc. So then it really isn't fair they pay such a high price when they will eventually contribute so much to society.

    Right, rant over I think. Fuckin top up fees are one of labours stupidest ideas yet. Debt after uni is high enough as it is. Hopefully when the amount of people applying to university drops each year, so will the fees.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    No ones fees need to be paid by the government. It's a fallacy to claim they do. If you want to go to university but can't pay your fees upfront, then they should be paid for you and tacked onto your student loan.

    Paying your fees back with your student loan is a good idea. Effectively doubling tuition costs, that's just pure greed.


    i never said they did.

    it annoys me when people get their fees paid for them and don't attend lectures/seminars or make an effort in them when they do attend.

    surely they should make everyone pay now that they're repayable with the rest of the loan?? or do they already?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Nope they don't that is mine (and many others) main gripe.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    have to agree with you there seeing as the loans are only payable once YOU earn over £18k a year (that's what it is now, isn't it?) - therefore shouldn't be dependent on parental income.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    This is simply because mine, and many many other courses, have very few hours of tuition. I have on average 6-8 hours. And I know people in there third year that have less than 4 hours.
    So basically, what the fuck is it I'd be paying 3 grand for? It is by far not a fair price for 6 hours tuition a week. And then theres the incredibly short university terms. And it's not like I get all my books included in the price, that's another few hundred quid a year on top. Really, it is plain robbery on the part of the university, and the government for letting them do it.
    I've got to say that I wouldn't have as much of a problem paying full price for my course if I knew that all of the money was going towards running it, rather than subsidising the less popular courses. In our university, our Film and TV course was put in the same department as drama. Our course contributed 70% of the income to the department, yet drama was given a far bigger budget. Their students were given cash to spend on all of their practical work, whilst the film students had to come up with their own money. The equipment we had was okay, but obviously they'll never run out of things that they could improve if they spend more money on them.

    Obviously you expect government subsidies for courses with high costs and high demand for graduates, like the sciences. But for other courses, I would expect that the money I pay to the university is being spent on my education, not on subsidising someone elses.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    with the hefty top-up fees i assumed lecturers would benefit from it - but i asked one of mine and he said they don't - i got the impression he wasn't lying too.

    the universal agreement among the room at the time was that in our case the top-up fees had gone to fund the building of err.. some new buildings.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's shit really.

    I didn't go to the NUS things as I'm not a member this year, they can fuck off, charging £10 for the NUS card. It's supposed to be free!
    Are you sure that's not for NUS Extra? You should be a member of NUS by virtue of belonging to an affiliated SU. NUS Extra is a rant I will launch into some other time, though, be warned...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Double post. THAT's how much I hate NUS Extra :p
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