Increasing University Tuition Fees – A Step in the Wrong Direction?

There has been a recent legislation pushed through by parliament implementing another increase to university fees. Despite the outrage that came with the last decision of escalating the university fees by up to a third, the decision has gone ahead to allow universities to increase their maximum fee to £9,250 per year. Naturally, there are many people who disagree with this decision.

Ensuring High Quality Teaching for Higher Payments

One of the primary reasons behind increasing the fees was to ensure high quality teaching within universities. The framework of this proposal will not be put into place until the year 2020, despite university fees increasing this year (2017). Good quality teaching seems to be an acceptable reason for a fee increase, but it leads to question; what have previous students been paying for, if not for high quality education? If the quality of teaching needs to be measured to ensure it is acceptable, why has this not been done sooner? The framework for the ‘teaching excellence regime’ does not currently exist according to an article from The BBC (2016). The quality of education within other sectors, such as primary and secondary, has a structure that is strict and consistently monitored. The involvement of Ofsted can be so persistent and overbearing for teachers in primary and secondary education that many teachers and staff complain that it has gone too far. Whereas, Universities undergo checks from the Quality Assurance Agency, but overall are independent in ensuring the quality of their school and their teaching. With this in mind, it could be argued that it is unfair for future students to have to pay an extra fee to ensure quality teaching, when all students should have already been entitled to it.

Political Promises

With the Snap Election almost upon us, there are many optimistic policies being promised to the public, with numerous policies involving the education sector. A recent statement from the Labour party insists they will scrap university fees ‘once and for all’ if they were to win in next month’s general election. The decrease of university fees has been a consistent promise offered by the leader of the Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn. Many critics insist that this policy will not be a positive step towards mending a broken economy. However, according to an article by The Independent, Labour plans on ‘undoing the Conservative plans to cut corporation tax to 17% by 2020 and instead raising it to 26%. This would still make the tax lower than many other countries across the European Union.

The Conservative party on the other hand, emitted the increase in university fees for students this year. Despite this, they insist they are still aiming for a strong and secure future for young people. According to their Economic Long Term Plan they have created over 2.2 million new apprenticeship opportunities since 2010. Apprenticeships for some students may be the next step forward if they are not interested in or cannot afford the fees to go to university.

Have Your Say

If you have anything to say about the increase of university fees or the June Snap Election, let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

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