Wednesday, 9 February 2011


Cambridge University announced yesterday that they would be charging students tuition fees of almost the maximum of £9,000 per annum and that has been followed today by a similar announcement by Oxford University. I suspect that other Universities will soon be giving details of the amounts they intend to charge. When you add to the Tuition fees the amount students will need to borrow to cover living costs it is probable that they will leave at the end of three years owing in excess of £40,000. For any 18 year old contemplating university this is a daunting amount of debt and likely to put of many from homes with limited income despite the assurances that there will be grants available to assist them.

I was fortunate that when I went to Theological College I was generously funded by Hampshire County Council with a small top-up from Portsmouth Diocese. There would have been no way that I could have funded it myself and neither would I have been prepared, or able, to take a loan to pay tuition fees and living expenses. Both our children went to University and neither had to pay tuition fees although one of them needed to take a Student Loan which has only recently been fully repaid.

Of course, if you happen to live in Scotland, then no tuition fees are payable at their universities. So my question is this; if Scotland can afford to give students free university education why can’t England?

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