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27 November 2019

Student Voice: The impacts of the General Election on education

Student Voice: The impacts of the General Election on education

“Have you registered to vote?”, a phrase frequently heard amongst the general public these days. However, many people might be unaware of who and what they are voting for, especially when they find out that those in education face an even greater impact than they think.  

Exponentially rising university tuition fees mean students come out of university with a huge debt, which quite frankly isn't the best start to working life as a new graduate. Let’s talk about the history of tuition fees. They were first introduced in September of 1998 under the Labour Government where students were required to pay £1000 per year. This act introduced a means-tested method payment for students depending on the salary their families earned. However, under the Higher Education Act 2004, universities were able to charge their students a variable fee of up to £3000 per year from the academic year starting 2006/2007; and since then, following the Independent Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance, fees were increased to £9000 per year resulting in student protests. 

Despite fees being introduced under the Labour Government, in this years election one of the main policies they have put forward is to ‘abolish status of private schools, scrap tuition fees and increase maintenance loans’ alongside the Green Party who also want to ‘scrap university fees’ opening doors for those who would like the opportunity of further study. The Conservative party have claimed that they will ‘freeze tuition fees’ compared to the Liberal Democrat party who don’t mention anything about the education system. 

This is an important aspect of the upcoming election for myself and my classmates as we look towards the future and our next steps after Ealing Independent College. Despite some students not being legal to vote, I urge you to discuss the topic with them because our vote will impact the future greatly!

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