One of my first introductions to politics was seeing Nick Clegg on TV explaining how he would fight to bring back free tuition fees.
Then came the general election, Nick Clegg promised to the voters and the student unions that he would ensure tuition fees did not go up.
"Students face tuition fees rising to £9,000" -BBC 3rd of November 2010
Since when did a promise of no increase in tuition fees become a triple in tuition fees... apparently Nick Clegg can't count! He might be one of an increasing number who struggle with math’s in the coming years thanks to the education cuts, so much for being the party of the young.
But was does £9000 tuition fees mean?
Basic macro economic principals states that the supply side of the economy made up of Land, Labour, Capital and Enterprise. Tony Blair famously said: "education, education, education" were the 3 most important things. By improving education he work force (Labour) improves and as such the economy experiences real growth. Increasing tuition fees makes no sense! It is cutting the long term in favour of the short term, in the long term to quote Maynard Keynes we really will be dead at this rate. This is contractionary supply-side policy which could result in negative economic growth... The theory that increased debt will not deter students is not valid at all! From asking around collage it really has had an impact on people considering university. It seems double standards to make a large issue out of government debt (which is not a main economic objective) then expect households not to be bothered.
To blame the universities would be folly teaching grants have been cut by 80% and budgets for research have gone down as well, universities have had to increase their fees. To strengthen the economy we should be investing in our universities not the opposite!
My opinion, it makes no economic sense. But is it fair? No! Is it progressive? NO! Is it politically wise? NO if your a lib dem.
The repercussions have already been felt by the conservative party, mainly on their HQ window panes.. although there is much more to come!
As for the Lib dems, its safe to say they have lost the key youth vote and the NUS are hot on their backs for betraying them. Even talking of hitting MPs with the book!
Could it be ulterior motives? A very cynical view would be to say the conservatives are attempted to reverse history and once again make higher education for the 'elite'.
Even those who will not have to pay the high rate for the first year (and hopefully the rest) are still feeling the pain by increased demand for 2011 places... offers are more demanding