Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/313/11645
How to beat top-up fees
OVER 100 MPs have signed 'early-day' motions opposing top-up fees. The bill to introduce top-up fees, to be published later this year, will face difficulties passing through parliament.
The MPs on the education select committee reject ministers' plans to let universities charge fees of up to £3,000 a year. However the MPs, led by Labour chairman Barry Sheerman, back the idea that low-interest rates on student loans should be scrapped and claim that the money raised by charging full interest could be used to provide higher grants to the poorest students.
Although we welcome higher grants for poorer students, we campaign against putting students in debt. At the moment one in six students drops out due to financial difficulties and many of those still in higher education are in low-paid casual jobs and will leave university with debts of over £15,000.
Even though 'rebellious' MPs will make it harder for Blairites to attack higher education without having to 'sex up' their plans to convince parliament, it is the opposition of the student movement standing together for 'Free Education and Full Grants for All' which will scrap fees and loans, and force the reintroduction of the full grant for all students.
Socialist Students and the Socialist Party put forward the only strategy to defeat fees once and for all - through organising a national campaign of mass non-payment of fees backed up with mass direct action to defend those not paying from expulsion.
This will not only force Blairites to scrap fees but will also show these 'rebellious' MPs what a students' rebellion could potentially mean.
In The Socialist 6 September 2003: