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From The Socialist newspaper, 19 April 2017

Joint struggle can stop tuition fee interest hike

Socialist Students contingent on 19 November NUS demo photo James Ivens, photo James Ivens

Socialist Students contingent on 19 November NUS demo photo James Ivens, photo James Ivens   (Click to enlarge)

Theo Sharieff-Winston, Nottingham Socialist Students

Millions of students and former students will be affected by an increase in interest rates on their student loans. The increase from 4.6% to 6.1% will mean that - even before graduating - students will face higher interest charges.

The plan follows an announcement by the Department for Education in February that it will sell loans taken out by students between 2002 and 2006 to private investors, who would be free to gamble on those debts in an even freer pursuit of profit.

All this spells is disaster for future generations of young people in Britain today. As working class students are increasingly deterred from entering higher education, current students and graduates are faced with the prospect of accruing thousands of pounds of debt before even entering the world of work.

The Intergenerational Foundation think-tank has highlighted that after graduating, students will be paying back much more than the cost of their degrees. Some are expected to pay back £54,000 on tuition fees alone at the current interest rate of 4.6%.

A fighting and militant student mobilisation lead by the National Union of Students, which links its struggle with workers - particularly teachers and support staff working within the universities - could push the government back.

The Socialist Party and Socialist Students demand the scrapping of all tuition fees; a halt to the privatisation of student debt and the cancellation of the debt; and free education for all students at every level.

Corbyn's Labour must take up these demands to distance itself from the Blairites' legacy of introducing tuition fees, as part of presenting the most effective electoral challenge to the Tories.

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In The Socialist 19 April 2017:


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