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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 September 2017

Tories in retreat - kick them out

Fight tuition fees

Socialist Students marching for free education, 19.11.16, photo James Ivens

Socialist Students marching for free education, 19.11.16, photo James Ivens   (Click to enlarge)

Ellen Kenyon Peers, Goldsmiths Socialist Students

News that Labour would win a parliamentary majority if a general election were held tomorrow has spurred on Tory chancellor Philip Hammond to produce a report recommending a £5,000 reduction in tuition fees over a three-year course.

This latest, embarrassing retreat by the Tories demonstrates how desperate they have become to maintain power.

But any reduction in fees will be welcomed by students and it's clear a big factor behind this is that the Tories fear a mass movement for free education.

The government has been under pressure on all fronts. Its justification for fees has been undermined, not least following the news of vast cash resources held by many universities.

The prohibitively expensive £9,250 a year maximum tuition fee has contributed to a drop in university applicants for the first time since fees were raised in 2012.

Inflation

The 6.1% interest rate for tuition fees disproportionately affects poorer students struggling to pay off the loan, as it rises with inflation. Better-off students who can repay it quickly gain the upper hand, even after entering the job market with the same qualification.

Students demonstrating in London, photo Isai Priya

Students demonstrating in London, photo Isai Priya   (Click to enlarge)

The interest rate includes an additional 3% on top of inflation which has never been fully explained by parliament.

This can add thousands to students' loan repayments once graduates have reached the relatively low £21,000 earnings threshold. All this while university vice-chancellors' pay averages over £270,000 a year.

Corbyn's left-leaning manifesto policies, including to immediately introduce free education, proved extremely popular with young people during the election, winning seats in former Tory strongholds like Canterbury.

But unfortunately since then Labour has refused to commit to cancelling student debt despite Jeremy Corbyn's hint during the election campaign that it would.

The Socialist Party and Socialist Students fight for abolishing tuition fees, cancelling student debt and a £10 an hour minimum wage to pave the way for a brighter future for young people.

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In The Socialist 20 September 2017:


Socialist Students

Fight tuition fees

Why do young people need socialism?


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Refreshing, anticapitalist - but little pointing a way forward

Interview: the "socialist John Le Carré"

The Socialist Inbox


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Fight for an alternative to the misery of capitalism

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East London summit fails to address housing crisis

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Related links:

Students:

triangleSocialist Students campaigns at Hull freshers fair

triangleMobilise mass student fightback

triangleStudents unite and fight - free education now!

triangleSchool students in solitary: for full funding, not exclusion!

triangleExam factories, cuts and violence - Fight for our future!

Tuition Fees:

triangleStudent leaders claim one million on the streets against Brexit - fight for a workers' exit

triangleStrike continues: set dates for next national action

triangleMobilise against rip-off executive pay

triangleSocialist Students day of action demands free education

Fees:

triangleLecturers strike around country in defence of pensions

triangleUni market 'failure', two-year degrees - end cuts, scrap fees!

triangleMarch for free education! We demand a future!

Tories:

triangleTUC congress Brexit debate: unions must lead fight for a general election

triangleTories in chaos - general election now!

Education:

triangleThe Socialist inbox

University:

triangleLeicester UCU fights redundancies

Young people:

triangle4m children in homes that can't afford fruit and veg

Student:

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Education - no fees, no cuts, no exam factory!

Socialist Students:

triangleProtesting Trump's visit - action around the country

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleBristol Socialist Party: Will Jeremy Corbyn be the next PM?

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