Southampton MP John Denham says he is winning the battle to end the £9,000-per-year tutition fee system

Daily Echo: John Denham wants to end the £9,000-per-year university tuition fee system John Denham wants to end the £9,000-per-year university tuition fee system

SOUTHAMPTON MP John Denham says he is winning his battle to rip up the “scandalous” system of £9,000-a-year tuition fees.

Key voices across the political spectrum now believe the policy is “broken”

and must be reformed, the Southampton Itchen MP said.

Mr Denham has proposed a shakeup that would redirect the cash being spent on writing off soaring amounts of unpayable debt from fees and maintenance loans.

A three-year degree would cost below £10,000 – the same as when Labour left office – while a more intensive two-year degree would cost around £5,000, under the plan.

And there would also be degrees cosponsored by one’s existing employer, allowing 50,000 would-be graduates to leave university free of debt.

Ed Miliband is taking a keen interest in the blueprint put forward by Mr Denham, a former secretary of state for universities under Gordon Brown.

Now Labour has confirmed it will fight next year’s general election on a pledge to scrap £9,000-a-year fees, possibly with a new maximum of £6,000.

And there is growing alarm about official projections that debt writeoffs mean the current system will soon be costing the taxpayer more than the one it replaced.

Mr Denham said: “I’m very encouraged that everyone now recognises what I was saying in January – that the tuition fee system is unsustainable.

We need to deal with what is a scandalous waste of public money at the moment – leading to students taking on much higher debts.”

For every £1 invested on teaching in universities, £7.50 is being spent on cancelling students’ debts, Mr Denham’s research has found.

Of the £14.6bn a year spent on paying loans to students, only £8bn will be recouped – leaving the taxpayer to find the other £6.6bn.

Mr Denham has been invited to present his proposals to the all-party parliamentary group on universities next week.

However, Labour is also still examining whether to dump fees in favour of a graduation tax – the policy advocated by Mr Miliband, during the Labour leadership race.

Party insiders say it could be the end of the year before a firm policy emerges, although many Labour MPs are agitating for clarity by the autumn. Meanwhile, the Conservatives could allow elite universities to hike fees further – if they meet strict conditions on o f f e r i n g places to s t u d e n t s from poorer families.

Comments (7)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

11:28am Thu 3 Apr 14

userds5050 says...

Lol. It was his government that introduced top up fees.
Lol. It was his government that introduced top up fees. userds5050
  • Score: 2

3:45pm Thu 3 Apr 14

WalkingOnAWire says...

There is nothing wrong with top-up fees as a principle, just not at these current prohibitive levels which the Conservatives have implemented. And the Lib Dems in government broke their pre-election promise not to increase the fees, which is why they cannot be trusted again.
There is nothing wrong with top-up fees as a principle, just not at these current prohibitive levels which the Conservatives have implemented. And the Lib Dems in government broke their pre-election promise not to increase the fees, which is why they cannot be trusted again. WalkingOnAWire
  • Score: 5

4:34pm Thu 3 Apr 14

03alpe01 says...

Best of luck to him. Many have been put off University due to the rise in tution fees.
Best of luck to him. Many have been put off University due to the rise in tution fees. 03alpe01
  • Score: 1

6:32pm Thu 3 Apr 14

loosehead says...

Before Labour won power with Tony Blair University Education was free it was Labour that introduced fees.
Now unless you're all saying every Student is going to leave Uni & get a £30,000 a year job then who's actually going to pay the fees?
Only when ex students start to earn over £30,000 will they start to pay the fees under Labour did they have to pay straight away?
It's a bit rich of Denham Also Labour to promise to cut or stop tuition fees as this was a Labour Scheme to charge students wasn't it?
One idea was to try to stop students wasting public money on hair brained course or Mickey Mouse courses & if it's done that great.
At my gym is a guy who decided that wasting a few years at uni getting legless was a waste of time & thanks to the fees went & got an apprenticeship he's now in a well paid job & he admits Uni was just an excuse to party.
Before Labour won power with Tony Blair University Education was free it was Labour that introduced fees. Now unless you're all saying every Student is going to leave Uni & get a £30,000 a year job then who's actually going to pay the fees? Only when ex students start to earn over £30,000 will they start to pay the fees under Labour did they have to pay straight away? It's a bit rich of Denham Also Labour to promise to cut or stop tuition fees as this was a Labour Scheme to charge students wasn't it? One idea was to try to stop students wasting public money on hair brained course or Mickey Mouse courses & if it's done that great. At my gym is a guy who decided that wasting a few years at uni getting legless was a waste of time & thanks to the fees went & got an apprenticeship he's now in a well paid job & he admits Uni was just an excuse to party. loosehead
  • Score: 0

9:37am Fri 4 Apr 14

skeptik says...

Gladly see engineers, chemists, medicine and science degree monies reimbursed or struck out for those working in domestic jobs after say 10 years. law, media studies and other degrees that are not essential to the nation can still be paid for by the present system.
Gladly see engineers, chemists, medicine and science degree monies reimbursed or struck out for those working in domestic jobs after say 10 years. law, media studies and other degrees that are not essential to the nation can still be paid for by the present system. skeptik
  • Score: 0

11:43am Fri 4 Apr 14

loosehead says...

skeptik wrote:
Gladly see engineers, chemists, medicine and science degree monies reimbursed or struck out for those working in domestic jobs after say 10 years. law, media studies and other degrees that are not essential to the nation can still be paid for by the present system.
Everyone knows there are mickey mouse courses & just a way for these people to party it's common knowledge so I totally agree with you
[quote][p][bold]skeptik[/bold] wrote: Gladly see engineers, chemists, medicine and science degree monies reimbursed or struck out for those working in domestic jobs after say 10 years. law, media studies and other degrees that are not essential to the nation can still be paid for by the present system.[/p][/quote]Everyone knows there are mickey mouse courses & just a way for these people to party it's common knowledge so I totally agree with you loosehead
  • Score: 1

2:52pm Fri 4 Apr 14

Shoong says...

loosehead wrote:
skeptik wrote:
Gladly see engineers, chemists, medicine and science degree monies reimbursed or struck out for those working in domestic jobs after say 10 years. law, media studies and other degrees that are not essential to the nation can still be paid for by the present system.
Everyone knows there are mickey mouse courses & just a way for these people to party it's common knowledge so I totally agree with you
Indeed - we should have a generation of Sociology experts by now.
[quote][p][bold]loosehead[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]skeptik[/bold] wrote: Gladly see engineers, chemists, medicine and science degree monies reimbursed or struck out for those working in domestic jobs after say 10 years. law, media studies and other degrees that are not essential to the nation can still be paid for by the present system.[/p][/quote]Everyone knows there are mickey mouse courses & just a way for these people to party it's common knowledge so I totally agree with you[/p][/quote]Indeed - we should have a generation of Sociology experts by now. Shoong
  • Score: 2

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree