The Tories’ lies about tuition fees not deterring working class students



Sneakily ignoring the fact that around 20% of, typically less well-off, Scottish entrants to higher education did so through direct-entry schemes with local further education colleges, Tory politicians and media swallowed the Tory government line that tuition fees were not deterring working-class students from attending universities in England and that Scottish students were less likely to attend universities. See, for example:

‘Higher fees don’t mean fewer working class students – look at the UK for proof’

The above headline in the Guardian of May 2014 was followed by these as evidence:

‘A study by the UCL Institute of Education compared attitudes of people considering applying to university in England in 2002 and 2015. During this time tuition fees increased from about £1,100 per year to £9,000……Researchers found that young people in general had become accustomed to higher fees.’

‘Researchers from the Centre for Research on Learning and Life Chances, based at the institute in London, examined the results of two surveys of potential university applicants either side of significant increases in fees. Young people in the 2015 survey had become more ready to accept student debt, seeing it as a necessary part of getting a degree. Women, in particular, were ready to believe that borrowing to go to university was a good investment.’

However recent research from UCL in London has put paid to these early indications that students had been just been left with little choice in the matter at the time. According to lead researcher, Professor Claire Callender:

Working-class young people are far more likely than students from other social classes to avoid applying to university because of debt fears…. even when poorer youngsters had the same exam results, they were less likely to apply to university than wealthier ones.’

See more on this at:


One thought on “The Tories’ lies about tuition fees not deterring working class students

  1. macgilleleabhar June 4, 2017 / 3:46 pm

    Like health I believe monetising education and knowledge is barbaric. It is also wasteful and I know of no better proof of that than the educationist and author of a book I am belatedly reading now. Imagine the loss , as one example,if RF MacKenzie , the son of a railway worker,had not been able to go onto higher education through lack of finance?

    Liked by 3 people

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