Union says £9,000 fees will deter students – particularly mature ones – from applying


UNISON has condemned the government’s decision to allow universities to treble tuition fees – saying the coalition fails to understand either the wider benefit higher education has to our society, or the disproportionate impact these increases will have on mature students and those from poorer backgrounds.

The fee increase – to a maximum of £9,000 a year – comes into force today.

UNISON head of education Jon Richards said: “We do not accept the government’s argument that the trebling of tuition fees won’t put students off, because payment is deferred.

“We have already seen university applications fall following the announcement of higher tuition fees. With characteristic disregard for diversity, this government fails to see the impact these increases will have on mature students – the group for whom applications have dropped most dramatically – many of whom are low earners, and for whom the repayment of these massive debts will come much sooner.

“This government’s failure to fund higher education not only devalues universities and their students, but shows a grim misunderstanding of higher education’s wider benefit to our society, our economy and our culture.”

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