Students' letter of discontent protesting university top-up fees
Student leaders across the United Kingdom, affiliated with the National Union of Students (NUS) wrote this letter to the Guardian.
As student leaders we are appalled by Labour and Conservative attempts to duck difficult questions on student fees and finance at the next general election.
We are in no doubt that a review panel dominated by business and university leaders is designed to stitch up students with yet another inflation busting hike in tuition fees. Students will not stand for this.
Opinion polls conducted for the National Union of Students and lecturers’ union UCU consistently show that the overwhelming majority of the public are opposed to higher fees. Only twelve per cent of the general public believe this review should even consider raising our fees; when students entering university this autumn are set to graduate with debts in excess of £23,500 it is not hard to see why.
If Labour and Conservative leaders believe they can maintain their cosy consensus of silence until the general election and beyond they have another thing coming. Today we are descending on Parliament to demand that Labour and Conservative MP’s come clean on their stance. Any parliamentary candidate that does not sign the NUS pledge to vote against an increase in fees and support our calls for a fairer funding system will be named and shamed before polling day.
In 2005, the student vote made a significant difference in towns and cities across the UK. Our message is clear: candidates must vote with us, or students won’t vote for them.
The letter was signed by 153 student leaders. Visit the NUS here.