By Emily Furness
A move to reduce university fees to £3,000 a year could be debated by Parliament after more than 130,00 people signed a petition, a majority of these being students. A First year student called Zahra Walji, started the petition.
Parliament must at least consider debating petitions that receive 100,000 signatures or more.
Izzy Adams, a first year student at Falmouth University, said: “If fees were to be reduced it would be unfair on the students that have had to pay £9,000 a year. However, it would make attending university more accessible for a majority of the population.”
Many students are put off applying to university due to the prospects of crippling debt and the discontinuation of maintenance grants last year.
Elle Kyd, a second year photography student at Falmouth university, said: “We should all start as equals and be given equal opportunities. As it stands financial pressures are making those with less money seriously reconsider their options, this deepening the class divide.”
University tuition fees were increased from £3,000 to £9,000 in 2012 when the government decided to transfer costs of education from the state to the student.
Will Wears, student-funding manager at Falmouth University, said: “It would be a useful debate to have to reduce the fees to £3,000. It’s important to remember that the fees that are charged to students can’t be really be looked at in isolation, it’s needed to be looked in the slightly larger picture as to what finding universities directly get from government.
“Such as money to pay for buildings and staff and all the other things that the £9,000 figure pays for would need to come from somewhere. If the full amount isn’t going to come from the student directly or a student loan, then is the government really going to step back in to pay that amount like they did prior to 2012.”
At the moment it is purely a debate but many students hope it will become an act of legislation.
Sign the petition here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/182953