• Guest Post: “What tuition fees means to me”– Sophie Bertrand


    Since I was in primary school I’ve always known that I wanted to go to university. And more recently I’ve been well aware that without going to university, the chances of me getting the jobs I want are very slim.

    Now, more than ever, competition in the job market is fierce and, unfortunately, you need that piece of paper telling a prospective employer what sort of education you’ve had – if at all! 

    So this year I have been building up my CV and getting the work experience and qualifications I need to apply for University. The thought of paying £3,250 a year in fees wasn’t encouraging, but I could just about manage that. Even a small increase in fees would have been bearable, but yesterday my local MP, Penny Mordaunt voted to increase tuition fees by 177%. This means that what I would have paid for 3 years of tuition could now be what I have to pay each and every year of my studies.

    She hides behind the excuse that it is not paid ‘up front’ and I don’t have to repay it unless I have a job. Does she think I am studying just to do nothing? By the time I leave university and get a job I will be lumbered with a £30,000 – £40,000 debt. One that I will probably be repaying for most of my life. That is not fair. Apparently every type of debt in the country should be reduced except student debt!

    The Government keep telling me that I will be "paying less in a month that you would under the current system" as if that is an excuse. If the bill for my phone contract went up enormously but I only had to pay £5 a month, I’d still be livid. I’d just be paying it off for longer!

    To punish young people for wanting to further themselves by burdening them with mountains of debt is not fair.

    It has been my dream for so long to go on to University.
    I have the ability, I have the will but I simply don’t have the money.

    By voting to increase university tuition fees yesterday Penny Mordaunt told me that I don’t deserve to go to University. She sent me the message that university is only open to the rich, who can afford to take on debts.

    Sophie Bertrand