Just over twenty years ago, higher education was free in the UK for any student who secured a place on a university course. Flash forward to today and students graduate with an average debt of £50,000. Critics claim this is wildly unfair and inhibits social mobility. Others claim that high fees improve equality. With both sides aiming to reduce inequality, why do the positions on implementing fees and reducing grants contradict each other?
No, the UK should make higher education free for students.
University education should be free for all to access. Education is a human right. The state has a duty to fund free higher education in its annual budget.
Free higher education improves social mobility
Charging for education excludes those who cannot pay for it.
Yes, the UK should charge for access to its higher education institutions.
Others believe that charging for education is the only certain way we can guarantee a constant source of funding for universities, and that it is fairer to only charge those who use the service for accessing it.
Making education free diminishes the quality
Without fees, the service universities can offer would be radically reduced.