Today I signed a pledge to voters that if elected, I will vote against any increase in university tuition fees in the next parliament. Students from the University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University and Liverpool Hope University joined me to discuss their concerns about tuition fees and to witness me sign the pledge.
The NUS pledge which I signed reads:
“I pledge to vote against any increase in fees in the next parliament, and to put pressure on the Government to introduce a fairer alternative to variable top-up fees.”
I believe that access to university should be about a student’s ability, not their ability to pay.
As a known campaigner against the introduction of top-up fees in 2004, I want to see a funding mechanism for higher education which ensures that students aren’t put off applying to university because of expensive up front costs.
I wasn’t surprised to learn that a resounding 88% of the public believe the current review of university fees should not even consider raising the cost. I would support a funding system that enables university graduates to give back after they complete their courses, according to how much they earn.
This is an issue that affects not only students thinking about applying to university, but their parents and grandparents too. I want the people of Wavertree to know that I am determined to ensure that every young person has a fair chance to go to university.