DEBATE: How do tuition fees affect you?

JPCT 060213  Tara Rawson, 15 right and  Danielle Gill, 14 campaigning against unisity fees. Photo by Derek Martin
JPCT 060213 Tara Rawson, 15 right and Danielle Gill, 14 campaigning against unisity fees. Photo by Derek Martin

In the first of a series of weekend debates on the County Times website we’re asking how university tuition fees affect you.

Perhaps you have children at university, or who are about to go, and you are worried about the cost?

Or maybe you are a student concerned about a lifetime’s debt being accrued in just three short years?

Three Millais School pupils have decided to take action and have launched a campaign to change the current set up introduced by the Coalition Government which see fees increased, but repayment deferred until students start earning.

But what do you think?

Is it right that those who have a further education foot the bill, or is there a wider socio-economic benefit that means it is fairer for us all to share the cost?

Leave your comments below, and vote in our poll opposite.

Tara Rawson, 15, Danielle Gill, 14, and Maddy Coles, 15, believe the current system is unfair and are fronting a campaign which they hope will lower and eventually eradicate university fees.

“Some of the greatest minds of this generation are being denied the chance to reach their potential and enrich their knowledge like they deserve,” explains Tara.

“The massive financial strain put on potential students is very often enough to deter them from even enquiring and thus applicant numbers have plummeted in the last couple of years, with last year seeing an average of ‘15,000 missing applicants’ in the UK Universities alone.

“In essence what is happening is the cost of a place in University is denying people the future that they want because certain jobs require certain qualifications. Deny people these qualifications and you’re denying them the job,” she said.

The friends have set up a Facebook page, started a petition, created a range of leaflets and fliers and hope their campaign will go viral with a video they are set to upload to YouTube.

“We have made serious headway in our quest for a fairer society,” Tara continued.

“I have written to the local MP Francis Maude and received a reply recognising his support and understanding of the severity of the issue.

“I think it’s an issue that people tend to dust under the rug if you like. Quite a lot people see that it’s a big issue but aren’t really willing to do anything about it and we wanted to change that and make a difference.”

The slogan for their campaign is ‘Keep Fees Lose Minds, Cut Fees Be Smart’ - but are they right?

Tell us what you think and why below.