University of Hertfordshire Students’ Union president slams �9,000 tuition fees

UNIVERSITIES in England will be allowed to charge up to �9,000 a year for tuition fees – a move that has been blasted by the president of the University of Hertfordshire’s Students’ Union.

Nica de Koenigswarter was reacting to the announcement today (Wednesday) by Universities Minister David Willetts, that outlined plans to switch the majority of the cost of higher education onto students, rather than the state.

Under the proposals, universities will be allowed to charge between �6,000 and �9,000 a year in tuition fees, in a bid to compensate for the cuts made in higher education outlined in the Government’s spending review.

Speaking to the WHT this afternoon, Ms de Koenigswarter said: “It’s a crying shame, but I’m not surprised at all.

“If I was 18 now and looking at going to uni, there is no way I’d go if the fees are going to be �9,000 a year.

“I’m so annoyed at this Government, they all went to university for free, and now they’re expecting young people to pay for their own education. It’s a massive amount of debt, and what with graduate employment at its lowest in 17 years, it’s not exactly encouraging is it?”

Ms de Koenigswarter singled out the Liberal Democrats for particular criticism, after the party pledged to oppose any increase in student fees before the election.

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“It was one of their (Lib Dems) key pledges – it’s one of the only reasons they got in.

“Now they’re retracting on their pledges, and I think that’s reprehensible.”

She also questioned the long-term future of universities in the country in the wake of the fees rise.

“Students will be paying over the odds for sub standard education,” she said. “A lot of universities are going to crumble because of that and the Government is going to let them.”