This blog is an edited version of one posted on the Bournemouth University Research blog as part of our regular HE policy update series. Views are those of the author not BU.
I’ve just realised that nearly all my blogs for the Lighthouse Group are about fees. That’s not because it’s my only interest (far from it) – but it is something that seems to require summarising regularly.
Although of course concerns about student debt, the cost of the government subsidy for student loans and whether university degrees provide “value for money” have been a consistent theme, the general election really brought focus, because of the Labour pledge to abolish tuition fees for new students and the desire to forgive existing student debt. The latter was interpreted by some as a “promise” and others as a “wish”, but the combination allegedly swayed young people in huge numbers to (a) vote, and (b) vote Labour. I have written about this elsewhere – students and young people did turn out in large numbers and many of them did vote Labour – but it is highly unlikely (at least in my view) that this was down to a single issue.