22 May 2017
Commenting on the Labour Party announcement, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“The National Union of Teachers welcomes the Labour Party's commitment today that students starting university this September will escape tuition fees.
“The student loan system in England is a disastrously bad way of funding higher education. It asks school-leavers to commit themselves to 30 years of debt repayment at a rising rate of interest.
“It has converted education from a public good to a service that is sold to individual consumers. It has helped impose a business model on universities, where what counts is the volume of students not the quality of their study.
“Teachers have a strong interest in rejecting this model. They want the school students whom they teach to think of education as a creative process of independent enquiry - not a commodity.
“The Union believes that access to further, higher and lifelong education should not be limited by exorbitant financial demands.
“Tuition fees are deterring poorer students from applying for top universities. English graduates face the highest levels of debt in the English speaking world. They have distorted the subject choices students make. Overall the effect of the introduction of tuition fees has been damaging to social mobility.
“The NUT is pleased that a major political party has finally committed to reversing this destructive policy.
“Access to higher education should be open to all, without regard to individual ability to pay.”