Socialist Party
| Print

20 February 2008

Universities in crisis

Fees favour the rich

Exeter Socialist Students organised a protest outside the office of the university vice-chancellor, photo Exeter Socialist Students

Exeter Socialist Students organised a protest outside the office of the university vice-chancellor, photo Exeter Socialist Students

SURPRISE, SURPRISE! A new study by the Sutton Trust charity shows that the university fees system favours the rich and those who attend private school.

Matt Dobson, Socialist Students national organiser

The government last week were hoping to be able to point to the 6.7% rise in university application figures in 2008, but the facts in this report are a damning indictment of New Labour's two-tier higher education system, where a debt-free, stress-free university experience is a privilege for the rich.

The rise in university applications is not proof that university is becoming more affordable. It remains to be seen whether a rise in applications will turn into a rise in admissions.

And, as the Sutton Trust study shows, these figures reflect the aspirations of many to learn and have the benefits of university but not the full reality of the financial difficulties involved.

Financial anxiety

One in four 18-24 year olds writes off going to university. The Sutton study reveals that nearly two-thirds of these young people cited financial anxiety as their reason for not applying.

Cardiff Socialist Students campaign, photo Dave Reid

Cardiff Socialist Students campaign, photo Dave Reid

University is supposed to be a chance for young people to expand their horizons in knowledge and learning and leave home to live in a new town or city.

The Sutton report shows that students from homes with an annual income below 35,000 were more likely to consider a local university. Some 72% of those who were planning to live at home did so because they wanted to minimise their debts.

Many students are saying enough is enough. The 21 February Campaign to Defeat Fees day of action will see students in universities and colleges across the country protesting against fees.

This shows a glimpse of what is possible if a mass campaign based on mass action was built, linking up workers and students to force the government to scrap fees and to fight for free, publicly funded, good quality education for all.

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube


triangle27 Jan After the defeat

triangle23 Jan Unite regional committee votes to support anti-cuts Enfield councillor

triangle22 Jan Workers to reballot for strike action: 'We are in the fight of our...

triangle22 Jan Council cuts continue... So must the fightback

triangle22 Jan To win back working-class trust Labour must take the 'Liverpool road'

triangle22 Jan Eyewitness report: workers' struggle in France on the boil

triangle15 Jan Reverse Unison's undemocratic nomination of Blairite Starmer

More ...


triangle27 Jan Leeds Socialist Party: Japan - has Abenomics delivered?

triangle27 Jan Nottingham Socialist Party: Kill the Bills - how do we make the anti-union laws unworkable?

triangle28 Jan Bristol North Socialist Party: Public transport congestion. Where now?

triangle29 Jan York Socialist Party: Financing the revolutionary party


Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041


What we Stand For

About the Socialist Party

Joining the Socialist Party - what will it mean for you


Alphabetical listing

January 2020