What’s ACCA-ning?
Arts
30 views
30 views

What’s ACCA-ning?

Emma Nay - October 16, 2018
Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols
Arts
63 views
63 views

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols

Kate Dennett - October 12, 2018
University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week
Arts
103 views
103 views

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week

Kate Dennett - October 6, 2018
Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin
Interview
89 views
89 views

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin

Alex Leissle - October 4, 2018
Why we should all embrace drag
Lifestyle
118 views
118 views

Why we should all embrace drag

Chris Ahjem - October 3, 2018
In Conversation with Alannah Myles
Arts
161 views
161 views

In Conversation with Alannah Myles

Anastasia Konstantinidou - October 3, 2018
Brighton Needs You!
News
121 views
121 views

Brighton Needs You!

Anonymous - September 28, 2018
Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
257 views
257 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018
France in Fine Fettle
Sports
201 views
201 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
213 views
213 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
244 views
244 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018
Sentences Quashed for Fracking Protestors
News
21 views
21 views

Sentences Quashed for Fracking Protestors

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018
421 Views

Things Students Need: abolishing tuition fees is not one of them

In light of the Labour Party’s shock survival at the General Election last June, Jeremy Corbyn’s flagship policy of abolishing tuition fees looks set to dominate the debate over education for years to come. But beyond giving a few people the right to yell empty slogans about ‘free education’, the argument for this holy grail of left wing politics is a pretty thin one.

Introducing fees, and then raising them to their current level, has done virtually nothing to deter people from all socioeconomic backgrounds from going to university. Our student loan system means university is paid for as a modest percentage of earnings over a certain threshold after graduation. It’s a system that works. Statistics show that more working class people than ever before are going to university. The one part of the UK where university is free – Scotland – actually does the worst at this. Could it be that the vast expense of subsidising tuition is acting as a drain on money and resources that are needed elsewhere?

Imagine taking a load of money from a working class family where no one has ever gone to university, and handing it to a well-off graduate. That’s the literal reality of what abolishing tuition fees would mean. It’s a direct transfer of wealth from the poor to the middle class and the rich. This is money that could be spent on the NHS, social care, outreach programs to encourage poorer kids to apply for university… As regressive a policy as you can get, yet oddly enough advocated by all manner of people claiming to be progressives.

But enough about what British students don’t need. Here are a few suggestions of what they do need.

Britain’s students aren’t losing that much sleep over their invisible student loan debt. Okay, admittedly, that 6% interest rate is ludicrously high, though mercifully that appears to be under review. But what they’re really losing sleep over is, well, the place they’re sleeping – specifically, how to pay for it. Especially in a city like Brighton.

The obvious solution to spiralling rents across the UK is summed up in that age old saying ‘build more sodding houses’, but since promising new houses is like promising unicorns, there’s a few things that can be done in the meantime to help students who are left at the mercy of the housing market. Banning the legalised extortion that is agency fees would be a good start (whenever you’re ready Theresa, it was in your manifesto). Before I moved to Brighton I thought shelling out £75 per person for my letting agent to print out 12 A4 pages was expensive (those were the days). You can imagine my horror trying to find accommodation here and being quoted figures as high as £360 (!). Expenses like that can be financially crippling for less well-off students. More effective regulation to deal with some of the cowboy landlords and letting agents out there wouldn’t go amiss too. We shouldn’t have to wait 3 month for our collapsed sofa to be replaced, or 12 months for the lock on the front door to be fixed (wait no they never fixed that).

Maintenance loans are also a mess. A system that gives one size loan for London and another for every single other place in the country together is so mind-numbingly stupid it could only have been designed by someone who’d never ventured past the M25. Students in places like Brighton, where rents are comparable to London, are particularly disadvantaged by this system. Change it so that the size of the loan reflects average student living costs in whatever part of the country you are in. You could go further and abolish the means-testing of it too. Means-testing based on your parents’ income ignores all manner of factors such as other siblings at university, your parents’ financial commitments and debts, their generosity – all of which may impact their ability to support you (if at all). It’s also extraordinarily easy to game the system if your parents are divorced. Replace it with a flat-rate for everyone (adjusted by location only), and set it significantly higher than the current minimum (which is too low to even cover rent in many places). A system like this would be fairer to students from all economic backgrounds. Give students the choice, and those who feel they don’t need it all can always choose to take less of it.

None of these solutions would require major additional spending by the government. If you want to put more money into education, you could spend relatively modest sums investing in university facilities, or improving schools to give more children the opportunity to attend the best universities. But don’t waste £10 billion a year on a middle class handout that won’t help students or universities.

Edward Baines

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam
What’s ACCA-ning?
Arts
30 views
30 views

What’s ACCA-ning?

Emma Nay - October 16, 2018
Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols
Arts
63 views
63 views

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols

Kate Dennett - October 12, 2018
University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week
Arts
103 views
103 views

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week

Kate Dennett - October 6, 2018
Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin
Interview
89 views
89 views

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin

Alex Leissle - October 4, 2018
Why we should all embrace drag
Lifestyle
118 views
118 views

Why we should all embrace drag

Chris Ahjem - October 3, 2018
In Conversation with Alannah Myles
Arts
161 views
161 views

In Conversation with Alannah Myles

Anastasia Konstantinidou - October 3, 2018
Brighton Needs You!
News
121 views
121 views

Brighton Needs You!

Anonymous - September 28, 2018
Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
257 views
257 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018
France in Fine Fettle
Sports
201 views
201 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
213 views
213 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
244 views
244 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018
Sentences Quashed for Fracking Protestors
News
21 views
21 views

Sentences Quashed for Fracking Protestors

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018
NUS Backs ‘People’s Vote’
News
12 views
12 views

NUS Backs ‘People’s Vote’

kenyon55 - October 17, 2018
Over 1,000 Sign Sussex Fracking Open Letter
Campus News
17 views
17 views

Over 1,000 Sign Sussex Fracking Open Letter

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

What’s ACCA-ning?
Arts
30 views
Arts
30 views

What’s ACCA-ning?

Emma Nay - October 16, 2018

  All you need to know about autumn at the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts If you have not seen the ACCA’s new autumn programme, you…

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols
Arts
63 views
Arts
63 views

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols

Kate Dennett - October 12, 2018

In celebration of Black History Month, Sussex Student Union organised a number of interesting talks and events across October. One of these exciting opportunities was a chance…

Review: Suzanne Ciani & Martin Messier at the ACCA
Film & Theatre
58 views
Film & Theatre
58 views

Review: Suzanne Ciani & Martin Messier at the ACCA

Anonymous - October 10, 2018

At the outset, Mr Messier’s FIELD at once invoked The Matrix and Daedalus’ Boiler Room set.  The basic concept of this mixed media performance relies on transducer…

Shelf Help: The Organisation Encouraging Self-Development
Arts
88 views
Arts
88 views

Shelf Help: The Organisation Encouraging Self-Development

Kate Dennett - October 10, 2018

To commemorate to this year’s Mental Health Awareness Day, I found it increasingly difficult to draw attention to just one book of relevance in recognition of this…

Freshers’ Week from a second year perspective
Campus News
85 views
Campus News
85 views

Freshers’ Week from a second year perspective

Chris Ahjem - October 9, 2018

Annually, the University of Sussex welcomes thousands of new students to our Falmer campus and every year the Student’s Union and Brighton based clubs and businesses increase…

National Badger Day: 10 fun facts you might not have known
News
120 views
News
120 views

National Badger Day: 10 fun facts you might not have known

Chris Ahjem - October 6, 2018

To celebrate National Badger Day here are 10 fun facts about our animal kingdom namesake Badgers can run up to 16-19 miles per hour which is the…

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week
Arts
103 views
Arts
103 views

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week

Kate Dennett - October 6, 2018

This coming week marks the celebration of Libraries Week, an event solely dedicated to praising the work of libraries across the UK. This annual event is taking…

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin
Interview
89 views
Interview
89 views

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin

Alex Leissle - October 4, 2018

The young star is often a tricky title to navigate. There are the big names, who explode into the world with noise, bright light, a big record…

How Fenty Beauty changed the face of the makeup industry
Lifestyle
119 views
Lifestyle
119 views

How Fenty Beauty changed the face of the makeup industry

Rachel Badham - October 3, 2018

Fenty Beauty, launched in September last year, is a makeup line created by global superstar Robyn Rihanna Fenty, better known as Rihanna. It’s not uncommon for celebrity…

Why we should all embrace drag
Lifestyle
118 views
Lifestyle
118 views

Why we should all embrace drag

Chris Ahjem - October 3, 2018

Once an art form disregarded by many, 2018 bears witness to the continuous rise of drag as a legitimate, celebrated art. Spearheaded by RuPaul’s Drag Race, drag…

In Conversation with Alannah Myles
Arts
161 views
Arts
161 views

In Conversation with Alannah Myles

Anastasia Konstantinidou - October 3, 2018

This week we had the pleasure of interviewing Alannah Myles, the 1991 Grammy winner for best female rock vocal performance for her outstanding vocal abilities for the…

Brighton Needs You!
News
121 views
News
121 views

Brighton Needs You!

Anonymous - September 28, 2018

Brighton is a vibrant and thriving city that many students at Sussex are lucky enough to call home. But there are many in the area in need…

Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
257 views
Arts
257 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018

Starting university comes with both exciting but potentially daunting changes, with both moving away from home and studying at degree level posing to be two new challenges.…

INCREDIBLES 2: The Sequel with a Feminist Twist
Film & Theatre
190 views
Film & Theatre
190 views

INCREDIBLES 2: The Sequel with a Feminist Twist

Olek Młyński - September 18, 2018

One key film in the development of anyone who grew up in the early 2000s was The Incredibles (2004). It’s comedy, vibrancy, and general sense of fun…

France in Fine Fettle
Sports
201 views
Sports
201 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018

Prior to the start of the quadrennial tournament this summer, football fans across the world grew sceptical over Russia’s credentials and ability to host the most prestigious…

Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
213 views
Arts
213 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018

Boredom is impossible when you throw yourself into everything this weird and wonderful city has to offer. The specific and unique cultural wonders of Brighton are indeed…

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
244 views
Arts
244 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018

During this year’s Pride Festival, Brighton had the honour of welcoming international pop star and voice of the early 2000s, Britney Spears, to the main stage. Undoubtedly,…

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
1300 views1
Campus News
1300 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

Sentences Quashed for Fracking Protestors
News
21 views
News
21 views

Sentences Quashed for Fracking Protestors

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018

The court of appeal has quashed sentences handed to 3 fracking protestors calling them "manifestly excessive". Jail sentences of 15- 16 months were given to the three…

In Conversation with Peter Tatchell: Gender, Direct Action and Brexit
News
21 views
News
21 views

In Conversation with Peter Tatchell: Gender, Direct Action and Brexit

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018

Veteran human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell, gave a talk on campus. Known for his work with the LGBTQ+ community, he spoke about free speech under attack and…

NUS Backs ‘People’s Vote’
News
12 views
News
12 views

NUS Backs ‘People’s Vote’

kenyon55 - October 17, 2018

The NUS has expressed its support for a national referendum on the final Brexit deal, also referred to as a ‘People’s Vote’. This came after Labour MPs…

Over 1,000 Sign Sussex Fracking Open Letter
Campus News
17 views
Campus News
17 views

Over 1,000 Sign Sussex Fracking Open Letter

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018

An open letter started by Sussex academics has gained over 1,000 signatures. The letter, entitled ‘Open letter from UK academics: The harsh sentencing of anti-fracking campaigners sets…

Grenfell Tower Inquiry Resumes
National News
35 views
National News
35 views

Grenfell Tower Inquiry Resumes

Jessica Hubbard - October 16, 2018

Written by Danielle Ball Shocking witness statements have been heard from the fire crew and call handlers involved in the response to the tragedy The Grenfell Tower…

Renting Unaffordable for Young People
National News
26 views
National News
26 views

Renting Unaffordable for Young People

Jessica Hubbard - October 16, 2018

South East among the most expensive areas to rent as revealed by BBC research. Research carried out by The BBC has found that renting is unaffordable for…

Joe Armon-Jones Brings Jazz to Patterns
Music
48 views
Music
48 views

Joe Armon-Jones Brings Jazz to Patterns

Lara Antoine - October 13, 2018

Photo by Vojta Dvrocek Whether you’ve seen him in Ezra Collective or featuring alongside other breakthrough neo-jazz artists like Mr Jukes. Pianist Joe Armon-Jones is no stranger…

“Climax” review – The return of the French provocateur
Arts
59 views
Arts
59 views

“Climax” review – The return of the French provocateur

Olek Młyński - October 11, 2018

The newest film from the notorious Gaspar Noé was so critically acclaimed at the Cannes Film Festival that the director himself could not believe it. Climax opens…

Kode9 & Burial – Fabriclive 100
Music
96 views
Music
96 views

Kode9 & Burial – Fabriclive 100

Ryan Bridgewater - October 5, 2018

Released 28th September Available on: CD/Vinyl/Download   The anticipation couldn’t have been greater when the final instalment in London nightclub Fabric’s legendary DJ mix series was announced…

News
74 views

Maniac: a madcap adventure into troubled minds

Olek Młyński - October 5, 2018

With the release of Maniac, Netflix once again proves itself as an artistic powerhouse. This mini-series is a whirlwind of creativity containing often confusing, madcap ideas. But,…

Nike cash in on Kaepernick campaign
Sports
76 views
Sports
76 views

Nike cash in on Kaepernick campaign

James Cohen - October 4, 2018

In 1988 Nike premiered their, now infamous, “Just Do It” campaign, showing 80-year-old Walt Stack jogging across the Golden Gate Bridge. 30 years and a lot of…

Machine Learning for an Efficient Future
Science
120 views
Science
120 views

Machine Learning for an Efficient Future

ecrm20 - October 4, 2018

My project is about how we can explain the predictions made by machine learning algorithms. For example, if we have an algorithm that tells us whether an…