Tuition fees are working and should be maintained, says former Tory universities advisor

'University tuition fees are working whether people like it or not', says Higher Education Policy Institute

Many have previously protested over having to pay for education

Monday, July 3, 2017

A former Conservative advisor on universities has defended tuition fees, saying that they are working despite the controversy that surrounds them.

Nick Hillman made the comments after Damian Green, Theresa May's closest ally in the Cabinet, called for a debate on tuition fees, saying it's an issue the Tories must consider carefully.

Many people believe tuition fees impose an unfair financial burden on young people and saddle them with ruinous amounts of debt for later life, thus discriminating against poorer sections of society.

But Hillman, who now runs the Higher Education Policy Institute, told Julia Hartley-Brewer: "I support tuition fees because we have some of the very best universities in the world...one of the reasons for that is because they’re well-funded.

"The taxpayers are still contributing, it’s just it’s concealed, so they’re contributing at the back end afterwards when the people don’t pay off the whole of their loans.

"Whether people like tuition fees of not, the system is sort of working."

Hillman, who worked for then-universities minister David Willetts in David Cameron's government, adds "if there were to be any spare money, looking at living costs for the poorest students, especially in London where the problem is greatest, would be a good use of that money.

"The very poorest students are now ending with more debt than the richest ones. The poorest students have to borrow even more for their living costs."

Listen to the full interview above