Nash Riggins talks Clegg, Cameron and the £1billion hole in university funding, for the University of Stirling’s Brig Newspaper:
No one should feign surprise that the Coalition’s move to raise tuition fees has completely backfired – least of all, Nick Clegg. After delivering a campaign promise to ensure that university fees would never rise, Mr Clegg’s backbone completely imploded – allowing for David Cameron to give universities a smile and a wink in the form of an ‘optional’ cap increase of up to £9,000 per year. The naivety of this move was blatant to say the least.
Indeed, it’s hard to know exactly what the dynamic duo were thinking on the day, but it appears as if the Prime Minister was able to convince Mr Clegg that – for some strange reason – most UK universities would choose not to raise fees by such a substantial amount; however, for whatever reason both men then seemed genuinely shocked when the country’s universities predictably chose to observe this monstrous cap in the same way that busy commuters observe the speed limit.
The idea itself was simple enough – remove the majority of these individualistic tax burdens from the state, and subsequently ask students to contribute towards their own education later in life after attaining a certain salary threshold. Meanwhile, universities would then enjoy the immediate benefit of an increase in revenue that could subsequently be reinvested in allowing for the teaching of even more students. It should have saved UK taxpayers £1.3b per year, simultaneously creating a very large – and very privatised – perpetual cash-cow. What it is creating, however, is £1b of debt.
Full story here.