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Should UK students be charged university fees?

Just over twenty years ago, higher education was free in the UK for any student who secured a place on a university course. Flash forward to today and students graduate with an average debt of £50,000. Critics claim this is wildly unfair and inhibits social mobility. Others claim that high fees improve equality. With both sides aiming to reduce inequality, why do the positions on implementing fees and reducing grants contradict each other?

No, the UK should make higher education free for students.

University education should be free for all to access. Education is a human right. The state has a duty to fund free higher education in its annual budget.

Free higher education improves social mobility

Charging for education excludes those who cannot pay for it. Explore

Higher education fees leave students with psychological burden

Charging students high fees can severely impact their mental health. Explore

Education is a public good, so should be free

Fees for higher education monetise education as a concept.

The fight for funding from student fees forces universities to act more like business corporations than higher education institutions. Explore

Yes, the UK should charge for access to its higher education institutions.

Others believe that charging for education is the only certain way we can guarantee a constant source of funding for universities, and that it is fairer to only charge those who use the service for accessing it.

By charging students, they value their education more.

If we value what we pay for, then we should certainly value our education. Explore

Charging students is the fairest way to fund universities.

Charging students means that those who don't benefit from higher education don't have to pay for it. Explore

Charging students has removed the cap on places

It is actually increasing places not decreasing fees that reduces inequality. Explore

Making education free diminishes the quality

Without fees, the service universities can offer would be radically reduced. Explore
This page was last edited on Thursday, 16 Jan 2020 at 12:28 UTC