The economy is failing, that is one thing the government can’t hide. But as the Education and Children’s Bill came out today, it was revealed that the government has tried to deceptively hide away a clause in the bill which allows for variable rates of interest on student loans – nothing to do with children, or schools: the main targets of the bill.The cover-up has not gone unnoticed.
This proposal would mean students could be paying after graduation, not only their massive burden of debt in fees, but interest on that debt which could be higher than the normal rate. Essentially, those least able to pay – working-class graduates, could face thousands of pounds of extra debt in interest. Of course, students who don’t have to take out loans won’t have to worry about this problem. The Bank of Mother and Father will take care of those privately educated young people.
The UCU has condemned the hidden clause – and even the increasingly weak NUS leadership has come out in opposition. Gove, who put forward the proposals, has been deemed a ‘power junkie’ by the NUT, as the bill also gives the minister unprecendented powers about the running of schools, while taking them out of democratic local authority control through Academies.
Tripled fees with variable interest rates will put off thousands of poorer students going to university – if indeed they can complete further education now that the EMA is being scrapped. Let’s get back out onto the streets with these worrying ‘reforms’ in mind.