However, top-up fees should be opposed. It makes the assumption that the only reason a person gets a degree is so that they will make lots of money. Professions such as teaching and nursing give barely substantial pay cheques, yet where would these groups be without graduates? This also knocks on the head the idea that only a graduate benefits from their degree and should therefore be the only person who pays for it - everyone gets educated, and needs doctors, lawyers and the like - and they are all graduates. Top-up fees will not increase access for children from poorer families. In the US, a similar system is in practice and it has vastly reduced the number of poorer children going to university [I know we're not at the stage of £15,000 a year yet, but that's where it's going]. The idea of top-up fees is that people who have made lots of money because of their degree should pay for university education. But would it not be better to place a higher tax on the rich - which would mean that all people with wealth would pay to better our education system?
But I digress.
The point is that we need to oppose top-up fees right now. There is a proposal that students from Oxford should march down to London over the course of 3 days to make it quite clear that we do not want top-up fees and to put pressure on the government to get rid of such a ridiculous proposal. It's a journey of approximately 60 miles, which would probably mean about 8 or 9 hours walking a day. Accomodation would be arranged in student union buildings. It will take a lot of effort but it will show MPs and the wider world beyond any shadow of doubt that we oppose this proposed market of university education.
If you want to get involved, email me at the above address as soon as possible. We don't need a multitude, but if we can get one then that'd be great. The more people we can get marching, the louder we can tell Blair where to stick his plans.
Let's do it!