On both counts, we have been successful. The fact is that the opposition to our proposals has been relatively muted. The previous government took fright from addressing this issue and slashed the per-capita funding of students instead. We took tough decisions and explained our case. In doing so, we have seen an increase in applications from school-leavers to go to university this year and David Blunkett got the overwhelming support of the Labour Party conference last year. A recent MORI poll gave the Government a six-fold lead over the Conservatives on handling education issues.
We have "hammered home" the points you make. But because there has not been significant opposition, there has not been significant press coverage in recent months. What coverage there has been has reflected precisely the points you highlight. However, in communicating directly with hundreds of thousands school-leavers with a carefully targeted advertising and leaflet campaign, we have got across the message that our proposals are fair and represent a good deal for those who earn more as graduates.
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State
Department for Education and Employment
London SW1Reuse content