Leading Article: Don't look back

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The Independent Online

The Conservatives' policy on higher education is misguided. They want to abolish all tuition fees and end the expansion of higher education. The former is political opportunism, and the latter policy flows from the former. If you are going to turn the clock back and make higher education free to all, you have to control numbers otherwise the costs spiral out of control. The Government's introduction of tuition fees for degrees in 1998 was a courageous step. Students should contribute towards the cost of their university education. Many of them come from families who can afford to do so. The rest are given fee waivers. Why should taxpayers be subsidising the elite to attend university?

The Conservatives' policy on higher education is misguided. They want to abolish all tuition fees and end the expansion of higher education. The former is political opportunism, and the latter policy flows from the former. If you are going to turn the clock back and make higher education free to all, you have to control numbers otherwise the costs spiral out of control. The Government's introduction of tuition fees for degrees in 1998 was a courageous step. Students should contribute towards the cost of their university education. Many of them come from families who can afford to do so. The rest are given fee waivers. Why should taxpayers be subsidising the elite to attend university?

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