Owen Jones in The Guardian:
The trebling of tuition fees would unleash a new golden age for English universities, or so we were told. They would become financially sustainable, competitive, liberated from stifling bureaucracy and responsive to the needs of students. And yet, nearly a decade later, higher education is in crisis.
Tuition fees have formed part of a full-frontal assault on the living standards of a generation battered by a housing crisis, stagnating wages and slashed services. And with 83% of student loans forecast to never be paid back in full, the promises of financial sustainability are a nonsense. Both frontrunners for the Labour leadership have committed to maintaining the party’s totemic commitment to abolishing this punitive attack on aspiration, recognising that university education is a social good. But the issue goes much, much wider – and has profound implications for the future of our society.