Column: Young people need a more secure future, says hotel owner
PUBLISHED: 07:00 25 February 2018
The news of Theresa May's major review of student fees and university funding has left me wondering what the future may hold.
As a father of five, I’m fully aware that our young people face some of the most expensive fees in the world and I’ve always questioned why.
The burden is huge on both students and parents, and if a career doesn’t immediately beckon when they graduate what is there to show for it?
The prospect of massive debt isn’t exactly drawing people into university.
I still have children to put through higher education, if they wish to go, but so far I have paid fees for three of them.
Once you have added on the cost of accommodation, prices can hike up to £20,000 a year.
It’s unequitable that there are no fees in Scotland, whereas the system in England is penalising our children. It’s becoming far too business-like and people are forgetting what it is there for.
When fees were introduced they averaged at around £3,000 a year. But before long they crept up to £9,000 a year.
This was clearly shifting the onus from the government on to individuals to shoulder the cost.
The ridiculous thing about the whole system is that if a student goes on to earn under the threshold the fees are eventually written off.
And we all know that not everyone earns megabucks.
We should be doing everything we can in this country to encourage our young people to explore their options and go for the careers they set their sights on.
But with this kind of pressure is there any wonder why graduates believe the current system doesn’t represent value for money.
There is a lot of debate about what exactly the overhaul will mean and whether it will make any difference at all.
Of course, nothing will happen straight away, but at the very least it is on the agenda.
Let’s hope Mrs May listens to the people of this country and provides a more secure future for our stars of tomorrow.
For now though, the jury is officially out.