The student protest in London today shows the dissatisfaction of students about our Coalition Government’s plans for tuition fees and it is of course essential that as many students as possible have the opportunity to attend higher education. However, as much as I recognise student concerns, we do face the issue of striking that difficult balance between realising savings on one hand whilst ensuring student admissions on the other; the line has to be drawn somewhere and students are not the only ones facing reduced funding following the CSR.
We have been left with the worst deficit in the G20 and a national debt which has doubled. As a result Government spending has necessitated urgent redress. I am however very cheered to hear that the Office of Business, Innovation and Skills is planning to introduce a scholarship fund to the tune of £150M to help students seeking financial assistance to attend university. I think we should not forget that without a firm programme of action we could be facing the sort of ruinous situation in Ireland.
And who will pick up the tab for all the borrowing of the last Government and any extra Government borrowing now? The answer is – our young people for years to come!