Theresa May is on her way to securing Brexit once and for all. With a new party leadership, new changes are set to happen over the next couple of months. The first of which are already creeping up on us. And it’s students who are set to take the fall.
Tuition fees are set to rise. Again.
Students at English universities are preparing to pay back over £1,000 more throughout the course of their degree. And that’s without the added interest, thanks to an increase in tuition fees and maintenance loans.
If a university receives a ‘meets expectations’ rating, they are able to charge young people £9,250 a year for tuition. This will apply to all eligible students who have started their degrees since September 2012.
Along with the scrapping of the maintenance grant and the increase of maintenance loans, students from poorer backgrounds are looking to be left inundated with more debt than ever before.
Tories made it clear last week that the reason behind this increase is due to inflation. However, what they failed to point out is that the salary at which you start to repay the loans will remain capped at £21,000. Graduates will inevitably be paying back more than what they originally thought.
“The Tories are letting down young people. First they trebled tuition fees saddling students with debt, now they’ve confirmed they’re set to go up again.” Shadow Education Secretary commented last week.
The crushed dreams of international students.
Not only is it UK students who are at the helm of the new Conservative cabinet, but internationals will also suffer. One of May’s first port of calls as Tory leader and Prime Minister has been to reduce immigration. Her conclusion: scrutinize the number of student visas to incoming internationals.
May reportedly believes that universities have become an easy route into Britain for immigrants. The Home Office estimated that 1 in 5 international students outstay their visa after they graduate. Now she wants to address this by limiting the number of visas the UK can issue.
Already one of the toughest visa regimes in the world, the UK has always been notoriously hostile towards international students. Now those who choose to apply to ‘lower ranking’ institutions may be refused visas altogether. Despite the fact that just last year the number of non-EU international students hit a nine-year low.
This isn’t the first time either that our new Prime Minister has hit the headlines regarding international students. Earlier this year she wrongly deported up to 50,000 students after cheating was found taking place in an English language exam which was used to incriminate all who sat the test.
May has been keen to make several reforms regarding immigration throughout her Home Secretary career. All of which were previously blocked by other departments. Now as Prime Minister, May is free to tackle the problem head on.
The Tories have never been an especially liked political party amongst students, especially after David Cameron almost tripled tuition fees back in 2012 and then abolished all grants earlier this year. However, despite nearly a third of all Conservative party members being over 60, Theresa May came into power filled with promise and prosperity for younger people.
It didn’t last long, did it?