Conservative minister states there needs to be a review of university fees
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Damian Green, the newly appointed First Secretary of State, has said that the country is in need of a review of university tuition fees in order for the Conservatives to ‘change hard’ and attract younger voters away from the Labour party. Speaking to the Bright Blue think tank, Green expressed that fees keep university education standards high and that the only alternative to maintain the quality of courses offered throughout the UK would be to increase taxes. During this year’s recent general election, the Labour party received a surge of votes from the younger generation, with several policies that were more favourable for the 16-25 age group. The most notable of these was a promise to scrap tuition fees in their entirety. University fees are currently capped at £9,250 a year, an increase from £3,000 that took place in 2010 following the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition, resulting in several riots in protest at the hike in fees. Green stated that “in the long-term, we’ve got to show that [students] are getting value for the money.” “If we want to have 40% plus of people going to university and if we want those university courses actually to be valuable, which I think is where the strain is often taken in European universities – you actually look at the teaching that you get in some European universities, you have lecture halls with 600 people in and things like that – it’s not actually as good a teaching and learning experience as you get in this country/ “If you wanted to say you want to reduce [fees] then either fewer people go to university or the experience would be less.” Green also discussed other policies that could attract younger voters, opening that affordable housing and job creation should be at the centre of future Conservative party strategy.
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