English students facing 'Educational Apartheid'


Dear Mr Burstow, Mr Clegg, Mr Huhne, and Mr Cable,

"Labour and the Conservatives have been trying to keep tuition fees out of this election campaign.  It's because they don't want to come clean with you about what they're planning. Despite the huge financial strain fees already place on Britain's young people, it is clear both Labour and the Conservatives want to lift the cap on fees. If fees rise to £7,000 a year, as many rumours suggest they would, within five years some students will be leaving university up to £44,000 in debt. That would be a disaster. If we have learnt one thing from the economic crisis, it is that you can't build a future on debt."

Those of us who voted Liberal Democrat listened carefully and took heart from these words by Mr Clegg are now distraught at your current policy.  And with the news that students in Wales will not face increases in university fees, we are now faced with the indefensible position of only English students paying higher fees.

For my three teenagers, as an English family they can expect nearly £90K of fees (plus interest at commercial loan rates).  If we were Scottish or Welsh, those fees would be £30K.  Or by Mr Clegg's calculations above, I am looking at £172K of debts for my three teenage children, who are close to wanting to enter university.  Could any of you please justify how in a United Kingdom this disparity is justifiable and possible?

I implore you not to abstain from the education fees vote.  Would you either vote against it, and fulfil the pledge you made before the general election, or would you please vote for the eduction fees increase and confirm that you are no longer the Liberal Democrat party that I have voted and campaigned for. Abstaining would be a political 'fig leaf' and act of cowardice.

I voted for you in the last general election, certain that the word 'pledge' meant just that, 'a solemn promise and undertaking'.  It seems that Welsh and Scottish students will receive that pledge, but not from the liberal democrats, whilst the English will live with the full force of your broken undertakings.

I see that Nick Clegg's promise and commitment to remove all fees for university students is still on his web site.  This is what I voted for, and what I beseech you to uphold.


Jason Clark
Sutton, Surrey