Yesterday the National Union of Students hosted their National Demonstration against the new £3000 top-up as part of their Admission:Impossible campaign reports BBC Online. Thousands of students, trade unionists, parents and young children marched with banners and placards calling on the government to reverse the policy that has seen 13,000 less students go to university this year.
Bill Rammell MP, the Minister responsible, made himself prominent in the media accusing the NUS of ‘scare mongering’ on the issue of fees and debt citing the re-payment threshold and the small (sic) monthly contributions students will make.
This claim is a deeply unhelpful and loaded - attempting to remove political responsibility from the government’s door. NUS controversially joined with the Government in their information campaign about the new fee regime (see here) and has taken all statistics from UCAS – the most authoritative source in the sector. For NUS to fall silent at this time would be them cheating their 5.2 million members and remove necessary accountability to the government’s policy.
What Bill Rammell MP seems to have over looked is that he had they key to end all ‘scare mongering’ if he was to publicly commit that the government will not lift the current cap on the fees (a move that has been called inevitable) and tell the likes of Imperial College London that they will not get their fee hike to £11,000.
The ‘wine and cheese’ Vice Chancellor lobby is the one scaring students and progressive people in British politics not the NUS standing up for its members.