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There are two main points to be made for this point of view.
The first can be made on the basis of social equity and fairness. From this point of view, university should be free to all so that all people can have an equal chance to attend and to get ahead in life. It is absolutely unfair that anyone should be prevented from going to university because they lack the funds to do so.
The second is a more pragmatic argument. It says that Britain needs more university graduates in a globalized economy. Britain will not be able to compete well with other countries unless it has more university graduates who can fill jobs that demand a good education. Therefore, Britain should make universities free to all so as to improve its competitiveness in the world economy.
In England the balance of university funding has changed, with much of the cost switching from the taxpayer to the student. This is leaving students with mountains of debt not only from tuition fees but also living costs, which, in recent years have grown for everyone.
The interest rate on fees has doubled this year so students taking three year courses charged at £9,000 plus full maintenance loans will leave university with about £43,000 of debt. I personally would rather start my working career without such a colossal burden which could close some possible job paths as students will be forced to select a career with the best pay, rather than ones that would enable them to develop themselves and their skills.
We must consider the multiplier effect; when all people can afford to go to university they will be likely to get a job in Britain and maybe abroad. This in turn will earn them a considerable wage which they can use to start businesses which will pay back into the economy. He or she will be able to invest in their community and so begin a circle of development and education which will ultimately lead to an education promoting climate.
In times where the economy needs to be boosted by British entrepreneurs it is imperative that we ensure a higher education is a right for all our citizens. Britain is well-known for its scientists, engineers, inventors, musicians and actors, but with university fees rising, degrees without a high chance of a career at the end will not be taken up and Britain will be left with an under-educated population, without the technical ability to sustain a modern economy. Likewise if none of the arts are pursued the potential talent of so many creative young adults will be lost.
A generation ago, I could have gone to university for free and have begun my working life debt free and able to start a career without the ball and chain of owed money looming over me. We all must remember that today’s youth are the countries future, is it wise to take away our opportunities and so take away the opportunities of this country for years to come?
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