Young Gavin Williamson’s Anti-Tuition Fees Campaign

Francis Wheen has uncovered an unexpected piece of writing from a young, fresh faced 21-year-old Gavin Williamson, who 23 years prior to becoming Education Secretary wrote in The Guardian of Labour’s forthcoming £1,000 university tuition fee introduction:

“This will destroy the principle of free education for all. Higher education is a right for everyone that should be preserved. Labour is making every effort to make higher education the sole bastion of the wealthy few. Such plans will end opportunity for so many. discouraging the less well-off from seizing the oppor-tunities for everyone created by Conservative governments.”

After the A-levels cock up, Guido’s not sure even a return to his previous anti-fee views could save Gavin’s popularity with young people…

Hat-tip: Francis Wheen
mdi-timer 26 August 2020 @ 12:27 26 Aug 2020 @ 12:27 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Welsh Labour’s Stunning Tuition Fees Hypocrisy

The Welsh Labour government has announced a hike in tuition fees just weeks after pledging to scrap them during the election. Welsh Labour’s manifesto stated that “Welsh Labour has always been clear that education should be free and if funding allowed, there should be no tuition fees”. During the election First Minister Carwyn Jones said “it would be difficult to conceive” a scenario where Welsh Labour did not match the UK Labour Party’s pledge to abolish fees. Last night the Welsh Labour government announced fees would rise to £9,295 from autumn 2018 because “our universities must be able to compete domestically and internationally”. The Welsh Tories called it “amazing hypocrisy”A message to student voters that when actually in power, Labour puts up tuition fees. Carwyn Jones’ Nick Clegg moment…

mdi-timer 12 July 2017 @ 08:01 12 Jul 2017 @ 08:01 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Corbyn Wrong on Working Class Student Numbers

Jeremy Corbyn this weekend repeated a false claim that fewer working class people are going to university. He first made the claim during the general election campaign. He was wrong then. And he’s wrong now. The Labour leader said at a rally on Saturday:

“Fewer working class young people are applying to university. Let’s end the debt burden and scrap tuition fees.”

The claim was also attributed to him by the Unite union’s political department. It is factually incorrect, as fact-checkers Full Fact explain:

“There are a number of ways to measure what a ‘disadvantaged pupil’ is, but on all UCAS measures young students from disadvantaged groups in England are more likely to go to university now than any other year on record.”

Below is the university entry rate for pupils on free school meals (the orange line). In 2010, 11% of pupils on free school meals went to university – now it’s over 16%. (H/T @olivercooper.)

University admissions body UCAS introduced a new comprehensive measure to gauge access inequality last year. It takes into account a student’s sex, ethnic group, hometown, whether they attended a private or state school, and whether they received free school meals. It shows the participation of the most disadvantaged students is at a record high. Jez knows what he’s saying is wrong. He has been corrected before. He’s repeating an untruth because he knows it riles up the fan base…

mdi-timer 3 July 2017 @ 10:25 3 Jul 2017 @ 10:25 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments