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Tuition Fees

Stephen Hepburn, the Labour MP for the Jarrow Constituency, has slammed the Tory Government on their tuition fees policy after Theresa May admitted that the Conservatives got it wrong and have launched a year-long review. In 2010, the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition Government trebled tuition fees to £9,000 a year for students in England, as well as abolishing maintenance grants.Earlier this week, Prime Minister Theresa May announced that the current tuition fees policy “is not working for the individual or our country” and that students in England faced "one of the most expensive systems of university tuition in the world", despite herself being one of the Conservative MPs that voted to treble fees back in 2010. She also stated that tuition fees would remain at £9,250 per year and did not commit to substantially cutting the current fee price.

Research from the House of Commons library showed that the average debt for those finishing university is expected to be more than £40,000 and, because of the decision to end grants, highest for students from the poorest families at around £53,000. According to official figures from the Department for Education, from when the first students to graduate from university since the introduction of the £9,000 annual tuition fees in the 2014/15 academic year onwards, thousands of students from South Tyneside and the Jarrow constituency will have graduated with average debts of up to £40,000.

Academic Year

Jarrow constituency

South Tyneside

North East

England Total
















Source: Department for Education analysis of HESA’s Student Record*

Stephen Hepburn MP said: “Theresa May has finally admitted that the Tories got it completely wrong. They trebled tuition fees, abolished maintenance grants and left students graduating with huge levels of debt.”"Under the Tories, student debt continues to rise and students in England will now graduate with a shocking average of over £40,000 in debt and well over £50,000 debt for those from the poorest backgrounds.” “This long-drawn-out review that was announced this week is a total waste of time. I’m proud that Labour plans to abolish tuition fees, bring back maintenance grants and provide free, lifelong education in Further Education colleges.”