Shabana Mahmood MP, Labour's Shadow Minister for Higher Education, responding to OFFA's announcement on 2013-2014 access agreements, said:
“The Government’s unfair, unnecessary and unsustainable decision to treble tuition fees to £9,000, while cutting university funding by 80 per cent, is putting many young people off university and threatening economic growth for this country and skills for the future. It demonstrates how out of touch ministers have become from the needs and aspirations of families up and down the country.
“Whilst it should be welcomed that universities are increasing support for students in their 2013-2014 access agreements, we must ensure that all steps possible are taken to widen access and that applicants from non-traditional backgrounds are not deterred from applying to university. The largest area of expenditure on access continues to be on bursaries and maintenance grants, which provides students with much needed support when they are studying.
“Labour would reverse the corporation tax cut for banks and use the money to help cut fees to a maximum of £6,000. That is the difference between Labour, which makes investing in skills and knowledge a priority, and a Tory-led Government that will restrict opportunity and damage the future of our economy.”