Shabana Mahmood MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Higher Education, responding to the news that UCAS applications have dropped significantly since 2011, said:
“The UCAS application figures today show that the decision of the Tory-led Government to treble tuition fees to £9,000 is hitting young people and their aspirations. With overall applications down by 7.4 per cent compared to 2011, and by 8.7 per cent for UK applicants, it is clear that the drastic increase in fees and the increased debt burden is putting people of all ages off going to university and investing their future. Most students will be paying of their debts most of their working lives. Applications from mature students - over the age of 23 - are also down by 11.2 per cent, reflecting the worries of these potential students with often greater financial commitments and the impact of the Government’s policies on them.
“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.
“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.”