That open letter thing I love to do so much:
I write with regard to the impending rise in the rate of tuition fees that appears likely to be passed by parliament, despite the valiant efforts of young adults, academics and other engaged members of civil society. I appreciate that Bath University, as one of the leading universities in the country, will be keen to increase its income through this channel, especially as the Coalition government makes it clear that university funding will be slashed now, and potentially again (and again…) in future.
However, as an alumnus of the university, I ask that you consider students from all backgrounds in your decision of how much to increase the fees that the institution charges; £9000 a year, even when paid back after graduation, is an incredibly prohibitive and punishing amount of debt to saddle future graduates with; my own debts from even £1500 per annum fees and the student loan program are significant, and I cannot understand what good it would do for society for our future scientists, engineers, artists, managers &c. to begin their professional careers crippled by tens of thousands of pounds of debt.
A generation of students and potential students is being radicalised by this decision, and, although I will not be affected, I firmly believe that implementing this policy will damage both the British higher education sectors success and repute, as well as the long term recovery of our economy. As such, I implore you not to raise Bath’s fees above the existing rate, and certainly not above the £6000 threshold, and to use your position as a leading and respected academic and education professional to campaign against the proposed fee increase, as well as supporting your students and academics in their protests against these rises.
Should Bath take the decision to increase fees to the maximum allowed, I regret to say I will no longer feel any compulsion to support the university through the Alumni programme (I appreciate that the Alumni fund is sometimes used to support students from poorer backgrounds, but I assume that the decision to charge such large amounts will render it unnecessary).
Felix Cohen 2006 Graduate, Psychology BSc