Socialist Worker

Student fees ‘concessions’ won’t help poor

Issue No. 2231

The government is trying to dampen anger at its education cuts by offering concessions to poorer students.

They say students who have free school meals will get up to two years of their tuition fees paid for them if they go to a university that charges the full £9,000 per year.

This is grossly inadequate—and almost irrelevant.

Only 45 pupils who get the meals went to Oxford or Cambridge in 2008. That’s half as many as go from just one private school—St Paul’s for Girls in London.

A measly 1 percent of students on the meals go to the “top 20” universities known as the Russell Group. And 21 Oxbridge colleges were found to have admitted no black students in the past year.

The scheme gives no new money to poorer students.

It is said to cost £108 million—to be deducted from a £150 million National Scholarship Programme already announced!

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