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Fees in flux

Labour’s strong showing in the general election has raised questions about the future of university funding in England.

The ministers may have remained remarkably the same, but there’s a sense that the world has dramatically shifted since the general election on 8 June. That’s particularly the case with the vexed issue of who should pay for undergraduate education, especially in England.

In all the post-election analysis, the Labour Party’s policy to remove tuition fees has been linked to the assumption that young people came out and voted for them. Certainly the surprising changes of MP in some university towns, coupled with photographs of long queues of students waiting to vote, suggests a link. But, although neat, the demographics are still assumptions, and although it might have mattered to them, students would mostly have been voting for future cohorts to pay no fees rather than themselves.

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