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For many students, not fewer

Image: University of Bedfordshire

Labour should support continued expansion of higher education, but its tuition fee policy could put this at risk.

The Labour Party has always been an important advocate of higher education. In 1976, the Labour prime minister, James Callaghan, poured scorn on the idea that working-class education was about “fitting a so-called inferior group of children with just enough learning to earn their living in the factory”.

Instead he made clear that first-rate schooling and, by implication, university, should be the birth right of “the whole labour movement”. In 1997, Tony Blair made his government’s priorities very clear when he said: “Our top priority was, is and always will be education, education, education.”

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