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No debt of gratitude

As a former teacher of Access students, I can imagine their reaction to the suggestion that mature student "Mary" should happily incur massive debts to pay for her university course ("The other side of Mary's story", Letters, December 3). The vast majority of Access students make considerable sacrifices to re-enter education and the prospect of such indebtedness is liable to deter many of them from trying, or at least guarantee that their ambitions are restricted to a vocational course at the nearest (cut price?) institution.

Meanwhile, more privileged students will have a wide choice of what and where to study. This is an affront to equity and social justice. Both chancellor George Osborne and higher education minister David Willetts say we must not saddle future generations with debt, yet that is precisely what they are proposing. Hypocrisy, incoherence, or what?

Tony Dennis, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire.

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