Talking point

30th January 2004 at 00:00
Sixth-formers at Raine's Church of England foundation school, in Bethnal Green, London, give their views on the Government's plans to allow universities to charge up to pound;3,000 a year in fees

John Nguyen, 16, wants to study economics at Nottingham university: "It is really unfair on working-class students and most ethnic-minority students are working class. Even with fees as they are I think I'm going to have to do another job when I'm at university which will mean less time for studies."

Lewis Hill, 17, wants to study politics at Bristol or York: "It's fine to pay to go to university because it is an investment. The funding for universities has to come from somewhere, and if we are going to benefit from it we should pay for it. I am worried about the variable aspect, but would still pay more to go to a better university."

Claire Napier, 17, wants to study law: "There is no real need for tuition fees because we should earn more so we should end up paying the Government more in taxes. I feel lucky that I'll be at university before they bring them in because I don't think I could cope with the added pressure."

Ruth Oyelakin, 16, wants to study law: "My older brother has just finished at university and works at IBM so I'm hoping he's going to help me pay my fees. It's my younger brother, who is six, that I really fear for. We're a family that supports each other, but it's not the same for all working-class families."

Kelly Nwankiti, 17, wants to study psychology and criminology at a university in London: "I'm planning to live at home to save on rent, but I'm still going to have debts of around pound;16,000. My mum says I will miss the university experience, but I want to be financially independent when I graduate."

Zia Haque, 18,has been offered places to study maths at Manchester university and at King's College in London: "When they put the fees up it will make people pick courses more carefully so they won't do ridiculous subjects like golf studies. It will make university harder to get into, but degrees have been devalued and there is a shortage of graduate jobs. I'm hoping my dad will help with my fees."

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