News | Student loans campaign gains momentum

A group of students is set to tackle the government’s controversial plans to privatise student loans.

Students from a range of backgrounds met this week to plan Leeds’ role in the nationwide week of action that begins on February 3.

Action considered includes a march and the occupation of university premises for the first time since in four years.

The government proposal will privatise all loans taken out after 1998, worth approximately £40bn in total. LUU Political and Campaigning Rep Marianna Musset told LS :“This essentially means a hike in tuition fees and lengthening repayment years for those who have already taken out loans. ”

Musset added: “The sale of student loans will create a substantial burden for graduates and future tax payers in order to generate yet more profit for the private sector”

“As the majority of students here at Leeds and across the country will be affected, it is extremely important to make everyone aware of proposals that ultimately contradict our best interests ”

An e-petition on HM Government’s website has already received over 16,000 signatures, with an aim of getting 100,000 by April.

NUS President Toni Pearce appeared at a House of Commons Business, Innovation and Skills Committee meeting this week to discuss the issue. She said: “I think a lot of [students’] concerns are around who they owe their money to and who they’re paying, and whether that’s going to benefit private interest or whether it’s going to fund education.”

To hear the rest of what Pearce had to say at the meeting watch the Parliament webcast here.

Ryan Baulk


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