Originally I supported the £9,000 tuition fee regime. But now, after my own daughter has gone through the system, I realise that the interest rates charged are scandalous
I have three children, all of whom went through university under different student loan regimes; the last one started university in 2012, just as the fees went up to £9,000. I was a supporter of the student loan system, as I figured it was not like a real debt, being written off after 30 years and only payable on a sliding scale of earnings. In this respect, I was out of line with most of the rest of my family and friends, who all seemed obsessed with the idea that Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems had done a U-turn on this. I thought I agreed with Vince Cable, who defended the move as a sensible way to fund a massively expanded higher education system.
Then, after my daughter had already clocked up a term’s worth of loan, I was alerted to the high interest rate payable on the £9,000. She’d be paying RPI plus 3% while she was studying and at least RPI thereafter, more if she earned more. I was appalled by this, and since we have the resources, we paid off her loan and thereafter funded her studies ourselves.