What the Labour manifesto means for students’ future

The party today revealed a manifesto that pledges to abolish tuition fees and bring back grants cut by the Tories

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Officially announced today, the Labour Manifesto has promised that, with a government led by Jeremy Corbyn, tuition fees would be abolished, with student grants and EMA restored.

Funded by extra tax revenue, this would totally go back on the Tory and Lib Dem coalition’s tripling of tuition fees in 2012. The party has also pledged over £25billion for a “national education service” – it’s a radical act, given the erosion of free education and studentship by the Tories over the last few years especially, but it’s radically fair and equal. 

Education shouldn’t be the privilege for the rich it’s been made to be. According to Full Fact, young people are bagging university places in England at record rates, but the majority of those are still from more advantaged backgrounds. If you're from a wealthier family, you're basically 2.4 times more likely to get into uni. This Labour future sees education as a free when needed service, an investment that would encourage a ‘graduate-led workforce’, increasing wages and productivity with it.

The party also promised to limit class sizes and extend free childcare to 30 hours for all two-year-olds.

Groups like Cut the Rent have shown us the commodity that being a student has become, as well as the outrageous tuition fees hike – molding everyone in education into consumers. We saw a government that refused to understand struggle take away grants that aided the poorest students through university. The education sector will only get less diverse and vibrant than it already is, stagnating, if we continue this way.

Labour’s pledge to reinstate EMA is also pretty great – the maintenance allowance would be brought back to help 16-18-year-olds from lower income backgrounds. It’s another opportunity to create a more equal and fair playing field for talented, but disadvantaged young people. That £30 that I received each week alleviated so much pressure around my GCSES and A-Levels. The current system as it is closes doors that should be wide open –no one’s education should be in crisis.

Polls last week showed that Labour bags 55 percent of the student vote: it’s more vital than ever, with thousands still unregistered, to vote and make your vote count. The website GE2017 helps those in education, who split their time between home and university, look up information on where their vote would make the most impact. 

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