Press Release: CEP stands up for English university students while the NUS lets them down
The CEP carries on with its opposition to the Government’s policy of discrimination against English university students.
The Campaign for an English Parliament has deplored the decision of the National Union of Students last week to end its opposition to the tuition and top-up fees which are being imposed upon English university students.
‘We want every English student to know’, stated Mrs Scilla Cullen, Chairman of the CEP, ‘that the Campaign for an English Parliament will not stop campaigning against the fees New Labour has inflicted on English students while sparing Scottish and Welsh students. English students are being hit with immense debts while Scottish students are not.
In England university students have to pay £3145 each year of their university life. Students loans then have to be repaid at 4.8% interest rates after graduation.
Welsh students don’t have anything like the fee burden English students have. Their fees are only £1255 pa.’
However, in Scotland university students have no fees to pay. What’s more, the Scottish parliament has also made grants up to £2510 available to Scottish students coming from families on low incomes, which are not available in England. To make the discrimination even worse English students at Scottish universities have to pay their fees, while EU students do not; and Scottish students, and indeed Isle of Man students, at English unviersities pay no fees. What is quite grotesque about the whole situation is that, at the same time as the Scottish Parliament was legislatiing to relieve its students of fees, the vote in the UK Parliament to impose top-up fees on English students was carried only by the Scottish MPs in Westminister voting for them to give New Labour its majority in the vote in the House.The majority of English MPs voted against them.
‘The only way forward out of this discrimination’ says Mrs Cullen, ‘is for England to have its own parliament just as Scotland has. The UK government is just seeing England, which provides 85% of its whole tax revenue, as a milch cow from which Scotland and Wales benefit at the expense of the people of England. All the MPs who have imposed these fees upon English students got their university education completely free. The injustice to England is grotesque; and it is time that of the 660 Westminster MPs the 550 who are English start to stand up for their country. England should matter as much to them as Scotland does to the Scottish MPs both at Westminster and Edinburgh. They should stand up for their constituents. I can assure English students that is what an English Parliament will do.’
All students are invited to the CEP National Conference taking place at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, Holborn London on Saturday April 26th from 10:30 to 4:30. It is free and open to everyone.