Oxford students ‘frustrated’ after talk with Clegg

Student campaigners left a “disappointing” meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg today after being told the government would allow university tuition fees to treble.

Under the government’s proposed policy, universities would be able to charge up £9000 pounds starting from 2010, with interest rates on loans higher for some graduates than the current subsidized rate but below commercial levels.

Liberal Democrat MPs, led by Nick Clegg, had pledged in the election not to raise fees.

“[The party] has let me down. I think the tripling of student debt is a tragedy,” said David Freeborn, the President of the Oxford University Liberal Democrats. “If they’re not representing the voices of the students they’re going to suffer from it in the next election.”

The meeting today was a chance for the government to allay young voters’ worries about debt burdens for future university students; student organization leaders were invited as well as sixth-form pupils, one of whom described the meeting as “disappointing”

“[The meeting was] very frustrating but it represented accurately the anger and passion that students have at this issue,” said OUSU President David Barclay.

“This is not over. The government may have spoken…but we have still have a chance to make our voice heard.”