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Pressure from students forces debate on raising tuition fees

Tuesday 18 July 2017

The National Union of Students (NUS) responds to the announcement of an emergency debate on the government’s plans to raise tuition fees, scheduled for tomorrow (Wednesday 19 July).

Today the Speaker of the House of Commons granted an emergency debate, tabled by the Labour Party, to scrutinise the government’s plans to raise tuition fees. This is a conversation the government did not want to have.

The debate, scheduled for tomorrow, focuses on a very specific issue - a decision made last year to raise university fees to £9,250 from £9,000 per year from 2017 - with further inflationary rises in subsequent years.

MPs had been due to discuss the issue on April 19, however the debate was cancelled after the prime minister called a snap general election.

The government had fallen silent on the topic since the general election, but following mounting pressure from students’ unions and NUS we’re forcing them to start the debate they’ve been trying to avoid.

Responding to the announcement, Amatey Doku, NUS Vice President (Higher Education), said:

‘This debate focuses on a very specific issue – inflationary fee rises. NUS supports free education and opposes any increase in the burden of debt that the government intends to place on students.

It’s not enough to focus on fees alone. The dismantling of the maintenance grants system has led to students struggling to make ends meet and a rise in drop-out rates. Now is the time for a broader debate about a funding system that recognises education as a public good.’


NUS will be following the debate in Parliament live tomorrow. Amatey Doku is available for further comment, please get in touch with the NUS press office on 07866695010 or


The National Union of Students is a voluntary membership organisation which makes a real difference to the lives of students and its member students' unions.

We are a confederation of 600 students' unions, amounting to more than 95 per cent of all higher and further education unions in the UK. Through our member students' unions, we represent the interests of more than seven million students. We promote, defend and extend the rights of students and develop and champion strong students’ unions.