Havering students make headline news

HAVERING students had their moment in the spotlight this week appearing on TV being interviewed by BBC News on the controversial higher education tuition fees rise.

The BBC’s deputy political editor James Landale and a camera crew spent the morning at Havering Sixth Form College, in Wingletye Lane, Hornchurch, filming and speaking to students about how the increase in charges up to �9,000 per year will affect their decision about going to university.

The news piece featured as the lead item on the BBC’s Six O’Clock and Ten O’Clock News programmes.

Producer Lindsay McCoy and Mr Landale, a familiar face on the BBC, said they were impressed with the college and how the students had expressed their views. Many of the students said the rise in fees would leave them with more than �30,000 of debt after leaving university, which put doubts in their mind about whether to opt for higher education at all.

College Principal Paul Wakeling was also interviewed about how the higher fees could discriminate against some students and how the changes could affect the number of young people choosing to go on to higher education.

Mr Wakeling said: “Our priority is to ensure that students progress into meaningful employment or higher education and we will do everything we can to support students to make the right choices.”

The government confirmed the rise in fees after the Browne Review had recommended changes to university funding.

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Fees will rise from the current �3,290 per year to �6,000 – with an upper tier of �9,000 – if universities ensure access for poorer students.

Much of the rise will replace public funding withdrawn from universities in last month’s Spending Review.