The National Union of Students (NUS) has released a statement in response to a report from the Public Accounts Committee on student loan repayments, calling the recent conversion to £9,000 a year student fees as “unsustainable” and “doomed to fail from the start”.
The NUS report declares that the government continually over-estimates the amount of debt that students pay back each year, and in turn under-estimates the money that will never be repaid.
The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts, said of their findings: “There is around £46 billion of outstanding student loans on the Government’s books, and this is before the full impact of fee rises to £9,000 a year.”
It is predicted that by 2042 student debt will be at a high of £200 billion, with the Government estimating that 35-40% of this total debt will never be repaid, although the Public Accounts Committee argues it could reach even larger due to previous predictions.
The NUS Vice President (Higher Education), Rachel Wenstone, said: “The government has consistently underestimated the cost of their funding policies, meaning graduates now stand to pay back twice, through their student loan repayments and as taxpayers confronting the spiralling costs of this ill-conceived scheme.”
She continued: “This should be a much-needed wake up call for ministers, who must urgently go back to the drawing board to find a fair and sustainable solution. Forcing debt onto students as a way of paying for universities is an experiment that has well and truly failed.”
Second year English Literature student, Laura-Jane Tiley said: “It seems ridiculous for the government to increase student fees if students are just not able to pay back the loans. If this is already a problem before factoring in the tripling cost of a university degree then they definitely need to address this issue soon, before it has an irreversible effect on the country’s economy.”
James Pidduck, News Teambookmark me