On the eve of the crucial Commons vote on university funding, Prime Minister David Cameron has sought to win over doubters with a speech promising the Government’s proposed fees package will be “sustainable, competitive and fair”.
As students staged sit-ins and rallies in protest at the plan to treble the maximum tuition fee to £9,000, Mr Cameron used a speech in east London to acknowledge the “passion” of those opposing his plans.
But he insisted that their passion was “drowning out some of the truth” about the package on offer from the Government.
Mr Cameron insisted that his plans would widen access to university, create incentives to improve the quality of courses and leave the poorest graduates better-off than under the existing system.
Denouncing the current funding arrangements as “unsustainable, uncompetitive and unfair”, Mr Cameron said: “Today I want to explain the real truth about what’s going on, why we need change and why the change we are proposing is the best option we’ve got.”
Labour leader Ed Miliband had earlier used the set-piece of Prime Minister’s Questions to challenge Mr Cameron on why he was forcing English students to pay “the highest fees of any public university system in the industrialised world”.