Reporter 462, 26 February 2001

Party promises

Prime Minister Tony Blair has confirmed that higher education is one of the Government’s main priorities for a second term in office. Labour will ensure that more than 50% of people under the age of 30 go to university by 2010. The Government also plans to increase the number of graduates from deprived backgrounds through a range of measures, including bursaries of £2,000 to 25,000 students from poorer backgrounds. In his speech Blair also promised that by the next academic year 50% of students’ would not pay tuition fees.

Earlier, in a Commons statement, Education Secretary David Blunkett ruled out the introduction of university top up fees.

The Liberal Democrats say they would abolish tuition fees for higher education, a move they claim would provide free education for all and widen access to university for students from poor backgrounds. The party also pledged to inject a further £700m into the sector above existing government spending plans

the text of the Prime Minister's speech relating to higher education is available to view: pm_he.htm

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