With the number of students pursuing higher education ultimately superior in previous years, it seemed a key factor impacting this may have been the rise in tuition fees and, with the Government having announced their proposal to increase these further, it seemed the trend may have continued. Yet, Theresa May recently vocalised her desire to counteract this decision, and freeze tuition fees at their current rate and, whilst the overall price of university may still lead to students potentially pursuing different career paths, acting in tandem with the rise in apprenticeship positions, the declaration may lead to an influx of students reigniting their interest in higher education. Yet, it may more poignantly showcase how Theresa May might be listening to the general public and, whilst this may naturally pay dividends for May, as she might reattain the votes which other parties gained in the election, it may also showcase how the public may enable change, with the campaigns surrounding the debate perhaps enhancing their credibility.
May’s plans also seem to outline her quest to assist students in the aftermath of their university tenure, with an extension of the help to buy scheme, coupled with her increasing the fee repayment thresholds, ultimately reiterating this suggestion. Yet, she may have exercised her right at this point due to her involvement in Brexit proceedings, as with the date for the conclusion of negotiations forthcoming, attaining more support for her domestic policies may lead to her having an increased influence in Brussels, and therefore attaining the best possible result for Britain.
The situation may also be capitalised upon by other political parties, as they may seek to attain votes, and therefore enhance their quest for Number 10, by vocalising their support of students. The most notable example of this may be Labour who, having already outlined their aim to remove tuition fees, might utilise May’s announcement as support for themselves, as she seems to be altering her party’s ideologies with a stance closer to Labour’s. Appealing to the youth may have paid dividends for Labour previously, as with a record turnout for young voters in the election, they made gains to narrow the gap to their counterparts; with Labour potentially also seeking to reattain votes after their stance on Uber, where the majority of the population possessed a differing stance, openly opposing the Conservative manifesto may contribute to this cause, and drive Britain down a new, innovative path.
Whilst both sides of the political spectrum may be debating the situation, bringing the predicament to the forefront of focus may solely serve to extend the reach of the discussion, and result in more people understanding, and ultimately forming an opinion on, tuition fees. With recent campaigns, uniting a large number of people, protesting a wide array of Conservative legislations, the tuition fee movement may enhance this quest further, resonating with the population and enticing an influx of people to join the cause. Whilst May might be able to utilise these protests to her advantage, as in adhering to these voters needs she may enhance her credibility as leader, these protests may more pivotally highlight to the Prime Minister the key areas in which innovation may be required, and thus the population may be showcasing their capabilities to implement change.
With the average wage having risen in the previous four decades, transitioning into the working world may be rapidly becoming a more suitable option for students, as it may provide them with consistent income and ultimately improve their standard of living. Yet, May’s announcement might influence students to return to university due to the benefits being clearer and, with more money to potentially spend on their own lives, these students may be able to achieve a better work balance, leading to increased focus, and in turn success. As such, this period may be increasingly important, as whilst it may be used for political gains, major influencers seem to be united under a common goal, and in potentially bypassing their differing political opinions in their quest, it may influence the general public to act similarly, and show solidarity with university students.
How might May’s announcement influence young people to involve themselves in other political debates?