On Monday 9th May 2011, Aberystwyth University announced plans to charge the “exceptional” £9,000 tuition fee rate from 2012.
Aber Students Against Cuts strongly condemns the move as ‘a full-frontal attack on education’, that will put the future of the University, and the town itself, at risk. In university towns such as Aberystwyth, students are a major contributor to the local economy, without which local services would be lost. It is beyond doubt that any raise in fees will discourage students from attending university, dreading the prospect of starting their adult life up to £40,000 in debt.
The move, as part of the creation of a market in education is a regressive and damaging action that will undermine the fundamental principles of education whilst disproportionally hitting students from poorer backgrounds, as well as female and disabled students.
“Education is not a factory for producing workers. It is about broadening horizons, building knowledge and understanding, and helping students develop as a person, and as a society.” – A member of Aber Students Against Cuts
The economic arguments in favour of tuition fees have no sound basis in reality. Investment in education bolsters the economy, with a return of almost £3 for every £1 spent; and with graduates earning on average £100,000 more than non-graduates. According to a study by Universities UK, the HE Sector alone has generated over £45bn in UK output, whilst providing 2.5% of the jobs in the workforce . Additionally, it is reported that the increase in fees, coupled with cuts to funding, will actually increase public debt.
Aber Students Against Cuts calls upon students, unions, and universities across the UK to reject the education funding reforms. The group advocates lawful direct action to oppose the ideological attack against education, public services, and society as a whole; and asks local unions to work together to take action as a result of Aberystwyth University’s announcement.
Aber Students Against Cuts is a horizontally-organised campaign group, consisting of students, university staff, and members of the local community, who actively campaign against public sector cuts, with emphasis on educational funding.
 Spending Review 2010 Written evidence submitted by University and College Union, Equality & Diversity point 38.
 The economic impact of UK higher education institutions http://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/Publications/Documents/economicimpact3.pdf