The subject of tuition fees was noticeably absent from debate in the election. Very little was said by the three party leaders, despite the fact that many parliamentary candidates busied themselves signing up to the NUS pledge not to raise fees.
Meanwhile, there is no shortage of vice-chancellors willing to say that the fee cap should be raised, or lifted completely – a development that will do nothing to enhance the public’s understanding of, or affection for, fees.
If we were able to step outside of this sphere for a moment we might learn some lessons about why there is such a divide between public opinion on university funding and the view from within the sector. It isn’t simply about money or the fee cap.
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