Not the bright option

October 10, 2003

Alison Wolf (Opinion, THES , September 19) accuses me of hypocrisy for claiming that tuition fees will enable dimmer members of the upper-middle classes to get to university and reduce the number of poor students attending. She says "the poor don't pay fees". Well, many students from families of below average income will have to repay fees and loans.

The prospect of a £20,000 debt is a deterrent. An Association of University Teachers' survey found that two-thirds of such students would opt for cheaper courses. It will be easier for the well-off but less bright to get to the university of their choice.

Paul Mackney
General secretary, Natfhe

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