Readers' reactions

December 18, 1998

Last week in The THES...

Peter Younie dismissed the refusal of rebel students at Oxford to pay their Pounds 1,000 tuition fees as an 'irrelevant and old-fashioned protest'

Matthew Pledger

Brunel University

I believe that (Oxford rebels) Kate Atkinson and Alice Nash are taking a courageous stand. Ten years ago the government introduced top-up loans. I said it would be the beginning of a full-blown loans system and that is clearly the case. Likewise, the government's decision to introduce tuition fees will be the beginning of students paying for all their education.

The poll tax showed that mass non-payment could destabilise a draconian tax. Fees can be stopped with a mass campaign of non-payment. Student activists need to link on a national level and work out a clear strategy to build a campaign of non-payment. Education must be free for all from nursery to university.

David Radlett


Three cheers for all students of principle. The principle here is quite simple: a society cannot provide any service (including education) without raising the money to pay for it. If we choose to pay taxes that are too low to fund essential services like health and education then we must live with the consequences.

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