Scholar pens Green Party manifesto

Keele lecturer’s work calls for end to tuition fees and a ban on animal experiments. Melanie Newman reports

April 16, 2010

The Green Party has pledged in its general election manifesto to scrap university tuition fees.

The manifesto, Fair Is Worth Fighting For, promises to “phase in the abolition of student-tuition fees in higher education”, but does not give further details about the length of time this would take.

It follows the pledge in the Liberal Democrat manifesto, which was also published this week, to phase out tuition fees over six years.

Labour and the Conservatives made no mention of fees in their manifestos, preferring to wait until the outcome of Lord Browne of Madingley’s independent review of fees and funding before announcing their positions. The review will report after the election.

The tuition-fee pledge is the only reference to higher education in the 50-page manifesto published by the Greens in Brighton yesterday, besides a pledge to “immediately ban causing harm to animals (including but not only primates) in research, testing and education, and invest in the development of alternatives to animal experiments”.

The manifesto was written by Andrew Dobson, professor of politics at Keele University.

The professor said he was not sure how unusual it was for an academic to write a manifesto, but that he had “never come across it before”.

He has spent the past 20 years researching, teaching and writing about green politics for the academy, he added.

His research specialism is environmental political theory, with particular reference to the relationship between “ecologism” and other modern political ideologies.

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