I was saddened to read that Birmingham University is considering a Pounds 700 fee for new students (THES, June 14).
While studying there between 1988 and 1991, it was obvious to me that I was one of a tiny minority of students from a working-class background.
As an 18-year-old I had an ingrained fear of debt and a lack of confidence in my future financial prospects. Those beliefs and fears were not generally shared by students from more comfortable financial backgrounds with whom I came into contact, even those whose parents had made a show of making them independent.
I also had experiences and a lifestyle which were very different from those of most of my contemporaries and which I hope added a slightly different dimension to their learning experience, as they did to mine.
On reflection, I believe that if such a fee had existed at the time, the fear of incurring a large debt would have prevented me from applying for a place at Birmingham University.
I also believe that if all universities had such a fee, I might never have benefited from full-time higher education and would have missed some very important and valued experiences in my life.