Top-ups and bottom lines

January 9, 2004

"We either have a fair contribution from students or we deny opportunities for hundreds of thousands by cutting university numbers. Or we raise taxes for everyone, including the majority who have not benefited from the higher earning power of higher education."
Tony Blair, prime minister

"He [ony Blair]had parents who were able to pay for him to be educated privately, and no doubt they would have been able to afford to pay for him to go to Oxford. I am not at all sure I would have been able to go to Cambridge if tuition fees had been charged."
Michael Howard , Tory leader

"The fact that a no-fees candidate gained more than 1,000 votes will send a clear message to the government about the unpopularity of their proposals for top-up fees."
Comedian Sandy Toksvig on her failed campaign to become Oxford University chancellor

"If the government succeeds in getting this bill through Parliament with the variable element in place, then it will have succeeded in creating a market in higher education. If that happens then £15,000 a year may prove to be a conservative estimate."
Mandy Telford , president of the National Union of Students

"I come from a working-class background. How could working-class parents today possibly afford the fees? I'd like to see the government leading from a philosophy of socialism, rather than from economic arguments."
George Carey , former archbishop of Canterbury and chancellor of Gloucestershire University

"The bottom line for me is the variable fee and the potential for removing the cap on that variable fee."
Nick Brown , former government chief whip

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