Tom Blenkinsop, the Labour Member of Parliament for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, and Teesside Young Labour today revealed how Teesside had been hit “hard” by the Government’s new tuition fee regime.
Tom asked Vince Cable in a formal Parliamentary question how many applications had been received by UCAS from residents of his constituency to university. Statistics released by the Government in response to Tom’s question showed that applications submitted by Teesside residents have fallen by 10.2%, whilst UCAS figures show that applications to Teesside University have fallen by 12.5%.
Tom said: “In 2010/2011, before the Government introduced their £9,000 tuition fees, 700 of my constituents had submitted applications by the deadline to UCAS. This time around, only 646 have — a decrease of nearly 8%. Meanwhile, Teesside University has seen a drop of 12.5%.
Whilst I would still encourage anyone who wants to go to university to apply, the Government’s decision to triple tuition fees appears to have deterred many Teessiders from applying to go to university. This could have potentially catastrophic effects on our area’s future, as our workforce could find itself without the skills and education it needs to compete in today’s global economy.”
Dan Johnson, Chair of Teesside Young Labour, said: “Applications to Higher Education from Teessiders have plummeted. Redcar shows an 11.4% drop, Hartlepool a 16.4% drop, Stockton North a 14.2% drop and Stockton South an 11.5% drop.
It is clear that Cameron and Clegg’s Higher Education policy is not working; they are hurting the North East the hardest, and they are apparently discouraging young people in Teesside from going to university.”