MP calls for impact of Graduate debt to be reviewed

May 24, 2007 1:08 PM
Mark asking question

Mark questioning the minister about the level of graduate debt

Mark Hunter, Liberal Democrat MP for Cheadle today (24th May) quizzed the Minister for Higher Education on the level of graduate debt. The Minister confirmed that in 2006 on leaving University the average level of debt that young graduates have to deal with is over £8,300. This level of debt can be extremely damaging for young people, making it vitally impossible for them to get on the property ladder or start a family and can affect their career choices.

When asked to confirm if the impact of debt on young graduates would be included as part of the 2009 review of the tuition fees policy, the Minister failed to answer the question saying only that the results of review couldn't be pre-empted.

Speaking after the question, Mark Hunter MP said: "As a parent of two teenagers myself, one at University and one currently completing A levels, I am very aware of the impact on graduate debt is likely to have on young people and their families. Frankly the level of debt we are talking about, over £8,000, can be crippling for young people when they are trying to start out in life. Debt can stop them from pursuing the career they might want to, and can severely limit their choices when it comes to buying a house or starting a family. Young people shouldn't have to choose between these and getting an education, and shouldn't be encouraged by the Government to take on debt.

I am appalled that the Government is apparently unable to confirm it will include an analysis of the impact of debt on young people in its 2009 review of the tuition fees policy. If the review is to be comprehensive and meaningful it must include this vitally important area, and the Government should act now to end the uncertainty and confirm that this is indeed its intention."

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