A GROUP of Oldham teenagers have started a campaign pushing for cheaper University education.
The group collected over 410 signatures in the town centre on their first day as they aim to collect 7,000 signatures in a few months to present to Jim McMahon, MP for Oldham West and Royton.
University tuition fees can be as high as £9,250 per year, leaving a student on a 3-year course with over £27,000 of debt, which can be much higher once living costs are taken in to account.
The 11 teenagers from schools and colleges across Oldham met a month ago through the National Citizen Service, which provides 15 to 17-year-olds with a range of skills and experience that will help them in their future lives.
It includes a section on Social Action – encouraging young people to get involved in their community and make a difference through fund-raising, volunteering or campaigning.
Team Leader Shayma Khatun, 16, said: “I believe tuition fees should be lowered because education has positive benefits for the rest of society.
“People should not feel they cannot go to university due fearing they’ll be in huge debt, and rather than spending money paying off debt, graduates could be circulating money in the real economy.”
Since 2006, when tuition fees tripled from £1,000 to £3,000 per year, the proportion of students from the most disadvantaged backgrounds who went on to university have decreased by one third, according to UCAS.
Shayma added: “Tuition fees should be lowered as it ensures equal opportunities for all, and not only preserved for wealthy families who can afford to send their children to university.”