BY CHRISTINA FARRELL
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH has joined a growing lobby of disaffected Labour MPs and rejected Government plans for university top-up fees.
Oona Stannard, chief executive of the Catholic Education Service, an agency of the Bishops’Conference of England and Wales, said there remained a “proper fear” that the proposals outlined in the Higher Education Bill would deter young people from further education.
Mrs Stannard said the effect of higher fees would be “most apparent among those groups who have not been the traditional entrants to higher education, and where there is a cultural unacceptability to debt”. But Dennis Kavanagh, Professor of Politics at Liverpool University, accused the Catholic Education Service and opponents of the Bill of “shortsightedness” which would damage higher education in Britain.
“What is the alternative? I am appalled,” he said.
“The Bill is an opportunity to place universities on a sounder, though not perfect, financial footing. The alternative to top-up fees is too appalling to contemplate. The taxpayer will not fund the universities properly, that is why they are in such a mess at present.
“This is the only way of getting more money into universities. Everybody agrees that universities need more funding and it is only right that students should pay. Students are more likely to be better ...
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