Jubilee 2022: Writing off the student debt

Download the full proposal as a PDF here.

Labour is committed to ending tuition fees from the moment it is elected. This commitment to educational justice and quality is laudable, and will be a step towards ensuring our universities act as institutions for the public good, not profit-maximisers.

However, Labour as of yet has no policy on what to do about outstanding student debt. It cannot face the next election telling young people that if they are unlucky enough to have started university the day before a Labour government is elected, they will still have to pay off a huge loan to cover their fees. This creates a dangerous cliff edge – not least for English universities, as it would make sense for students to defer entry until after a general election.

In this publication, Professor Danny Dorling and Michael Davies propose a cap on maximum tuition fee loan repayments for first-time, undergraduate degrees for students who enrolled between 2012 and the abolition of tuition fees. It might be called Jubilee 2022 – named after the year in which it would be implemented, if the next General Election is held as scheduled in that year and Labour win.