John Denham talks to students at Northumbria UniversityLabour’s Shadow Business and Universities Secretary John Denham visited Northumbria Students Union today to highlight the chaos caused in Higher Education by The Tory-led Government. Mr Denham heard from young people in the union's Habita cafe bar as figures showed that the average fees for students studying in North East will rise to £8,700 from 2012.


Of the five North East Universities, two are charging the maximum £9000 tuition fees (Newcastle University, Durham University) whilst the all the other institutions are charging £8,500.  (Sunderland University, Teesside University and University of Northumbria)


Fees of around £9,000 are becoming the standard at most universities, not 'exceptional' as Ministers promised. This means that students in North East cannot 'shop around' for a cheaper high quality degree in the region.


Through cutting the university teaching grant by 80%, David Cameron has forced universities to increase their fees towards the maximum to make ends meet and still provide a high quality education to their students. 


The University of Northumbria at Newcastle faces a cut of almost £47m from the teaching grant provided by central government.


John Denham is to meet with students at the University of Northumbria Students Union tomorrow to hear their concerns about the government’s decision to increase the maximum tuition fees charged to students.


After the visit John Denham said:


“By cutting teaching funding by 80% the Tory-led Government has tripled fees and imposed unfair system on the rising generation of young people.  The Conservative-led Government has lost control of fees, with £9000 becoming the norm, not the exception.


“Ministers need to explain to young people in the North East and Cumbria why they now face higher competition for university places and higher long term debt when they start working.  This is unfair, unnecessary and unsustainable, and limits the chances of some of our most promising young people.”