Lucy Powell, Labour's parliamentary candidate for Manchester Central, has slammed the Tory-led government for trebling tuition fees, cutting student places and creating chaos in higher education.
Applications to university have fallen by 9.6 per cent in the North West, one year on from the Government’s decision to treble tuition fees.
Manchester’s higher education institutions have been hit hard by the falling numbers; Manchester Metropolitan University is one of the hardest hit with a drop in applications of 16 per cent, with 8.8 per cent less at the University of Manchester and a 6.2 per cent fall at Manchester College.
Lucy Powell, Labour's parliamentary candidate for Manchester Central, said:
“Manchester’s higher and further education centres of learning contribute enormously to the local and regional economy. Yet each institution has been hit by this drop in applications, with 16% less applications to MMU.
“This out-of-touch Government have made it clear that they are not on the side of young people in Manchester. It’s appalling that applications from the North West have fallen so much. In the region 6,359 young people less than last year have applied for higher education and 1,580 fewer people are starting apprenticeships.
“When we add these disastrous figures to our rate of youth employment, it is no exaggeration to talk of a lost generation of young people. The Government needs to do much more to show that they are serious about providing opportunities for young people and to show that they are not obsessed with cutting costs regardless of how many sectors are harmed. They have completely mishandled fees policy and they need to change course.”
Shabana Mahmood MP, Shadow Minister for Higher Education, added:
“Set against the backdrop of rising fees, and in a year when tens of thousands of people will miss out on a higher education, the Government is sending a clear message that it is abandoning students. Through their actions, they are also jeopardising all universities that generate so much for our economy today, and future generations will rely on to drive grown and maintain the UK’s global economic competitiveness.”