The Chartist: French Lessons

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Back in 2010, the 50,000 students that took part in one of London’s largest demonstrations in recent memory were very sure of what they were protesting against: the Coalition’s proposals, now realised, to cut state funding for higher education and to triple the cost of university tuition fees. […] Labour, like the protesting students, is sure of what it opposes. […]

[…] There are two main differences in the French system which allows it to outstrip the UK on equal access to education. Firstly, state universities are free or at most a couple of hundred pounds a year to attend, with generous bursaries offered to cover living costs. Labour could be stronger in its proposals to reverse or lessen the £9,000 annual fees, especially for poorer students, to re-establish education as a right, not a privilege. […]

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