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New Clause 5 — Abolition of tuition fees chargeable to qualifying student

Part of Higher Education Bill – in the House of Commons at 3:00 pm on 31st March 2004.

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Photo of Ian Gibson Ian Gibson Labour, Norwich North 3:00 pm, 31st March 2004

I wish to speak to amendment No. 128 in my name and those of my hon. Friends, and on which I shall seek to divide the House. It was recommended by the Public Bill Office as the only way to remove the introduction of variable fees from the Bill, and that is the position that I take. We can talk about OFFA in more detail later. It would be a functional organisation and its work with the Higher Education Funding Council for England would be important. If the amendment were agreed to, that would not be eliminated as an arena for discussion where we could ensure that universities had the right access policies.

Variable fees are a really bad idea because—