Tuition Fees

Part of Opposition Day — [7th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 9:24 pm on 30th November 2010.

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Photo of Anas Sarwar Anas Sarwar Labour, Glasgow Central 9:24 pm, 30th November 2010

Not just now- [ Laughter. ] I will give way in a wee moment. I am coming back to the Scottish angle, and I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will want to intervene on that point.

The question is who benefits from a university education. Is it, as the coalition believes, only the student who benefits, which means that they should pay most, if not all, of the costs? Or does the country as a whole benefit from a well-educated work force driving our economic prosperity? That is the ideological debate we need to have in this House.

No matter where one goes in the world, unrivalled importance is attached to education. When the Business Secretary and the Prime Minister had their bonding session in China, they might perhaps have learned the Chinese proverb: "If you are planning for a year, sow rice. If you are planning for a decade, plant trees. If you are planning for a lifetime, educate."