Former UK Education Minister Justine Greening Blocked Attempts To Reduce University Tuition Fees And Students’ Loan Interest Rates Says Ex May Aide

Theresa May’s former chief of staff has accused the former education ministers Justine Greening and Jo Johnson of blocking attempts to reduce university tuition fees and reform higher education.

Nick Timothy, who quit the prime minister’s office after last year’s general election, claimed the former education secretary and universities minister blocked proposals to reduce interest rates on student loan repayments and allow institutions to charge different fees.

Writing in a column in the Daily Telegraph on Thursday, Timothy said the ideas could be revived by the government after this week’s reshuffle, in which Greening resigned after refusing to be moved to a different department and Johnson was shifted to the Department for Transport.

Timothy also denied any involvement in Greening’s departure, but said the former education secretary “put the brakes on policies that work”.

He wrote: “Young people must be given better choices at 18. Right now, the incentives tell them to go to university. Many emerge with good degrees, but others come out with a costly qualification that makes little difference. On average, they will graduate with debts of £50,000, the highest in the world. Those who do not go to university – still more than half of young people – are neglected by a system guilty of institutionalised snobbery.”

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Theresa May’s former right hand man Nick Timothy quit after the last elections

Timothy also urged the new education secretary, Damian Hinds, to support the prime minister’s universities policy review.

“Greening blocked proposals to reduce tuition fees and refused to hold a proper review of tertiary education. Hinds must be brave enough to do that, to ensure universities are better, fees are lower, and young people get the technical or academic education that suits them. He is already touted as a potential future prime minister: if he gets this right, he will be a convincing candidate for the job,” he said.

Higher education policy is rumoured to be an important part of May’s plan to win back young voters, who overwhelmingly backed Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s agenda during last year’s election.

The Guardian

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