The Socialist 10 December 2008 |
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Wales - the true extent of student debt exposed
On Thursday 4 December, members of Bangor Socialist Students organised a 'Wall of Debt'.
Students could estimate how much debt they would be in by the end of their course. Around sixty students participated and the estimates were written on colour coded stickers, with the lowest estimate (0-£5000) being pale pink, whilst the highest (over £20,000) were dark green. Over half of all estimates were green, whilst only a handful were pink.
The highest estimate, at $128,000 (£78,000), came from an American overseas student. Joint second were two law students at £64,000. Only two students were in no debt at all, and one of these was a visitor from Finland, where education is free. Many students in the lower debt bands informed us they had had to save large sums of money before coming to university.
This is an indication of the problems facing students in Wales before top-up fees have been introduced. There is an urgent need for a mass campaign for free education and against all attacks on education in Britain.