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01st Jun 2017

Jeremy Corbyn’s student loan policy could be potentially life-changing

Paul Moore

This could change a lot of people’s lives.

Regardless of how you plan on voting in the general election, there’s no denying that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been far more active in engaging with younger voters.

Given the fact that this demographic – and their turnout rate – were absolutely pivotal in the Brexit vote, it’s clear that the Labour strategy for the general election is aimed at rallying and encouraging the younger voters to make their voices heard.

Aside from gatecrashing Libertines concerts, talking about Arsene Wenger and having brunch with JME, it’s apparent that the Labour manifesto isn’t just an endless series of empty promises.

Corbyn has put considerable thought into issues like housing, health and business, but in a wide ranging interview with NME, the Labour leader has reiterated his stance on student loans and provided an encouraging update.

Ok, we already knew that he promised to scrap tuition fees, but the magazine also asked about those people who already have student debt. How do Labour intend to deal with those people who have already been paying £9,000 a year?

Corbyn said: “First of all, we want to get rid of student fees altogether. We’ll do it as soon as we get in, and we’ll then introduce legislation to ensure that any student going from the 2017-18 academic year will not pay fees. They will pay them, but we’ll rebate them when we’ve got the legislation through – that’s fundamentally the principle behind it. Yes, there is a block of those that currently have a massive debt, and I’m looking at ways that we could reduce that, ameliorate that, lengthen the period of paying it off, or some other means of reducing that debt burden.

Regarding those students that already have to endure student debt, he said: “I don’t see why those that had the historical misfortune to be at university during the £9,000 period should be burdened excessively compared to those that went before or those that come after. I will deal with it.”

If you’re a mature student, or if you plan on going back to college in the near future, Corbyn said : “our manifesto includes a clear pledge that we will put funding into it (Open Colleges) and we’ll also be supporting mature students in doing degrees online, doing degrees by evening classes, doing degrees while at work. We’re going to establish a National Education Service, which will oversee the funding of all aspects of our education.”

The whole interview can be found here and it’s definitely worth reading.