We shouldn't expect poorer students are expected to pay more for the privilege to study. It isn't fair to shackling our young people with increasing amount of debt. Surely we looking to build a funding system for higher education that accessible and recognises the social benefits of education for all.
The current set-up goes easiest on those at the extremes - those from the lowest or highest income backgrounds while, across the board, there's increasingly disparity. Removing Grants raises as many questions as it answers, but is more in tune with daily student hardship than anything else on offer.
Educational maintenance grants are just one measure that have helped unlock the doors of higher education for many - they provide the opportunity for every student to start on a near-equal footing. But this government has perniciously just swiped away that opportunity, and is going to destroy the aspirations of future generations.
While most of the focus is understandably on the rise of cost of student loans, the financial struggles for university students is just as important. When a student is paying up to £9,000 a year to go to university, the pressure is on them to ensure they walk away with a qualification. When they cannot afford to pay for rent or food, it is likely that the stress will impact their studies - especially if their parents cannot assist them in any way.
This could have been a good budget and one I would have welcomed, were it not for two announcements that made me see red: the pledge to scrap the Student Maintenance Grant and proposals to force lone parents of three and four year olds into work through the extension of the childcare voucher scheme.
By cutting maintenance grants and replacing them with higher loans, working class students with the lowest incomes will have even more to pay back... I worked long hours in part time jobs, got a credit card and I'm still in my overdraft - but I just about made it. When students are already struggling and support is cut further, how many will we lose?
The government are not going to suddenly fund drama training for people on low incomes. Despite the proven value an excellent drama training has in equipping people for so many roles in life, as well as in the arts, it's probably a low priority with graduates from low income families in medicine, law, and so many other areas also fighting for support
So the policy is not fault-free and will affect the poorest students the most. But it is better than some of the alternatives, such as cutting the number of higher education places, which would directly reduce the opportunity to study at a higher level, and the Government was elected on a mandate of reducing the deficit further.
I'm a student, and I'm voting Lib Dem. These two statements should not forge some irreconcilable conflict, but to many of my peers, they do. When I announce my political predilection, I'm regularly met with a furrowed brow and a medley of phrases such as, 'don't you feel betrayed?' or 'they just let us down.'
Many current students at Bournemouth University appear that to have now accepted £9,000 tuition fees as the norm and are even prepared for the possibility that the next Government could increase them further. They described fees to me as "money that you don't see", and were instead far more concerned with day-to-day survival...