So, many moons ago now, Labour introduced University fees. This is one of those policies, which a bit like a pre-cursor to Brexit, forever split the electorate.
Those who came before fees became forever privileged and according to the leftist notice of 'privilege' are now not allowed to comment on the plight of those who went to Uni post fees.
However, the Uni's themselves have taken all sort of benefits out of fees. For one, they have decided to pay their own executives loads of money - having suddenly become pseudo-capitalists!
Also, they have raised fees and expanded their offer to Foreign students who they are allowed to charge more. This has led to big increases in their numbers and financing. Being known around the world means the UK has 13 of the top 20 Universities globally. Given the state of our lower education, this is frankly amazing. The rest of Europe manages one university in the top 20.
So with the traditional British skills of marketing, we have really smashed this market. However, it does mean that although overall the numbers of UK students going to Uni is steady, it has stopped its headlong increase. Also at the top Uni's a higher percentage of places are going to foreign students over UK students. But, thanks to fees, lots more UK potential domestic students are going to Continental and US Uni as they have to pay fees anyway - there are fewer stats on this, but it feels to me like this maybe compensating in a small way for the extra Foreign students.
Politically, Uni fees remain toxic, given they created a defined generational divide. It literally killed the Lib Dems as a political force, if not for a generation at least. Magic Grandpa Corbyn got a lot of votes in 2017 but deciding a wand waving exercise to remove fees would be a good thing to do - costings for this not applied. The Tories try to ignore something that was likely a good idea that they can forever blame on New Labour. But nobody will ever defend the fees, which is why I say it is kind of like Brexit - no one in Parliament will defend remain, but they all want it!
Overall increasing the money going into the Higher Education sector has seen it build a world-leading service and also start to exploit the capitalist benefits of the extra money - who knew those ivory tower lefties would turn out to be champagne socialists eh! It has led to more opportunity for the whole world to come to the UK with intangible benefits for our long-term global trading network. But it has not really helped the disadvantaged UK students and has acted as to enmesh our young in debt in a way previous generations had escaped. Some say it is a graduate tax, it is nothing of the sort - reducing a state subsidy can never be alikened to a tax. And of course, by reducing the subsidy and allowing/forcing private money into the sector the overall picture has improved.
No wonder the BBC don't like reporting on this!