Norwich students vow tuition fees will not stop their future plans
Celebrating A-level students in Norwich last night said they would not let rising tuition fees stand in the way of their dreams of going to university.
Of those students spoken to by the Evening News yesterday, nearly nine of 10 said the steep rise in tuition fees at many university and higher education colleges had not affected their decision over whether to continue their studies.
Some said it had made them think more carefully about what and where to apply, while others admitted that the prospect of tens of thousands of pounds of debt would play on their minds.
But the vast majority of Norfolk teenagers seemed determined to follow their university dreams in order to secure a career in their chosen industry.
Hewett School student Stevie White, 19, from Mile Cross in Norwich, said he did not consider fees at all when choosing his university – instead focusing on the best courses for his chosen subject of animation.
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He added: 'I like the idea of being able to pay it back because it means I will have earned enough. I have plans. I'm trying to earn enough to pay it back.'
City College Norwich student Ben Pollock, from Drayton, added: 'I was determined to go to university anyway.
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'The tuition fees are more of a tax that goes on your earnings, so they are not a traditional debt.'
But a small number of students said it had made them choose a different route.
Nicole Coombs, 18, from Poringland, said: 'I'm not going to university because of the expense involved – if the fees were lower I would have tried a lot harder in my A-levels.
'I would love to go to university, I would love the whole experience.'
Many universities, including the University of East Anglia in Norwich, have chosen to charge the maximum �9,000 a year for their undergraduate degrees.
But all have been working hard over the past year to make sure students are aware of the new finance arrangements for degrees.
As well as explaining how and when they will be expected to pay back their loans, many have been keen to publicise the bursaries and scholarships on offer as a result of the government's decision to raise the cap on fees.
Many students said the advice available at their schools had influenced their views on tuition fees.
Mark Farrar, principal at Reepham High School and College, said: 'It's so important to make sure they understand that, although they will have this debt, it is not as onerous as it seems because of the way you pay it back.'
Mark Barlow, director of admissions, recruitment and marketing at the University of East Anglia, said: 'We're very pleased to see that students who want to go to university are not being put off by the cost of tuition fees. Going to university is an investment in your future, your career and your earning potential.'
For more coverage of the A-level results go to www.eveningnews24.co.uk
Make sure you don't miss Monday's 12-page exam supplement in your great value Norwich Evening News.