Lisa met with students at Winstanley College this week to talk about the upcoming election and the issues that concern them. The students asked a number of thought-out questions. Tuition fees were an issue with a number of people keen to enter higher education.
Lisa told students she had signed the National Union of Students’ pledge to oppose any increase in tuition fees in the next parliament. ‘I will continue to oppose any measure that makes it harder for young people in Wigan to go to university. Students are rightly concerned about coming out of university with debt hanging over them – we have to make sure that ability and the desire to go to university determine what a person does in life, not how much money their family has.’
Other issues that came up were giving young people the vote at 16, abolishing the civil list and giving young people free bus passes. Elderly people and and eligible disabled people already have access to free off-peak bus travel and students at the college thought young people in education should be given the same concession. Lisa supported the idea of making travel to and from college cheaper.
‘Education Maintenance Allowance was introduced by the Labour government to help young people from low income backgrounds stay in education for longer – and it has made a real difference – but I talk to a lot of young people who still struggle to balance their studies with part-time jobs and the costs associated with doing A-Levels, a diploma or other qualifications. Free bus travel would be a significant help to many young people in Wigan in completing their studies’
Lisa also wants to make sure that there are reliable and frequent transport links to get to school and college. If you would like to know more about the NUS pledge, click here.