Students debt now £4m

Harriet Russell - Deputy News Editor 19 June 2009

On May 22nd the Cambridge Student Liberal Democrats concluded their active campaign to end student fees by presenting Cambridge MP David Howarth with their results.

CSLD aimed to try and find £1 million of student debt in one day in Cambridge. In only a few hours and only 171 students, they recorded £4,080,082 of outstanding student debt.

A spokesperson for CSLD told TCS: “This shows how totally out of control student debt is. Many more students also took part in our Facebook ‘Wall of Debt’ which recorded an additional £1million.”

The CSLD presented their findings on YouTube, which shows Cambridge students holding whiteboards with their outstanding amounts of student debt and information on the British Political Parties manifestos regarding the issue. They also posted an official letter to the Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University detailing the campaign.

When asked why the campaign was so important, a spokesperson said: “Student debt threatens to increase the social divide at Cambridge, put increasing pressure on students to take up part time work during term-time, deter some of our most able candidates from applying and serve as a ball and chain to the hopes and aspirations of future generations.”

CSLD wanted to bring the campaign to the attention of both David Howarth MP and Cambridge University’s Vice-Chancellor. When asked to comment on the findings, Mr Howarth told TCS: “I congratulate the Cambridge Student Liberal Democrats on the Wall of Debt campaign.

The amounts of debt that the campaign found were alarming – far higher than official expectations. I am more convinced than ever that the Liberal Democrat recent conference’s decision to maintain our policy of abolishing all fees is the right one.”

Harriet Russell – Deputy News Editor