Frequently asked questions
Q. I'm not in Further Education, so this has nothing to do with me, right?
A. Wrong! This is relevant to you, whether you are in Further Education or Higher Education. No to FE Fees is NUS' national priority campaign because FE fees are an absolutely MASSIVE issue, with the potential to change the entire demographic of higher education as we know it.
Access of mature students to higher education is under threat: Mature students in HE often acquire their highest pre-entry qualification later in life. Research recently conducted by NUS and Million+ suggests that nearly two thirds of mature students applying to a HE course with a level 3 qualification completed this qualification when they were aged 24 or over. The level 3 loans policy assumes a 20 per cent drop in participation of adults aged 24 and over in level 3 courses. But we know that adult learners in FE are more debt-averse than the average student - indeed a government survey said that two thirds wouldn't take out a loan to study at level 3 - so we fear the drop in participation will be much higher. The government's own impact assessment suggests a possible 40 per cent drop in participation.
The cumulative effect of taking out a loan for level 3 and then a loan for higher education will be an even greater deterrent.
Women will be disproportionately affected as they often return to study later in life after having a family. Those already economically disadvantaged such as BME and disabled students will be priced out of education. This will have a hugely negative impact on widening participation into HE.
If your university offers further education courses, your institution could experience a drop in participation from those aged 24 and above.
Also, remember that current HE students are prospective adult FE students. Both HE and FE students’ unions really should care about this and work in partnership to say No to FE fees. We simply can't win this fight without the support of students' unions in higher education. Please show solidarity with your FE counterparts and lobby your MP to oppose fees and loans in FE.
Q. Do I have to go to Westminster to lobby my MP, or can I do it closer to home?
A. No need to go to London; June 22nd is a ‘No to FE Fees’ national constituency lobby day. This means that rather than try to get students along to Westminster all on one day as is often the case with national lobby days - which is often difficult, time consuming and expensive for local students’ unions to organise - this time students can lobby their MPs locally, in their constituency surgeries, all on the same day instead. This way everybody has the opportunity to get involved locally, and we can mobilise masses of students to lobby their MPs to say No to FE Fees in every constituency across the country.
Q. I don’t know who my MP is, or how to lobby them – help!
A. Don’t worry, you can do all this very easily via http://no2FEfees.org.uk. NUS’ ‘How to lobby your MP’ briefing, available here also provides lots of advice and info about lobbying your MP.
Q. How can I find out more about the No 2 FE fees campaign?
A. Check out our What's going on and what you can do about it briefing
Q. How can I get others involved in campaigning with me?
A. Check out our 'How to get others involved' briefing
Q. How can I get local media coverage for our local No 2 FE fees campaigning?
Check out our 'Dealing with the Media' briefing
For more info, including news and downloadable posters, logos, etc please keep checking www.nusconnect.org.uk/no2FEfees. We’d also love to hear about how you are campaigning on No to FE Fees – let us know at email@example.com.