Just what might student class action mean for universities? (Stock image)

Students should not have to pay tuition fees, says Archbishop of Canterbury

The Archbishop of Canterbury says higher education should be paid for by government rather than by students themselves.

Justin Welby believes students will feel a wider debt to society if they have received free education.

In an interview with Unified, the Canterbury Christ Church University newspaper, he said: “I think they should be paid for by taxation and not by tuition fees.

“People like me didn’t pay tuition fees and the vast majority of people came away from university feeling like the country had given them something and they owed it.

“If you’ve paid for it, you’ve bought it. It’s yours so why should you care about anyone else?”

Justin Welby: Free education

Mr Welby spoke out earlier this month against crushing personal debt and argues that the 6% interest rate for student loans is unfair.

He went on: “It started off that the loan rate would be set at the rate of inflation. But inflation is nowhere near that level.

“The point of setting it at the rate of inflation is that there is no real cost.

“The figure of 6% is a commercial rate of interest and much higher than they borrow at so they’re making a significant profit on lending it out.”

The Archbishop also told Unified that he feels students make a massive contribution to life in Canterbury.

“The universities I would think are the key economic features of the area in the numbers of people they employ,” he said.

“The students create significant employment in shopping, retail, in entertainment and restaurants.”

In May, Mr Welby will be seen by millions around the world when he oversees the marriage of Prince Harry to American actress Meghan Markle in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

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