Dear Honourable Members of Parliament for Constituencies in Birmingham
Re: University Tuition Fees
I am shocked to learn that the new system of university tuition fees will incur interest repayments.
I fear that the high cost of tuition fees – that not only have to be repaid over such a long period of time but coupled with interest charges – will be a significant deterrent to students from deprived backgrounds and in particular, the Muslim community – from contemplating, let alone undertaking tertiary education in England.
As you may or may not be aware, financial transactions involving the giving and receiving of interest is an anathema to those members of the Muslim community who take a moral and principled stand on the issue.
This is a recognised issue because past governments have legislated to cater for the financial needs / requirements of the Muslim community. As way of examples, I draw your attention to the following two websites, one by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and the second by the Child Trust Fund.
I cannot understand why interest has to be charged in any case because my understanding is that the taxpayer will be providing the initial funding for university fees upfront, not commercial banks.
I would be grateful, if you could use your respective positions as Members of Parliament for Constituencies in Birmingham – some of which have the highest rates of unemployment in the country due to lack of basic and advanced education, training and skills – make formal representations to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and Minister of State for University, Science and Innovation to express strong concerns that the high cost of university tuition fees that have to be repaid over a working life time, coupled with interest will have a devastating impact on university participation rates from deprived communities and in particular the Muslim community.