As a means of winning over wavering Lib Dem MPs, the government is supposedly offering the possibility of students from poorer backgrounds the possibility of having their tuition fees paid for a year or two.
My simple response is, what about the middle classes ?
An 18 year old who has middle class parents earning £22k a year each (above the limit at which the government would have students repaying their loans) are no better off than students from poorer backgrounds. These middle class parents are not rich, they have no large disposable income, and they certainly do not have the money to bankroll children through university. But because these parents are not categorised as "poor" their children will have to pay out more in fees over three years than either of their parents earn in a single year.
The whole debate over tuition fees has seen the Lib Dems stuck in a ridiculous rut constantly arguing how Vince Cable's proposed system is fairer for the very poorest students, but totally ignores how unfair it is on those whose parents are not poor, but not exactly rolling in cash.
The thought of having £27000 of debts would almost certainly have put me off going to university, and it will have that effect too on many other children who are not loaded, but simple make ends meet.