Published on November 27, 2013 | by Ruby Sigurdardottir0
Loans sold off despite ‘National Day of Action’
The government sold £890m worth of student loans to a private company despite a recent ‘national day of action’ against the privatisation of student loans,
The debt collection firm Erudio Student Loans bought the remaining 17 per cent of loans taken out by students between 1990 and 1998 for £160m.
Universities Minister David Willetts said the “mortgage-style” student loans would “allow us to reduce public debt”, however Toni Pearce, president of the National Union of Students (NUS), called the development “extremely concerning”.
The move comes after the Student Assembly Against Austerity, which includes UAL and SOAS among 24 others, held co-ordinated demonstrations across the UK attacking the government’s plans to sell off student debt to private companies.
Earlier this year the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, stated that the government would “take action to sell off £15 billion worth of public assets by 2020. £10 billion of that money will come from corporate and financial assets like the student loan book”.
SOAS SU’s Campaign Officer Georgie Robertson told Arts London News: “The trebling of tuition fees was outrageous enough. Now they are planning to sell off our student debt to private companies who can change the terms and conditions.
“It completely violates the agreements that those of us made when we took out those loans previously, which were based on those certain terms and conditions.”
Protest organiser and politics student Tom Costerton urged students to “get involved and fight back against the government” by lobbying MPs and signing the “stop the sale of student loans” online petition, which has accumulated over 15,000 signatures.