Redbridge MP with radical tuition fees plan to meet David Cameron

A RADICAL solution to the threatened rise in university tuition fees could be piloted in the borough by an MP who wants to see companies sponsoring students’ degrees.

Conservative Ilford North MP Lee Scott is pledging not to vote for any increase in top up fees tabled by his government, saying he will have to deal with any fallout from his decision.

He is due to meet Prime Minister David Cameron next week to discuss his plan to give students a chance to go to university without paying thousands of pounds.

The scheme would be piloted in the Ilford North constituency if Westminster approves the plan.

Mr Scott said: “What I’m trying to do is think of ideas that help the issue. Just saying ‘I’m not voting’ doesn’t change whether or not it will happen.”

Under his proposals, primarily multinational firms will be asked to pay the cost of university degrees by entering into a formal contract with students.

Assuming the student gets a degree, they would have to work for the company which sponsors them for three years under the terms of their contract. If the company does not have a job, the student does not have to pay, and if the student is employed elsewhere, the sponsor could be reimbursed by the company employing the graduate.

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Mr Scott said: “It’s going to help with a lot of issues because there are many people with perfectly good degrees who can’t find work. We’ll wait to see if we can take it forward, but I believe it will work.

“We’ve got time. We’ve got 18 months.”

He says several companies tell him they are interested in his model.

Both he and Labour Ilford South MP Mike Gapes signed pledges before the election to vote against any rise in fees.

Mr Gapes also says he will stick to his pledge.