Angry student confronts Blair over tuition fees

Tony Blair today faced an impassioned grilling from a student angry about tuition fees.

Tony Blair today faced an impassioned grilling from a student angry about tuition fees.

The encounter came as the Prime Minister arrived at the University of Glamorgan in Pontypridd.

Andrew Chaplin, 23, a second-year media practice student from Buxton in Derbyshire, told Mr Blair that tuition fees were making daily life unaffordable for many students.

Mr Chaplin, dressed in white T-shirt and shorts, had chased Mr Blair’s convoy as it arrived at the university.

As Mr Blair emerged from his car Mr Chaplin walked up to him and started to harangue him about tuition fees.

Mr Chaplin was particularly angry about what he said was the waste of hundreds of millions of pounds on the Millennium Dome which could have been used to fund higher education.

Mr Chaplin told Mr Blair: ‘‘You want a classless society. How can you get that when only the rich can go to university?’’

Mr Blair, who spent two or three minutes in conversation with Mr Chaplin, told him that tuition fees were necessary to expand access to higher education.

Mr Blair pointed out the Government was trying to get 50% of younger people into higher education, and that youngsters from low income families were not having to pay the fees.

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