When I visited the US recently, I got talking to some American teenagers about
university. They (like me) had just left school and were trying to decide where to go next. I explained that in the UK, the Government's plan to raise tuition fees to £9,000 a year had led to
riots. Their jaws dropped. They couldn't understand what the fuss was about. In the US, fees can reach $40 000 a year for the private Ivy League colleges. The reaction in the UK seemed ridiculous
to them. They felt we should be grateful that we didn't have to pay $40,000. [Although, to be fair, some state universities only charge around $5000].
There are plenty of reasons for English students to be justifiably upset: Scottish students still pay nothing, Clegg reneged on his key election pledge, and the prospect of paying £9000 per
year is daunting.