Miliband survives student grilling
MORE than 500 students from the University of Nottingham turned up to grill Labour MP David Miliband about a range of topics, from the living wage to House of Lords reform.
Mr Miliband was at the university yesterday as part of a nationwide tour and members of the Students' Union got the chance to raise issues that concerned them.
Matthew Styles, education officer for the union, said he was pleased to see so many people turn out.
He said: "There's a general thought that young people don't and won't engage with politics but we've proven, with 500-plus people turning out for the Q&A, that people are interested.
"I think the more young people feel as if they can raise their concerns, the more people will listen. It's been great to have David Miliband here and discuss issues that matter to us with him."
Among topics were the cost of parking permits for students and concerns about security of international students following the visas row at London Metropolitan University.
Sian Green, accommodation and community officer, said: "It is a concern of ours that students are getting charged for parking permits by the city council and we really don't think it is fair.
Mr Miliband said he didn't think having a charge for students and not other residents was fair and we will continue to push the city council to change the policy."
Nottingham City Council has said it has a duty to help balance the parking needs of students and non-student residents and the charge was in place to make students question their need to take cars with them to university.
During an interview at the university, Mr Miliband said he was keen to support a Living Wage campaign that had been set up by the students.
He said: "It seems right that people fight to ensure the lowest paid at universities and elsewhere earn enough to live on."
He was also drawn on one tricky issue – tuition fees, which were introduced under Labour, with the cap then rising under the coalition Government.
He said: "Students will feel more let down if politicians go back on statements and the last thing we want to do is make promises that cannot be kept."