Bradford College students held a topical and lively debate in the format of ‘BBC Question Time’ pitting their wits against a team of MPs and Councillors, including Philip Davies Conservative MP for Shipley, David Ward Liberal Democrat MP for Bradford East, Green Party Councillor Kevin Warnes and Labour Councillor Ralph Berry.
The lively debate attempted to unravel the issues actively troubling students today – such as the rise in tuition fees of up to 9,000 per year for new students following cuts in public funding from central Government. Students also opened the debate on the educational maintenance allowance (EMA) which was scrapped by Minister earlier this year. The (EMA) made weekly payments of up to £30 to help sixth formers from poorer homes stay on in education.
The President of the Students’ Union, Nabeel Hussain and Citizenship Lecturer, Umit Yildiz were also on the panel to answer quick fire question from Bradford College students in the lively debate.
Event organiser Richard Leek, Student Lecture at Bradford College Sixth Form Centre said: “The aim of the event was to raise student’s aspirations and allow them to fully understand the importance of Politics in their own lives, whilst raising awareness in key areas of the political process.”
Richard Leek commenting on the success of the debate added: “I’m delighted the event has been such as success. It’s given our students the opportunity to engage and interact with leading local representatives, debating issues surrounding, Democracy, Representation and Accountability.”
Richard reflected: “Following yesterdays first national referendum for over 20 years, it has allowed our students to fully engage in the democratic process regardless of age.”
Curriculum Team Leader, Veronique Leygue added: “Richard has been a great asset to the Bradford College Sixth Form Centre. The organising of this event, which is so timely following the local elections and referendum is a credit to his dedication to students’ success and passion for his specialism.”
Veronique Leygue concluded: “We hope the event has enthused all learners present and will have a beneficial impact on their forthcoming exams and open up new avenues in terms of career choices.”