Ian Gibson MP, Norwich North

voted ambiguously on the policy

University Tuition Fees - For

by scoring 52.7% compared to the votes below

Someone who believes that the cost of university education should be charged for at the point of use in the form of top-up or tuition fees, albeit accompanied by government-subsidised loans would cast votes described by the policy.

Student Finance — Opposition Day Debate - 4 Nov 1997 - Division No. 81
Policy 'University Tuition Fees - For'Aye
Ian GibsonAye
Lab3100
Con0120
LDem042
Total312171

The majority of MPs expressed approval of tuition fees of £1000/year.

The text of the approved motion read:

That this House

  • welcomes the decisive response of Her Majesty's Government to the report of the National Committee of Enquiry into Higher Education and to the crisis of funding in higher education bequeathed by the previous administration;
  • notes with approval the new arrangements for supporting students[1]. including fair repayment arrangements and targeted help for the most disadvantaged; and
  • welcomes the commitment to ensuring that more people will have opportunities to participate in high-quality education to their benefit and to the benefit of the country as a whole.
  • [1] David Blunkett MP, House of Commons, 4th November 1997 - During debate the "new arrangements" at this point were described as £1,000/year non means tested fees.
  • [2] David Blunkett MP, House of Commons, 23 July 1997 - Statement in which David Blunkett MP announced the government's intent to introduce tuition fees.

Teaching and Higher Education Bill [Lords] — New arrangements for giving financial support to students - 1 Jul 1998 - Division No. 323
Policy 'University Tuition Fees - For'Aye
Ian GibsonAye
Lab3270
Con0132
LDem042
Total329185

The majority of MPs voted not to exempt students at Scottish universities from paying fees in the 4th year of their degrees and not to allow the waiver of fees in the 4th year of degree courses at English universities.

Teaching and Higher Education Bill [Lords] - 1 Jul 1998 - Division No. 324
Policy 'University Tuition Fees - For'Aye
Ian GibsonAye
Lab3251
Con0133
LDem042
Total327187

The majority of MPs voted not to exempt students at Scottish universities from paying fees in the 4th year of their degrees and not to allow the waiver of fees in the 4th year of degree courses at English universities.

Higher Education Bill — Second Reading — Increase in University Tuition Fees - 27 Jan 2004 - Division No. 38
Policy 'University Tuition Fees - For'Aye (strong)
Ian GibsonNo
Lab31472
Con1158
LDem054
Total317312

The majority of MPs voted in favour of university tuition fees increasing from £1125 per year to up to £3000 per year, and to make other changes to higher education funding and regulation arrangements.

The majority of MPs voted to allow the Higher Education Bill 2004 to move to its Second reading, and continue its path to becoming law.

The main provisions of the bill were:

  • To allow University tuition fees to increase from the fixed £1125 per year to up to £3000 per year.
  • To create the Office for Fair Access to regulation higher education institution's charging of fees.
  • To create the Office of the Adjudicator in Higher Education - a complaints body - higher education institutions became legally bound to deal with.
  • To create the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

==

Higher Education Bill — New Clause 5 — Abolition of tuition fees chargeable to qualifying student - 31 Mar 2004 - Division No. 122
Policy 'University Tuition Fees - For'No
Ian GibsonNo
Lab0378
Con1510
LDem540
Total229380

The majority of MPs voted to introduce variable university tuition fees (top-up fees) of up to £3,000 per year in place of the previous fixed fee of £1,250 per year.

A proposed new clause 5 was refused a second reading ie. it was rejected. If it had been incorporated into the final Act this would have removed top-up fees from the legislation.

The text of the rejected clause read:

  • (1) This section applies to fees charged by a relevant institution in respect of a qualifying course in connection with the undertaking of that course by a qualifying student.
  • (2) No fees to which this section applies may be charged in respect of any academic year unless regulations under section 22 of the 1998 Act (new arrangements for giving financial support to students) make provision in the case of all qualifying students for authorising a grant in respect of that academic year to be paid directly to the relevant institution the amount of which is equal to the amount of the fees.
  • (3) In this section—
  • "academic year", in relation to a course, means an academic year applicable to the course;
  • "qualifying course" means a course which is—
  • (a) a designated course within the meaning of the student support regulations, and
  • (b) provided by an institution in England within the meaning of section 62 (7) of the 1992 Act;
  • "qualifying student" means a person who is of the class specified in Schedule 1 to the student support regulations other than—
  • (a) persons who are not eligible for support under the student support regulations by reason of regulations 4(2) of those regulations, and
  • (b) persons who are not eligible for a grant for fees under the student support regulations by reason of regulations 10(2) of those regulations;
  • "relevant institution" means an institution specified by the Secretary of State in a condition under section 68(1) of the 1992 Act or section 7(1) of the 1998 Act;
  • "the student support regulations" means the Education (Student Support) (No. 2) Regulations 2002 (S.I., 2002/3200)

Higher Education Bill — New Clause 5 — Abolition of tuition fees chargeable to qualifying student - 31 Mar 2004 - Division No. 123
Policy 'University Tuition Fees - For'No
Ian GibsonAye
Lab55315
Con1551
LDem540
Total290318

The majority of MPs voted to introduce variable university tuition fees (top-up fees) of up to £3,000 per year in place of the previous fixed fee of £1,250 per year.

The defeated amendment, No. 128, was introduced by Dr Ian Gibson MP who said of the amendment[1]:

Higher Education Bill — Third Reading - 31 Mar 2004 - Division No. 125
Policy 'University Tuition Fees - For'Aye (strong)
Ian Gibsonabsent
Lab30918
Con0153
LDem054
Total311250

The majority of MPs voted to allow the Higher Education Bill 2004 to move to its third reading, and continue its path to becoming law.

The main provisions of the bill were:

  • To allow University tuition fees to increase from the fixed £1125 per year to up to £3000 per year.
  • To create the Office for Fair Access to regulation higher education institution's charging of fees.
  • To create the Office of the Adjudicator in Higher Education - a complaints body - higher education institutions became legally bound to deal with.
  • To create the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

==

Higher Education Bill — Clause 27 — Sections 22 to 26: supplementary provisions - 23 Jun 2004 - Division No. 205
Policy 'University Tuition Fees - For'Aye
Ian Gibsonabsent
Lab3021
Con0121
LDem049
Total304189

The majority of MPs voted to allow universities to charge higher fees and to charge fees after the third year.

Lords amendment no. 2 was rejected in this vote.

During debate the effect of amendment 2 was described as being to:"not only stop universities charging higher fees, but abolish all fees after the third year"[1]

The Student Fees (Amounts) (England) Regulations 2004 - 19 Jul 2004 - Division No. 233
Policy 'University Tuition Fees - For'Aye
Ian GibsonAye
Lab2500
Con0117
LDem032
Total252155

The majority of MPs voted to raise the university tuition fee cap at £3,000 per year.

MPs passed Statutory Instrument 2004 No. 1932[1]. The text of the approved motion read:

The £3,000 "Higher Amount" is the maximum fee an institution can charge if it has a plan in place under section 33 of the 2004 Higher Education Act[2]. Such plans require institutions to set out how they are to promote awareness of financial and access arrangements for the course. Regulations may be introduced to require governing bodies to monitor their institutions' compliance with their plans.

The Statutory Instrument charged set the amount chargeable in the absence of an approved plan at £1,200 per year.

Higher Education - 14 Sep 2004 - Division No. 242
Policy 'University Tuition Fees - For'No
Ian GibsonNo
Lab0261
Con0123
LDem460
Total57388

The majority of MPs voted against the immediate abolition of all tuition fees, the re-introduction of maintenance grants of up to £2,000 for students from low-income homes, and changes to the country's higher education system.

The rejected motion read:

That this House:

  • notes with regret the emerging consequences of the passage of the Higher Education Act 2004;
  • believes that fees and expanding student debt create significant disincentives for those considering university entry, particularly from less well-off backgrounds;
  • congratulates the efforts of those in the House of Lords who achieved significant concessions during the passage of the Higher Education Bill, particularly for part-time students;
  • regrets that Her Majesty's Official Opposition has completely ignored the needs of part-time students in its new policy;
  • notes that Conservative proposals ask students to pay for the abolition of tuition fees through higher interest payments on their loans, leaving them no better off;
  • further notes the conclusion of the Institute of Fiscal Studies and others that Conservative proposals penalise the poor in order to subsidise the rich; notes the recent Times Higher Education Supplement/Opinion Panel Research opinion poll of students which finds that 47 per cent. support the Liberal Democrats, 20 per cent. support Labour and 23 per cent. are backing the Conservatives; and
  • therefore calls for the immediate abolition of all tuition fees, the re-introduction of maintenance grants of up to £2,000 for students from low-income homes, and the development of a higher education system which brings together universities, further education and e-learning, opens up routes to vocational and technical as well as academic qualifications, and makes it easier for those who wish to study part-time.

Higher Education - 14 Sep 2004 - Division No. 243
Policy 'University Tuition Fees - For'Aye
Ian GibsonAye
Lab2570
Con0124
LDem048
Total259187

The majority of MPs voted to reject the Liberal Democrat policy of abolition of tuition fees.

The agreed motion read:

That this House

  • welcomes the passage of the Higher Education Act 2004;
  • approves the further steps the Government is taking to widen participation, including the establishment of the Office for Fair Access, and enhanced bursaries;
  • welcomes the improvement in support for part-time students being introduced by the Government, including the first ever grant package available from this autumn;
  • rejects the Liberal Democrat policy of abolition of tuition fees, depriving universities of a dedicated income stream;
  • congratulates the Government on maintaining fair and affordable loan repayment terms and rejects the policies proposed by the Official Opposition which would require those graduates who can least afford it to pay the most for their higher education;
  • recognises the need to maintain UK universities at the forefront of world research and to equip the UK workforce with the high-level skills needed to compete in the global marketplace;
  • congratulates the Government on record levels of investment in higher education, to almost £10 billion by 2005–06, with a 9 per cent. increase in research funding to 2007–08, additional income from variable fees, and further increases in Government funding to be announced shortly;
  • looks forward to the introduction of a £2,700 maintenance grant for new students from 2006 alongside the improved student support package available from fee deferral, increased maintenance loans and loan write-offs for new students after 25 years; and
  • welcomes the impact these policies will have on encouraging students from less well-off backgrounds to consider entering higher education.

How the number is calculated

The MP's votes count towards a weighted average where the most important votes get 50 points, less important votes get 10 points, and less important votes for which the MP was absent get 2 points. In important votes the MP gets awarded the full 50 points for voting the same as the policy, no points for voting against the policy, and 25 points for not voting. In less important votes, the MP gets 10 points for voting with the policy, no points for voting against, and 1 (out of 2) if absent.

Questions about this formula can be discussed on the forum.

No of votesPointsOut of
Most important votes (50 points)   
MP voted with policy000
MP voted against policy1050
MP absent12550
Less important votes (10 points)   
MP voted with policy77070
MP voted against policy1010
Less important absentees (2 points)   
MP absent*112
Total:96182

*Pressure of other work means MPs or Lords are not always available to vote – it does not always indicate they have abstained. Therefore, being absent on a less important vote makes a disproportionatly small difference.

agreement score
MP's points
total points
 = 
96
182
 = 52.7 %.


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