I am 16 and I want to share some inside experience which my Dad explained.

Scientists try drugs out on rats first. Economists skip the rat trials and experiment on our population.

It is not an accident that western Universities in New Zealand, America, Britain, Australia began to charge high fees to students about the same time. State higher education suffered the funding crisis as western governments insisted on setting targets for the massive increase in numbers in higher education. Department budgets could not cope, new buildings were necessary and new cash had to be found.

Oldie economists came up with a brilliant wheeze. They had got free University degrees. But Universities would instead from now on get shiploads of money that they needed from students. Governments would lend to them. Not all of the dosh would go to the Universities, a good amount of it would go to oldie landladies and pub owners.

Within a few years British students had debts exceeding average American credit card debts
(levels which previously frightened pay as-you-go Brits).
From Wellington to Aberdeen 20-year olds took on debts big enough for three or four business start ups. (Those who did not go to Universities often cannot get a loan from Mum or Dad or the bank to follow up a good idea).

Why should a student loan of £ 30,000 cost you interest? Well, it is fair. All loans in your life should have a cost which reflects the risk you are taking. You borrow £ 30,000 perhaps to trade in wine and make a £ 10,000 profit. You pay back £ 30,000 plus 5% interest.
However, a student loan of £ 30,000 is like a loan from a pawnbroker. The state taxman charges you 30p on every pound because you repay after tax deduction from your wages.
A cynic will conclude that economists are backing state power because most of them are paid by the state. They cannot enrol you in the tax system from birth but they have come up with a nasty ploy to indent you as a tax slave at 17 when you sign up for higher education.

Worse, higher education no longer gets you the job you want. Worse again, many of the jobs you are forced instead to take are competed for by economic migrants who are saving for a lower cost life style eventually back in Poland or Latvia.