"Just look at the manner in which UK Students are drip fed debt"
It seems perfectly fair that the privileged / likely high earners directly pay for their choice of education. Many other countries also do this.
" it's all interest free to start with"
No, it's at the RPI + 3%. So relatively low.
"they hit you with the fees and interest for the next 20 years or more."
You only have to pay if you earn more than £21K a year. And because it's over a long period with low interest rates, the payments are relatively low...And if you have not paid within 30 years, it gets wiped.