It all justs depends on the system. For example, if students have to pay the 9,000 uk pounds upfront then it is likely to become a barrier to students from lower income households. However, if the students have to repay their debts once in the workforce, I really don't see how unfair it is.
I am studying law in Australia, and I am a full fee student. In reality this means I have debt of $AUS 83,000 plus my undergraduate degree in science. A total that is going to be near $100,000 I don't have to pay this back until I start working and the actual rate of repayment is quite fair. Unlike the US system, this debt is administered by the Australian Tax Office, not a private organisation.
Secondly, I hate to break it to people, but universities was never meant to be an open free-for all for everyone. At the end of the day universities are the upper echelon of intellectual inquiry. People from all walks of life should have access to university and this may require some sort of deferred payment system. But merely pushing more students into the system moves universities away from their core function of intellectual and scientific enquiry into the realm of employment filter. Aka, students are only taught information so as to generate a degree, which in turn becomes a filter for employment.
To put my comments in context. Since the expansion of university places in all major developed western countries, an undergraduate degree in many cases is no longer sufficient for employment. But rather honours, masters or a PhD may be necessary. In addition, during this time many academics have faced pressures getting research funds, probably due to this tension between funding for places v research.
My brother is a carpenter, one day I will be a lawyer. He was good with his hands and I am more nerdy. Both of us will be able to make a reasonable living. My concern is that too many people see universities as some sort of way to eleviate poverty or move everyone into the middle class. In individual cases this may be possible, as described by Pete EU. However to assume that universities can move everyone out of the working class into white colar jobs, ignores funding limitations and the possible consequences of universities losing their 'elite' intellectual focus.
Put simply, I believe that if society wants to receive the benefits from universities, then they need to be elite in a sort of merit based way. And that means filtering out people. I know that is a **** proposition, but if people want vocational degrees then they are more then welcome to attend technical colleges. Granted fees are expensive, but so long as they are not required upfront, but rather can be deferred in a manner akin to Australian FEE-HELP/CSP system, then I don't understand where the concern is about.