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So....who should pay for uni? Watch

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    Cut the number of places and keep the system the same, with loans to cover the costs.

    Wipe debts after 20-30 years and all is well.
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    I don't think the government have any sort of duty to pay at all- it might be in their interests but they shouldn't be rallied against and expected to pay.

    Here's the thing: uni is for you and you only. Most hard work is fuelled by self absorption. It's a selfish (fulfilling, admirable, independent, but still completely for yourself) thing to do, in the purest sense of the word. So you pay for it yourself, you shoulder the debt. How you do that is up to you, if your parents or someone else helps you out that's your solution, but remember no one has to help you out.
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    (Original post by KingofSpades)
    And by saying government you are admitting to a belief in their bottomless leprechaun pot of gold

    Just wondering who you actually think should pay, is all
    The Gov.

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    This university cost debate is tricky however, if the increased fees are allowed by government then we'll see a definite social class divide. It's already there, but it'll be worsened. The rich will be largely unaffected but the poor will miss out on opportunities and a future they may have once dreamt about.

    The system should remain as is, students are the future.
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    (Original post by Shortarse1)
    Who will benefit the most from this education?

    Students should pay.

    (Original post by ajtiesto)
    If students want to study at uni then they have to pay what the governments put forward. If you can't afford it then tough, blame your parents for not studying hard enough and getting proper jobs. Stop moaning you pathetic ****!

    (Original post by Fuzzed_Out)
    I think the student should be made to pay for their own debt, no one else's and all of their own.


    everybody thas says these things get on my nerves. they make it seem as though us students (and i would be saying this even if i wasn't a student) won't be paying them back.

    everyone would be moaning if we were all "hanging around the streets doing nothing with our lives" we therefore go to uni to help us along in our lives. we WILL be paying the money back, and with money we have worked extremely hard to be entitled to earn.

    they think we just expect the money to have come from nowhere. but we are not stupid, we know we will have to pay it back. we know it is other people that allow us to study. but we need the money to be able to live sufficiently (eating etc) which then allows us to study better, which allows us to get higher grades/degrees, which should allow us to go out into the world with a better knowledge of real life. and then we can use this knowledge to get a job to earn the money to send our children off to uni, and start the cycle again.

    these higher tuition fees just means that we have more debt when we come out, and i fear will also mean even higher on top of that due to having o take out higher loans.

    (this next sentence may cause offense and i'm sorry if it does i don't mean to be insensitive at all because i agree with what they say)
    people are always on about how the army is helping out our country and how they are real heroes, so why can't the "taxpayers" help out the people of the country which will effectively help out the country and the state that it is in?


    (Original post by NGC773)
    Im the one going to uni, im the one getting a degree, im the one that should pay for it.
    yes if you're willing to wait for years after you've finished school, so you can get a good enough job to get the thouands of pounds needed. others don't want that they want to carry on the studying whilst they have the info fresh in their minds, and then want to start families or want to carry on so that they can improve and actually spend their life doing soemthing they enjoy rather than just working for the sake of it. as is reinforced by:
    It's obviously pretty much impossible to have much money saved straight after college for uni though.

    as for blaming the parents, WTF?! yes ok some people parents are absolute douchebags and just live off the dole and do eff all with their lives, but others have generations before them whose parents have worked but haven't been able to get the jobs needed, what if they have a big family and not a very high-incoming job but are doing soemthing that is helping others? (eg teaching)
    you CAN'T say "blame the parents" and generalise it.

    i'm sorry for rambling on and getting so het up about it, but once my fingers started typing they didnt stop.
    and i'm sorry if things have come out the wrong way.
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    (Original post by elldeegee)
    everybody thas says these things get on my nerves. they make it seem as though us students (and i would be saying this even if i wasn't a student) won't be paying them back.

    everyone would be moaning if we were all "hanging around the streets doing nothing with our lives" we therefore go to uni to help us along in our lives. we WILL be paying the money back, and with money we have worked extremely hard to be entitled to earn.

    they think we just expect the money to have come from nowhere. but we are not stupid, we know we will have to pay it back. we know it is other people that allow us to study. but we need the money to be able to live sufficiently (eating etc) which then allows us to study better, which allows us to get higher grades/degrees, which should allow us to go out into the world with a better knowledge of real life. and then we can use this knowledge to get a job to earn the money to send our children off to uni, and start the cycle again.

    these higher tuition fees just means that we have more debt when we come out, and i fear will also mean even higher on top of that due to having o take out higher loans.

    (this next sentence may cause offense and i'm sorry if it does i don't mean to be insensitive at all because i agree with what they say)
    people are always on about how the army is helping out our country and how they are real heroes, so why can't the "taxpayers" help out the people of the country which will effectively help out the country and the state that it is in?




    yes if you're willing to wait for years after you've finished school, so you can get a good enough job to get the thouands of pounds needed. others don't want that they want to carry on the studying whilst they have the info fresh in their minds, and then want to start families or want to carry on so that they can improve and actually spend their life doing soemthing they enjoy rather than just working for the sake of it. as is reinforced by:


    as for blaming the parents, WTF?! yes ok some people parents are absolute douchebags and just live off the dole and do eff all with their lives, but others have generations before them whose parents have worked but haven't been able to get the jobs needed, what if they have a big family and not a very high-incoming job but are doing soemthing that is helping others? (eg teaching)
    you CAN'T say "blame the parents" and generalise it.

    i'm sorry for rambling on and getting so het up about it, but once my fingers started typing they didnt stop.
    and i'm sorry if things have come out the wrong way.
    Then I trust you are not opposed the increase in cost, what with the taxpayer not having to foot the bill and the students paying their debts in full
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    i am opposed seeing as then it means we'll have a lot more to pay when we eventually leave and it'll destroy those courses which are long and intensive courses such as architecture (which is expensive on it's own not considering tuition fees), because lets face it the thought of having to pay back over £60,000 just in tuition fees is terrifying for someone who has to pay their own way (architecutre is 6 years in study) For those who have super rich parents, the parens should help out, which is how it is at the moment anyway, and when i have my own children i plan on having a "college fund" and helping them ou as much as i possibly can, and as these raise in fees won't actually be affecting me as i started uni after the proposition i should be able to do this.
    but what of those who are sarting in 2011? when they have heir own children the likelihood is that they will still be paying off their loans, as well as the raise in interest on the pay back of loans, as well as the increase in other living costs
    that is understandably inevitable.
    which i was trying to get at by saying
    these higher tuition fees just means that we have more debt when we come out, and i fear will also mean even higher on top of that due to having o take out higher loans
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    (Original post by elldeegee)
    i am opposed seeing as then it means we'll have a lot more to pay when we eventually leave and it'll destroy those courses which are long and intensive courses such as architecture (which is expensive on it's own not considering tuition fees), because lets face it the thought of having to pay back over £60,000 just in tuition fees is terrifying for someone who has to pay their own way (architecutre is 6 years in study) For those who have super rich parents, the parens should help out, which is how it is at the moment anyway, and when i have my own children i plan on having a "college fund" and helping them ou as much as i possibly can, and as these raise in fees won't actually be affecting me as i started uni after the proposition i should be able to do this.
    but what of those who are sarting in 2011? when they have heir own children the likelihood is that they will still be paying off their loans, as well as the raise in interest on the pay back of loans, as well as the increase in other living costs
    that is understandably inevitable.
    which i was trying to get at by saying
    It's not nearly as scary as you think - don't look at the number and think of it like any other debt, because it isn't.
    Say you do end up with £60,000 of student debt. What will your repayments be?
    9% of your net income above £21,000, just like they would be if your student debt was £10,000 or £1,000,000.

    That means that if you earn £21,000, you will pay £0 a month
    If you earn £25,000/year you will pay £30 a month
    If you earn £40,000/year you will pay £142.50 a month

    Is that really that daunting? If you're on £25,000 a year - more than almost 3/4 of people - your student debt repayments will be about the same as a mobile phone contract. If you're on £40,000 it will be about the same amount as the NUS estimates the average student spends, per month, on entertainment - except that you won't be living off a maintenance loan, you'll be in the top 10% of earners in the country.

    Despite what some people seem to think, there really is very little to worry about.
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    (Original post by elldeegee)
    everybody thas says these things get on my nerves. they make it seem as though us students (and i would be saying this even if i wasn't a student) won't be paying them back.

    everyone would be moaning if we were all "hanging around the streets doing nothing with our lives" we therefore go to uni to help us along in our lives. we WILL be paying the money back, and with money we have worked extremely hard to be entitled to earn.

    they think we just expect the money to have come from nowhere. but we are not stupid, we know we will have to pay it back. we know it is other people that allow us to study. but we need the money to be able to live sufficiently (eating etc) which then allows us to study better, which allows us to get higher grades/degrees, which should allow us to go out into the world with a better knowledge of real life. and then we can use this knowledge to get a job to earn the money to send our children off to uni, and start the cycle again.

    these higher tuition fees just means that we have more debt when we come out, and i fear will also mean even higher on top of that due to having o take out higher loans.

    (this next sentence may cause offense and i'm sorry if it does i don't mean to be insensitive at all because i agree with what they say)
    people are always on about how the army is helping out our country and how they are real heroes, so why can't the "taxpayers" help out the people of the country which will effectively help out the country and the state that it is in?
    Oh no, I'm a student and am fine with the loans system, I just don't want people doing other degrees that aren't as professionally focused to get away with not paying theirs because they can't get a good job.
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    (Original post by No Man)
    Football players.
    Where does the money come from to pay football players? Anyone know?
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    (Original post by ajtiesto)
    If students want to study at uni then they have to pay what the governments put forward. If you can't afford it then tough, blame your parents for not studying hard enough and getting proper jobs. Stop moaning you pathetic ****!
    Pot. Kettle. Black. :rolleyes:
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      (Original post by KingofSpades)
      And by saying government you are admitting to a belief in their bottomless leprechaun pot of gold

      Just wondering who you actually think should pay, is all
      The state already provides education for all in the UK that is free at the point of delivery and which goes right up to the age of sixteen. It costs money, of course, but because there is political will to provide that education the cost is regarded as acceptable. So, the point at which we stop receiving 'free' education from the state is really a matter of political will, not, ultimately, of cost. Billions are spent on maintaining nuclear weapons which will never be used, yet the cost is shouldered because there is political will, for example. The NHS costs, as does welfare more generally, but the cost is shouldered because of political will.

      What's interesting in this debate is the gap between the advancing need within liberal-capitalism to find a greater percentage of highly educated employees but without the desire, of course, to invest in the processes which might generate it.
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      (Original post by Fysidiko)
      It's not nearly as scary as you think - don't look at the number and think of it like any other debt, because it isn't.
      Say you do end up with £60,000 of student debt. What will your repayments be?
      9% of your net income above £21,000, just like they would be if your student debt was £10,000 or £1,000,000.

      That means that if you earn £21,000, you will pay £0 a month
      If you earn £25,000/year you will pay £30 a month
      If you earn £40,000/year you will pay £142.50 a month

      Is that really that daunting? If you're on £25,000 a year - more than almost 3/4 of people - your student debt repayments will be about the same as a mobile phone contract. If you're on £40,000 it will be about the same amount as the NUS estimates the average student spends, per month, on entertainment - except that you won't be living off a maintenance loan, you'll be in the top 10% of earners in the country.

      Despite what some people seem to think, there really is very little to worry about.
      The slight problem with your analysis is you are not considering how much of that say £40,000 (gross) will go on other things. Your actual free income on that sort of gross is usually much lower.

      For the sake of example, suppose you take a few years post graduation to save up say £20,000. You buy a pleasant enough one bed flat in Edinburgh for £120,000, mortgage of £100,000.

      Below some estimates:

      Gross monthly pay 3333
      Tax est 555
      NI est 314
      Take home 2464

      From this you then pay:

      Mortgage 620 (100,000 25 years)
      Council tax 130
      House Insure 40
      Pension Contrib 300 (at least this to retire on 2/3 income, probably more)
      Food 200 (inc lunches/sandwiches etc)
      Telephone 30
      Heat/light 100
      Car HP 250
      Car running costs 140
      Holiday cost 90
      Entertainment 200
      Clothes 70
      Total 2170

      Remaining 294 of which student loan repay is nearly half, £142.

      Reality is that whilst headline gross salary looks large by student standards, your free cash after all costs is really small.

      If a partner and children come along you will need a bigger flat (extra bedroom), all the baby etc costs, then kids clothes/ toys/ schooltrips etc

      Maybe your partner works, but if so factor in childcare (pre school this cost a fortune)

      £40,000 a year is not that much. I earn in a good year(not 2009 or 2010) 50% over that, but given the way the student loan scheme works in Scotland
      (family income > circa £55k, therefore my son gets £915 a year loan) I paid £6,000 in year one and circa £4,500 this year to help support him/pay hall fees etc.

      The whole thinking re education funding is wrong. If all graduates were to earn significantly above average earnings it might work, but they don't. (we have one in my office, nearly thirty, salary< £20,000) There are far more graduates today than when I graduated (1983) The economy has some high paid jobs/careers but far fewer than graduates.

      I received my University education at virtually nil cost (I supported myself for my post grad) Most politicians received a free education. If it is fair that graduates pay for studying then surely it is fair that all graduates pay, not just from recent times onward.

      I appreciate that selling this to the public as a retrospective tax will not be easy, however there is a possible route.

      There is one time when people do not need money; when they are dead.
      A graduate death tax, on second death of a couple, where one/both were graduates, say 10% of estate, no nil rate band exemption. As IHT only hits for a couple at £600,000 on second death this could over time bring in substantial funds. If applied to all individuals who have ever been financially supported through University, past and future, it would start paying very quickly. To sell it the funds would be kept solely for this purpose, no government could spend these on anything but higher education.

      However you sell the graduate tax on income, graduates will have a difficult enough life post university making ends meet without spending 25-30 years paying from already taxed income.
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      (Original post by DJKL)
      The slight problem with your analysis is you are not considering how much of that say £40,000 (gross) will go on other things. Your actual free income on that sort of gross is usually much lower.

      For the sake of example, suppose you take a few years post graduation to save up say £20,000. You buy a pleasant enough one bed flat in Edinburgh for £120,000, mortgage of £100,000.

      Below some estimates:

      Gross monthly pay 3333
      Tax est 555
      NI est 314
      Take home 2464

      From this you then pay:

      Mortgage 620 (100,000 25 years)
      Council tax 130
      House Insure 40
      Pension Contrib 300 (at least this to retire on 2/3 income, probably more)
      Food 200 (inc lunches/sandwiches etc)
      Telephone 30
      Heat/light 100
      Car HP 250
      Car running costs 140
      Holiday cost 90
      Entertainment 200
      Clothes 70
      Total 2170

      Remaining 294 of which student loan repay is nearly half, £142.

      Reality is that whilst headline gross salary looks large by student standards, your free cash after all costs is really small.

      If a partner and children come along you will need a bigger flat (extra bedroom), all the baby etc costs, then kids clothes/ toys/ schooltrips etc

      Maybe your partner works, but if so factor in childcare (pre school this cost a fortune)

      £40,000 a year is not that much. I earn in a good year(not 2009 or 2010) 50% over that, but given the way the student loan scheme works in Scotland
      (family income > circa £55k, therefore my son gets £915 a year loan) I paid £6,000 in year one and circa £4,500 this year to help support him/pay hall fees etc.

      The whole thinking re education funding is wrong. If all graduates were to earn significantly above average earnings it might work, but they don't. (we have one in my office, nearly thirty, salary< £20,000) There are far more graduates today than when I graduated (1983) The economy has some high paid jobs/careers but far fewer than graduates.

      I received my University education at virtually nil cost (I supported myself for my post grad) Most politicians received a free education. If it is fair that graduates pay for studying then surely it is fair that all graduates pay, not just from recent times onward.
      I'm not sure that I see how your figures support your points. Let me address the points you raised in turn.

      First, the breakdown of the fees. You say that the analysis doesn't stand up once all the costs are taken into account; but when you take all your costs into account - including a healthy spend on entertainment, a generous pension and holidays - you still have around twice as much left over as is required to make the loan repayments. That hardly seems to support the proposition that finding the repayments is a great burden on graduates. And this is at £40,000, a figure that only a minority will earn; at a lower salary the repayments will be a lower proportion of total income. A good friend of mine earns around £23,000, living in central London, and is able to save money at the end of each month after his student loan repayments; I suspect he spends more money on things he doesn't actually want than he does on his loan repayments.

      Second, regarding your point that the system can only work if all graduates earn significantly above average earnings - I'm not sure I see why. You cite the example of a graduate in your office earning less than £20,000, presumably as an example of someone who will struggle to make repayments; but the point seems moot since she would, under the new system, have to make no repayments at all, and even on the current system will only have to pay around £20 pcm.

      Thirdly, regarding children. You are of course right that this increases the expense significantly, and it is a subject that I've given a lot of thought; I will soon be earning around £40k and would like at some point to have children, so the question of how to pay for it has been on my mind. It's worth bearing in mind that even on the analysis above, a person on £40,000 would only need to save for a few years in order to have a significant amount of money to offset against the increased costs of bringing up children. Savings can also be found by skipping holidays and cutting down on entertainment. I know my parents had to cut back when I was born but they did fine, and that was when only my Dad was working and was earning what, adjusted for inflation, was rather less than £40,000.

      This is all a fairly common-sense conclusion, I think: it would be a sorry state of affairs in this country if a graduate with a take-home income of over £27,000 were unable to make ends meet. The theoretical graduate on £40,000 with a student loan takes home as much as a person on £37,000 without; still a very respectable wedge of cash.
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      (Original post by Oswy)
      The state already provides education for all in the UK that is free at the point of delivery and which goes right up to the age of sixteen. It costs money, of course, but because there is political will to provide that education the cost is regarded as acceptable. So, the point at which we stop receiving 'free' education from the state is really a matter of political will, not, ultimately, of cost. Billions are spent on maintaining nuclear weapons which will never be used, yet the cost is shouldered because there is political will, for example. The NHS costs, as does welfare more generally, but the cost is shouldered because of political will.

      What's interesting in this debate is the gap between the advancing need within liberal-capitalism to find a greater percentage of highly educated employees but without the desire, of course, to invest in the processes which might generate it.
      Prospects of economic stability is likely to be prompting them, though, not just political will.

      My main thrust of the argument was that, put in its simplest terms, plumbers and builders are footing the bills for a number of degrees from which they will see no return.

      To listen to "student activists" harp on about how workers and students are in it together grinds gears.
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      You don't yet have the children. Have you any idea what pre school childcare can cost? What about prams/ car seats/ cots when young, move on a few years to pocket money, bithday parties, Christmas a few more years and school textbooks, maybe tutors in the odd subject.

      I have not paid for a long time, but circa 1994/1995 it was £500 per month for two children for three days a week. I suspect circa 1.5 to 2 times this now.

      The above example features the the cost of a one bedroom flat in Edinburgh, and is based on current interest rates, the only way these are likely to go is up.Increased costs when you need two then three bedrooms, say 150,000 for a two bed flat and 180,000 for a three bedroom (an extra £30,000 plus interest or £60,000 plus interest to repay) plus increased heating costs, council tax, insurance and of course food bill. What about the repairs to the house/ need to replace the washing machine etc

      Add in the need for life insurance to cover your death, you now have dependants. Consider dental costs for you and your partner and eventually you will pay for your kids once their free entitlement is over but they are still dependant. What about broadband/ cable tv, not even in my costs.

      I am afraid I know in reality what running a household entails re costs/outlays, anyone with aspirations to own a modest flat, run a car and take one holiday a year is going to need every penny of that student loan repayment. Reality is the entertainment budget gets cut, new clothes are scarce, a lot of time at home.

      In effect the amount that is repaying the student loan may well be 100% of your free income after costs.

      You argue that your parents managed.

      Houses relative to income were not as expensive.
      Council taxes relative to income were not as expensive
      Tax allowances in real terms were higher
      National insurance was much lower
      Fuel duty was in real terms lower
      There was no tax on insurance

      Also, of course, remember that once you become a higher rate taxpayer, at circa £45,000 per annum, you will be paying 40% of any excess as tax, 1% as NI and 9% re your student loan, at the margin 50% of your income to the state. (I presume the Student Loan 9% is not capped)

      Have a close look at the tax system of perceived high tax countries like Sweden. Their University is fully funded from general taxes. However at £21,000 a year their marginal tax rate does not reach what yours will be , 40% (20% Income Tax, 11% national insurance and 9% graduate tax)
      Their benefits are better, their state pensions are miles ahead. In addition their company tax rate is the same as ours, 28%.

      The argument that users should pay extra for University is flawed. It would be valid if we were a low tax country, we are not. Given tax and NI paid in the UK what we get back in state provision is not good value.
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      (Original post by CookieDoughLove)
      Pot. Kettle. Black. :rolleyes:
      Come say that to my face. Stupid girl! :rolleyes:
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      (Original post by DJKL)
      You don't yet have the children. Have you any idea what pre school childcare can cost? What about prams/ car seats/ cots when young, move on a few years to pocket money, bithday parties, Christmas a few more years and school textbooks, maybe tutors in the odd subject.

      I have not paid for a long time, but circa 1994/1995 it was £500 per month for two children for three days a week. I suspect circa 1.5 to 2 times this now.

      The above example features the the cost of a one bedroom flat in Edinburgh, and is based on current interest rates, the only way these are likely to go is up.Increased costs when you need two then three bedrooms, say 150,000 for a two bed flat and 180,000 for a three bedroom (an extra £30,000 plus interest or £60,000 plus interest to repay) plus increased heating costs, council tax, insurance and of course food bill. What about the repairs to the house/ need to replace the washing machine etc

      Add in the need for life insurance to cover your death, you now have dependants. Consider dental costs for you and your partner and eventually you will pay for your kids once their free entitlement is over but they are still dependant. What about broadband/ cable tv, not even in my costs.

      I am afraid I know in reality what running a household entails re costs/outlays, anyone with aspirations to own a modest flat, run a car and take one holiday a year is going to need every penny of that student loan repayment. Reality is the entertainment budget gets cut, new clothes are scarce, a lot of time at home.

      In effect the amount that is repaying the student loan may well be 100% of your free income after costs.

      You argue that your parents managed.

      Houses relative to income were not as expensive.
      Council taxes relative to income were not as expensive
      Tax allowances in real terms were higher
      National insurance was much lower
      Fuel duty was in real terms lower
      There was no tax on insurance

      Also, of course, remember that once you become a higher rate taxpayer, at circa £45,000 per annum, you will be paying 40% of any excess as tax, 1% as NI and 9% re your student loan, at the margin 50% of your income to the state. (I presume the Student Loan 9% is not capped)

      Have a close look at the tax system of perceived high tax countries like Sweden. Their University is fully funded from general taxes. However at £21,000 a year their marginal tax rate does not reach what yours will be , 40% (20% Income Tax, 11% national insurance and 9% graduate tax)
      Their benefits are better, their state pensions are miles ahead. In addition their company tax rate is the same as ours, 28%.

      The argument that users should pay extra for University is flawed. It would be valid if we were a low tax country, we are not. Given tax and NI paid in the UK what we get back in state provision is not good value.
      I'm not going to argue with you over the costs of bringing up children - I know it's expensive and of course I defer to your first-hand knowledge. But I do take issue with your conclusions. What you are saying boils down to that a person cannot live comfortably on a salary of £37,000 a year (which would give the same take-home pay as £40k - student loan repayments). That doesn't accord with my experience, it doesn't accord with my friends' experience, and it forces you to say that 90% of the country does not make enough to get by, which I'm sure you would agree is not a tenable position.
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      (Original post by ajtiesto)
      If students want to study at uni then they have to pay what the governments put forward. If you can't afford it then tough, blame your parents for not studying hard enough and getting proper jobs. Stop moaning you pathetic ****!
      Yes, because we should all pay for our parents mistakes and be poor because our parents are poor.

      You statement makes no sense as you are basically saying 'poor should stay poor and blame the poor'.
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        (Original post by KingofSpades)
        ...
        My main thrust of the argument was that, put in its simplest terms, plumbers and builders are footing the bills for a number of degrees from which they will see no return....
        I think it's complicated though.

        Firstly, plumbers and builders only have work because others have jobs which pay enough to make use of their services. So there's every possibility that these workers see a return insofar as their customers might have only gained their economic position through access to university. And, it's not hard to find mainstream economists and business leaders arguing that capitalist economies like our own need a generally higher level of education in order to compete globally and to take up the primary area of growth, in knowledge-based and creativity sectors. Other countries are racing to increase their graduate percentages because they know that in an increasingly competitive marketplace for jobs and business, a superabundance of cleaners, till-operators and security guards will not bring prosperity.

        Secondly, plumbers and builders, and plenty of other people, are footing all kinds of bills through taxation for things on which they will easily 'see no return'. Once we start to reason that way we end up doing away with government because everyone can probably list a page of things they pay for through general taxation but don't use or don't approve of.

        In the past here I've advocated a voucher system, where every sixteen year old gets a credit which would amount to a university education, vocational training and support to the same cash-value of a university education or, if there's no interest in either, a lump-sum of cash. The details would have to be worked through, of course, but the principle would be that everyone in society, those who are interested in university and those who are not, would be treated equally (as far as is practicable) in their ambitions. I get to study philosophy at university, say, while you get financial support in equal measure towards becoming a plumber and starting your own plumbing business. Now, I'm actually a socialist, so this isn't really a solution for me, but I think it's a possible solution within the liberal-capitalist paradigm which steers the issue towards more equaitable treatment and opportunity and does so in an enabling, rather than disabling, way.
       
       
       
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