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Student debts wipe out most graduate pay premiums - report watch

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    That's just market forces.

    If a degree isn't going to pay back what it costs then it isn't worth doing. Nobody is forcing people to do it.

    There shouldn't be a graduate tax. Why should people at better institutions subsidise those who choose to go to poor quality ones?

    People just shouldn't do crappy degrees. Then the unis would have to lower their prices so they offer value for money in terms of increased earnings or improve the quality of the course.
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    (Original post by PQ)
    What other departmental costs do you expect? Equipment, facilities, consumables etc will all be covered by central budgets. The English dept doesn't decide to build a new building - that's a university level capital investment which is then the space the English dept inhabit. If the university management decide to repurpose a building the departments affected have very little say in the matter.

    You seem to misunderstand university budget management, recourse allocation and accounting practices.
    As I've said, I am proposing universities to publish spending report on a departmental basis. I've stated that universities should not produce accounts only at a top level.

    I am proposing a plan for X but you are giving me the solution to Y.

    I understand how universities currently report and record their expenses, which is why I am proposing for change.
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    (Original post by CherishFreedom)
    As I've said, I am proposing universities to publish spending report on a departmental basis. I've stated that universities should not produce accounts only at a top level.

    I am proposing a plan for X but you are giving me the solution to Y.

    I understand how universities currently report and record their expenses, which is why I am proposing for change.
    To manage what you're proposing every university department would become a devolved mini university. The level of waste involved would be phenomenal.

    The computer science department doesn't own land or buildings or decide which cleaning contractors to use and how often the bins get emptied and negotiate their own printing contract and house their own library with their own subscriptions to journals with their own free standing student database, staff database, payroll and pension system, admissions database, accounting system, maintenance contracts and electricity, gas bills.

    What you're suggesting does happen for research contracts and grants - except most grants and contracts aren't based on full economic costings (so they'll cover staff and large equipment but not the phone bill) and so are subsidised by income from other sources.

    They're part of a whole. The whole makes decisions on how funds are distributed to different departments and whether to subsidise research or pay for student facilities/support.
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    (Original post by PQ)
    To manage what you're proposing every university department would become a devolved mini university. The level of waste involved would be phenomenal.

    The computer science department doesn't own land or buildings or decide which cleaning contractors to use and how often the bins get emptied and negotiate their own printing contract and house their own library with their own subscriptions to journals with their own free standing student database, staff database, payroll and pension system, admissions database, accounting system, maintenance contracts and electricity, gas bills.

    What you're suggesting does happen for research contracts and grants - except most grants and contracts aren't based on full economic costings (so they'll cover staff and large equipment but not the phone bill) and so are subsidised by income from other sources.

    They're part of a whole. The whole makes decisions on how funds are distributed to different departments and whether to subsidise research or pay for student facilities/support.
    All I'm proposing is for departments to detail their spending in greater detail. The report can of course make note of any contribution to and from central university funding. I am not trying to change the funding structure of universities, but spending data should be published openly.

    E.g. A departmental spending report can detail lab supplies expense as centrally funded, but what is important is that the amount requested from the central fund is published in departmental expense report.

    I'll emphasise again, the change is in data transparency, not funding structure.
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    (Original post by CherishFreedom)
    All I'm proposing is for departments to detail their spending in greater detail. The report can of course make note of any contribution to and from central university funding. I am not trying to change the funding structure of universities, but spending data should be published openly.

    E.g. A departmental spending report can detail lab supplies expense as centrally funded, but what is important is that the amount requested from the central fund is published in departmental expense report.

    I'll emphasise again, the change is in data transparency, not funding structure.
    You can't report on data that isn't collected. Suggesting reporting this level of detail IS a substantial change to funding structure.

    And you've still yet to explain what actual benefit collecting and reporting on finances in the way you desire other than to satisfy your curiosity.
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    (Original post by Sternumator)
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    "That's just market forces."

    The point is that degrees are being miss sold. If you say doing a degree is worth x but it's only worth y then there is a dishonesty at play which needs to be held to account. That is not market forces.

    "There shouldn't be a graduate tax. Why should people at better institutions subsidise those who choose to go to poor quality ones?"

    If you read my other posts in this thread where I've shown how an Oxford degree gets an extra £14k of subsidies a year then you will see why. There are many other reasons such as:
    http://www.newstatesman.com/politics...ate-inequality
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    (Original post by skeptical_john)
    That's an interesting proposition but I'm not really sure how it would help a student make a decision? Most degrees cost far more than the tuition fee, unis get charity money, gov money, endowments etc. It would be hard to put all this together to make a coherent cost of each degree and compare like for like.

    For example a degree at oxford in med for an Int student is £25k. This means UK students are getting at least an extra 16k per year free.
    I doubt that most Humanities degrees cost £9K a year.
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    (Original post by skeptical_john)
    It is actually the average student who is worse of all. Those who do really well pay off their degree quite quick without accruing much interest. The average student spends the best part of 30 years paying it off and the rest have theirs wiped off.

    Sure no one wants to be average but when you delve into the data unless you've have had a privileged background ie public school, rich parents then you have incredibly tough odds to beat.
    There wasnt enough information in that article. Yes ofc thats what I meant about the average student suffering, so its not a bad idea to think carefully before going to uni what borrowing all that money means and where you fall in the pecking order..
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    (Original post by Josb)
    I doubt that most Humanities degrees cost £9K a year.
    Any evidence for that?
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    (Original post by PQ)
    You can't report on data that isn't collected. Suggesting reporting this level of detail IS a substantial change to funding structure.

    And you've still yet to explain what actual benefit collecting and reporting on finances in the way you desire other than to satisfy your curiosity.
    Of course these data are collected, every time my department requires central funding it E.g. Proposal to erect a new building it needs approval from the central university body. Also lab supplies are documented as they always come with invoice. This is not a change in funding structure, they have this data already.

    The benefit is that students are not kept in the dark about departmental spending and what their tuition fee is being spent on specifically. Current expense categories are way too broad and unspecific. 'Other operating expenses' isn't going to tell you much. I have stated this from my previous posts. The objective is that students can understand what is being spent on by their department, where they will conduct most of their studies.
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    (Original post by skeptical_john)
    I think this is something most of us knew. I have long been a proponent of a graduate tax. This would mean those who end up going to better unis pay more for the privilege.

    From the BBC
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-36916009

    "The report says that in 2002, ministers put it at £400,000, but recent estimates have been more modest at about £100,000." So about £2k per year in which your interest wipes that out anyway.

    I think our current system is better than no fees (just look at the mess Scotland is in)
    That said it needs another overhaul - and not just small raises in fees as per the current whitepaper.
    Different studies have found different things.

    e.g.
    According to a 2013 government report https://www.gov.uk/government/upload...r-analysis.pdf the NPV graduate lifetime earnings premium is £168K for men and £252k for women (i.e. higher than the £100k as per that article). In addition there is a social benefit to the government of £264k for men and £318k for women.

    And according to MSE the worst case cost of repaying a student loan in full requires repayment of £122,000 (including compound interest) http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/stu...n-fees-changes

    On those figures there is indeed still a significant graduate premium.
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    Another educational policy group also says this analysis is flawed

    "Student debt does not outweigh the graduate premium"
    http://wonkhe.com/blogs/analysis-stu...duate-premium/
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    (Original post by CherishFreedom)
    Of course these data are collected, every time my department requires central funding it E.g. Proposal to erect a new building it needs approval from the central university body. Also lab supplies are documented as they always come with invoice. This is not a change in funding structure, they have this data already.

    The benefit is that students are not kept in the dark about departmental spending and what their tuition fee is being spent on specifically. Current expense categories are way too broad and unspecific. 'Other operating expenses' isn't going to tell you much. I have stated this from my previous posts. The objective is that students can understand what is being spent on by their department, where they will conduct most of their studies.
    Of course direct costs per department could be collated but indirect/overhead would need apportioned amongst departments (very subjective). One could apportion by hours using X etc, via number of students within department using X, all costs can be split. But that splitting requires calculation, which involves paying accounting/admin staff to do the work, increasing costs.

    Accordingly the student getting the more detailed analysis (however subjective its compilation will be) involves a cost that produces little real benefit. It is digging down to know the cost of everything but the value of nothing. (How do you want to amortise intangibles in all this, brands etc)

    I am all for accountants getting more work but one has always to balance the cost of reporting with its real benefit.

    At Edinburgh when I was there lecture theatres were used by different departments, the David Hume theatres were used for economics, English, Philosophy, Chinese etc-in fact any course where the number of students in the course required a large lecture room, the George Square theatre was also used for myriad events and of course the library would have different use by subject (I ended up studying within the philosophy journals as it was very quiet (maybe students in some departments do less private study, read less)

    One could create preset hourly charging re use to absorb the cost of maintaining the building to include repairs, depreciation, power, cleaning etc, but it is all arbitrary, one has to guess the buildings economic life and apportion its total useage (by some measure) to allocate its whole of life costs by use.

    Do not get me wrong, it can be done, but it is by its nature subjective; the one thing I have learned about accountancy is it can, at times, be as much an art as a science. (Profit is never an exact truth it is merely a construct of underlying assumptions)

    Once the data is collected decisions then get made on the artificial construct of each cost centre; surely universities have better things to do that make each course a cost centre with its own profit and loss account from probably subjective data?
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    (Original post by jneill)
    Another educational policy group also says this analysis is flawed

    "Student debt does not outweigh the graduate premium"
    http://wonkhe.com/blogs/analysis-stu...duate-premium/
    Thanks that was quite interesting.

    I certainly agree with their conclusions about having upper and lower quarter percentiles that would be a good addition.

    My main beef is with really poorly ranked (or even unranked) institutions using the average case scenario figures

    Take this site for example

    http://www.rdi.co.uk/what-is-a-degre...sters-worth-2/
 
 
 
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