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We should scrap tuition loans and have a graduate tax Watch

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    A graduate tax will encourage wealthy and successful graduates to go abroad.

    Good plan.
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    (Original post by skeptical_john)
    With the recent furore over tuition loans, I've spent almost 5 minutes thinking about this and the answer: some form of progressive graduate tax.

    The current system is better than no fees, the evidence coming out of Scotland makes that obvious, but there are still major problems.

    1. Over the long term it's still going to cost the government about the same as having no fees, they've just shifted the costs to future governments

    2. Those who do an (economically) highly valued degree at a very highly reputable institution get well above their loan value while other do not get anywhere near. Those who do well pay the loan of fast and end up paying much less than those who only do ok.

    3. It's creating a system where student do not feel uni is worth it. They look at the cost (average now 45k) vs the prospective jobs and this makes them unhappy.

    I think some form of graduate tax starting around 18k and being circa 1% so everyone pays something and building to 3-4% for high earners. This could also finish after so many years.
    So basically to make the 'ok' degrees have a better loan value you thought up of a system which will force people in plan 2 loans to start paying at lower incomes and not only that but pay a much larger amount (compulsory) per year at these very low incomes.
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    As a side point, it would be good to have a link to attendance in some way, even if only a change to the current system, to discourage people who don't bother to turn up (obviously not if there's some reason for you not being there). Particularly in first year, or in modules which people didn't like or found hard, the attendance tends to be really poor, in some of my lectures the vast majority of students would regularly not attend. Crazily people spend 9k/yr, rent a flat on campus, and then still can't be bothered to walk from the flat we can all see from the lecture room and come to class. They are wasting funding and places that other students would be very grateful for.

    Not sure how this would work with a gradate tax. One big motivator (at least for me!) is that you're paying to go to uni, so you want to get the most out of it. Ok, so you'd still be paying back money forever, but would you see it in the same way as directly paying to go to uni? Would people just kind of recognise and accept that they're paying in some indirect way, and not have the same motivation to work hard? How would it work if you quit after 1 year/failed/dropped out? Fine details of the scheme (or others) may well sort this, but need good thought, and would make for an interesting discussion. Not that the current scheme seems to deal with this issue. Free tuition would certainly have this issue, it would be interesting to think about how poor attendance/lack of effort could be discouraged in this case too.
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    (Original post by Josb)
    A graduate tax will encourage wealthy and successful graduates to go abroad.

    Good plan.
    My understanding is people that go abroad now still have to pay the SLC. The same would apply under this system, you just send it HMRC

    (Original post by Vikingninja)
    So basically to make the 'ok' degrees have a better loan value you thought up of a system which will force people in plan 2 loans to start paying at lower incomes and not only that but pay a much larger amount (compulsory) per year at these very low incomes.
    Well my figures are purely back of a fag packet - the rates could start anywhere. It's more the concept I'm interested in.
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    (Original post by 999tigger)
    Would this affect all graduates or only those from now on?
    You couldn't make anything like this retrospective.

    (Original post by elizahughes)
    Can't we enforce laws that mean rich people need to pay tax?! I don't understand why this hasn't been done yet unless it isn't possible

    Also, I personally feel like the government want to make university less affordable so less people go, as degrees are becoming less of something that stands out on a CV, and more something that's required - so the actual educational standard isn't affected by the fee change?
    Rich people - quite rightly - pay the VAST majority of tax in this country. Something like the top 20% pay 90% of all tax. But there is still a lot of tax dodging.

    IF the govnt are trying to put people of uni why would the take of the limits on places? I'm afraid you could not be more wrong there. They did want people to stop taking degrees that they feel don't help in the 'global race' whatever that is!

    (Original post by 999tigger)
    Doesnt this then become a tax on success? How do you know the degree was responsible, when it may be down to someones hard work?
    I'm of the view that success is largely down to luck - ie where you're born, your parents, genes etc. Having said that we don't disincentivize people earning more so there would have to be a careful planning around how the tax works.
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    This already exists. The better a job you get the more tax you pay. So if you get a good job that you otherwise wouldn't have got, you already pay more tax.
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    (Original post by elizahughes)
    It's not fully relevant, but I was thinking about it in terms of this - I personally want to take a gap year to work full time so I don't have to take out a maintenance loan, and if tuition fees were lower, I don't think I'd feel the same way, because so many people are alrrady calculating how much interest they'll be charged - so it does add to the extra stress

    And yeah it's so ****, my parents can afford it, but my sister will be at university at the same time as me (which the government haven't considered) and then my twin siblings will go as soon as she leaves, so it's still going to have a considerable effect even though someone's income may SEEM high - also, when you live in a major city everything is so much more expensive, especially mortgages, and I feel like the government don't take enough factors into consideration when it comes to loan entitlements
    They have considered it.

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    (Original post by skeptical_john)
    I'm of the view that success is largely down to luck - ie where you're born, your parents, genes etc. Having said that we don't disincentivize people earning more so there would have to be a careful planning around how the tax works.
    You are absolutely mistaken and have no idea what you're on about. There are plenty of grads who came from poor backgrounds and made it to the top, not by luck but by working hard. It's absolutely ridiculous to disregard people's success, because you feel somewhat jealous of them, by coming up with an unsubstantiated claim like the above.

    It is not just luck, luck is a small part of the equation.

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    (Original post by john2054)
    I think the problem is that a good number of students come from abroad, and take their skills with them when they leave. This is the reason against free degrees. Not to mention uk university education is generally speaking, among the best in the world.
    You could say they take their skills, or you could say that education is one of the UK's main exports. People are prepared to pay for education, so if you encourage people to come from abroad, pay fees to be educated, and then go home (or whatever) you're working to improve the country's economy.
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    Would you pay road tax on a car that didn't work? Would you pay council tax at an address where you didn't live? Would you pay for a faulty £30K product without complaining?

    Since most people will have useless degrees, why should they pay a tax on them? The current system works well since grads with non-grad jobs (and there are a lot of them) don't pay a penny back (until they earn above the threshold) and grads with grad jobs are paying back at a minuscule rate which allows them to get their foot on the ladder and become financially independent. You should only have to pay back once your degree has actually shown to be useful (which will be evident by your wages) - otherwise you're buying a very expensive faulty product (most people DO go to university on the premise that they believe it will improve their job prospects).

    Here's a radical idea if you're into money saving for the country (and would like to prevent the higher education system from destroying young people's lives) : stop encouraging everyone at age 17 to make university applications because:

    1) Very few 17 years old have any idea whatsoever about the reality of working life and what they want to spend the next 50+ years doing - you cannot make that kind of decision when all you've ever known is classrooms.Very few people know what they really want to do for the rest of their entire lives at 17 years old.

    2) Not everyone actually needs a degree for the career that they've chosen - there are apprenticeships and NVQs which offer far better employment prospects than your average BA Hons Fine Art or Eng Lit degree etc. Did you know that there is actually a 'Retail Management' degree now? Sorry but no - if you want to be a retail manager then get out of your classroom and get a job as Sales Assistant and get hands on experience and work your way up. In the 3 years that it would take to get the degree and rack up a stupid amount of debt you could work your way to that position the traditional way - by working. Employers are more interested in real life experience, not certificates.

    3) If you're in team 'send them all to uni' then realize that once they've got a useless degree they'll be pushing up the welfare figures and you won't be able to retrain them due to government rules which don't allow graduates to get funded for NVQs of apprenticeships. So now you have a generation of over-educated burger flippers at best and degree-educated benefits claimants at worst.

    But you can't reason with a system that is fundamentally idiotic - I've stopped trying.

    PS. I'm a graduate.
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    (Original post by Princepieman)
    You are absolutely mistaken and have no idea what you're on about. There are plenty of grads who came from poor backgrounds and made it to the top, not by luck but by working hard. It's absolutely ridiculous to disregard people's success, because you feel somewhat jealous of them, by coming up with an unsubstantiated claim like the above.

    It is not just luck, luck is a small part of the equation.

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    Luck is a small part? Look at the figures of those who go to private school. Only about 7% of UK yet they make up almost 50% of top jobs in the UK. Is that all down to hard work? The rest of us just too feckless and incompetent to become lawyers, judges, doctors...
    http://www.theguardian.com/education...s-finds-survey

    Some other reading if you're interested - the book itself is worth a read.
    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/myth-merito...ld-lie-1561771

    Hard work is no doubt vital to success but people work hard because they believe it will get them somewhere. For many - and we're seeing this in a drop of social mobility since 2008 - hard work is becoming less important.

    (Original post by Tootles)
    You could say they take their skills, or you could say that education is one of the UK's main exports. People are prepared to pay for education, so if you encourage people to come from abroad, pay fees to be educated, and then go home (or whatever) you're working to improve the country's economy.
    Historically students have tended to stay - hence our huge immigration rates. Recently, due to the home office clamp down on visas, this is now coming to a stop.
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    (Original post by skeptical_john)
    Luck is a small part? Look at the figures of those who go to private school. Only about 7% of UK yet they make up almost 50% of top jobs in the UK. Is that all down to hard work? The rest of us just too feckless and incompetent to become lawyers, judges, doctors...
    http://www.theguardian.com/education...s-finds-survey

    Some other reading if you're interested - the book itself is worth a read.
    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/myth-merito...ld-lie-1561771

    Hard work is no doubt vital to success but people work hard because they believe it will get them somewhere. For many - and we're seeing this in a drop of social mobility since 2008 - hard work is becoming less important.
    I mean I've read all of these reports already.., I don't think they say anything about your claim of 'its all luck'.

    You cannot just sit there smugly and say those private school kids didn't work hard, because they did. It's quite clear that there seems to be an increase in work ethic the higher up the school totem pole you go - on average - these kids aren't just getting into unis or jobs for the kicks, they've had to graft their way through an intense environment for years. Having been to both private and state school, the latter most definitely tends to foster a culture of apathy towards working hard in school - not including your top state schools or grammars here, just more generally. Whereas, at my private school everyone worked hard to get good grades, everyone was motivated to do stuff outside of class, everyone had a goal to aim for..

    The reality is, state schools are failing students brcause this same 'go getter' attitude is mostly nonexistent (outside of the few exceptions) at the majority of state schools. All that said, there's nothing stoping a self-motivated state schooler from working hard in their own right, getting the grades and experience, going to a top uni and then landing in a top tier career. Whichever way you slice it, state schoolers are the majority at all top unis.

    Statistics tell you absolutely nothing either. Maybe the state school kids don't want to become lawyers, or doctors or bankers or politicians? Maybe they're more interested in being researchers or engineers?

    My point is, you cannot disregard hard work just because someone started on a bit of a better footing than you have. Everyone works hard to get to where they want to be, luck is not the driving force behind what people strive for.
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    (Original post by somethingbeautiful)
    Would you pay road tax on a car that didn't work? Would you pay council tax at an address where you didn't live? Would you pay for a faulty £30K product without complaining?

    Since most people will have useless degrees, why should they pay a tax on them? The current system works well since grads with non-grad jobs (and there are a lot of them) don't pay a penny back (until they earn above the threshold) and grads with grad jobs are paying back at a minuscule rate which allows them to get their foot on the ladder and become financially independent. You should only have to pay back once your degree has actually shown to be useful (which will be evident by your wages) - otherwise you're buying a very expensive faulty product (most people DO go to university on the premise that they believe it will improve their job prospects).

    Here's a radical idea if you're into money saving for the country (and would like to prevent the higher education system from destroying young people's lives) : stop encouraging everyone at age 17 to make university applications because:

    1) Very few 17 years old have any idea whatsoever about the reality of working life and what they want to spend the next 50+ years doing - you cannot make that kind of decision when all you've ever known is classrooms.Very few people know what they really want to do for the rest of their entire lives at 17 years old.

    2) Not everyone actually needs a degree for the career that they've chosen - there are apprenticeships and NVQs which offer far better employment prospects than your average BA Hons Fine Art or Eng Lit degree etc. Did you know that there is actually a 'Retail Management' degree now? Sorry but no - if you want to be a retail manager then get out of your classroom and get a job as Sales Assistant and get hands on experience and work your way up. In the 3 years that it would take to get the degree and rack up a stupid amount of debt you could work your way to that position the traditional way - by working. Employers are more interested in real life experience, not certificates.

    3) If you're in team 'send them all to uni' then realize that once they've got a useless degree they'll be pushing up the welfare figures and you won't be able to retrain them due to government rules which don't allow graduates to get funded for NVQs of apprenticeships. So now you have a generation of over-educated burger flippers at best and degree-educated benefits claimants at worst.

    But you can't reason with a system that is fundamentally idiotic - I've stopped trying.

    PS. I'm a graduate.
    Some interesting points here, I'll try and address some of them!

    How does one know a degree is useless? Yes you may not get a career in your chosen field but a degree gives advantages over those without one in other areas of work. Most people go to uni to improve job prospects and for most people it does. Yes undoubtedly some people may have been better of going straight into work or through an apprenticeship (which in my view they are mostly rubbish in this country and the evidence backs that up - ie they are just a way for employers to take advantage of young people without providing much skilled tuition).

    1. Yes at 17 it's almost impossible to know what is the best course to take - I'm a mature student myself - this is a good reason to have a more rounded education at uni. The downside is that it would take longer to become specialized. There is a theory of having a T-shaped degree which is what some employers look for. Also if people dont go to uni at 17 they are much less likely to go later as you have to give up a loss of income and people become more risk adverse as they get older.

    2. Take ups in degrees in liberal art type courses are falling as a response to the tuition fees. Your example of retail management is another part of the dishonesty around HE. That is they say having a degree is worth x amount over a lifetime but in reality this is an average based on historic data and in the future a degree is not worth so much as many people have one. How would this be addressed under a grad tax? I don't know. I would say having a country with top artists is worth something to a country over their basic economic value they provide however there are probably too many people doing photography degrees that will not be the next Ansel Adams! I think the answer comes more from a government providing incentives to the degrees it wants people to take through bursaries.

    3. Well similar points as above. Their is a value to HE over the basic economic value they provide. Like having an educated population are less likely to vote for demaogigues like Trump. That said there needs to be information for teenages around what the reality is of a uni education and how the pros can vastly oversold.
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    (Original post by Princepieman)
    Statistics tell you absolutely nothing either.
    Ok on the one hand we have decades of social research on the other we have your anecdotal experience. I'm happy to leave it there.
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    (Original post by skeptical_john)
    Ok on the one hand we have decades of social research on the other we have your anecdotal experience. I'm happy to leave it there.
    Statistics tell you nothing =/= statistics are bad.

    Stats don't tell you anything about motivations or reasons behind choices they merely show a trend..

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    (Original post by Princepieman)
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    Going off topic of the thread here, but I have to say I also believe that luck plays a huge part in becoming successful.

    This is not coming from a place of jealousy or righteousness, nor am I disregarding the hard work people put into becoming successful; I just don't buy that working hard is enough to make you successful.You have to have the right opportunities at the right time as well.

    Being enrolled at a private school does not mean that the person is inherently more hard working or focused that state school pupils. It is often a result of being exposed to strong work ethic and the importance of education being instilled by parents from a young age. It has been well documented that if your parents went to university, you are also more likely to go to university. In contrast, someone born in poverty, in a family where nobody values the importance of education, is less likely to have the same work ethic.

    I actually volunteerd as an A-level tutor through a scheme that placed me in some of the most disadvantaged schools in London. I was shocked to find out that in fact many parents actively discouraged their kids from doing A-levels because they see university as a waste of earning potential for the duration of the degree, as well as a way of getting into huge amounts of debts. These students would often tell me about the ongoing arguments they had with their families over this. Moreover, many of these kids came from broken families, lived in extreme poverty and many of them had been carers for the parents or siblings since a young age. How many pupils at private schools have to face such circumstances? Since you can't control where you were born, this seems pretty much down to luck to me.

    PS- I was born into a fairly privileged family; I went to a private school, got straight As and then went off to a top university. I was fortunate enough not to have to work to support myself through university, and at the end of my degree I walked into a fairly decent graduate job. I have had a fairly cushy life and
    obviously I did put in the work to get the grades and the job, but I don't think I would have been able to achieve just as much had I been born with a disability, or had to care for my parents, or live with a debilitating medical condition, had parents who discouraged me from going to university etc etc.. So I see myself as fairly lucky!
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    (Original post by hezzlington)
    Any statistics or evidence to back up the bit in bold?

    I strongly disagree with we need more people at universities. The graduate market is already exceptionally saturated.
    (Original post by elizahughes)
    Can't we enforce laws that mean rich people need to pay tax?! I don't understand why this hasn't been done yet unless it isn't possible

    Also, I personally feel like the government want to make university less affordable so less people go, as degrees are becoming less of something that stands out on a CV, and more something that's required - so the actual educational standard isn't affected by the fee change?
    Well you two kinda echo each other, you have the same concerns it seems? But as eliza said, a degree is something required, hezzlington. So I believe everyone should be getting educated, or at least have the chance to whether they take it or not, otherwise if they aren't, they have less chances of getting employed. In countries with free or cheaper education, many of those countries actually do quite well in education and "take all our jobs" when they come over, as well as in the US and other EU countries. They get a degree like it's nothing, and having a degree might increase employability because many employers do make it a requirement, as far as entering the workforce (even though I know there are some people who haven't stepped a toe in a university and are doing quite well for someone uneducated. But as they're a minority we can't really take them as a good example).

    But as I said to JordanL, keeping the fees high and the loans low keeps certain people out of uni, thus locking them into the lower class more often than not. Unless they have some miraculous connections to someone in the workforce or at a business.

    So yes I agree with elizahughes and said before in the thread anyway that making Uni less affordable means less people go, and that's obviously horrible, isn't it? But eliza, what do you mean by the last question: "so the actual educational standard isn't affected by the fee change?" Is that rhetorical or?
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    (Original post by 0to100)
    Well you two kinda echo each other, you have the same concerns it seems? But as eliza said, a degree is something required, hezzlington. So I believe everyone should be getting educated, or at least have the chance to whether they take it or not, otherwise if they aren't, they have less chances of getting employed. In countries with free or cheaper education, many of those countries actually do quite well in education and "take all our jobs" when they come over, as well as in the US and other EU countries. They get a degree like it's nothing, and having a degree might increase employability because many employers do make it a requirement, as far as entering the workforce (even though I know there are some people who haven't stepped a toe in a university and are doing quite well for someone uneducated. But as they're a minority we can't really take them as a good example).

    But as I said to JordanL, keeping the fees high and the loans low keeps certain people out of uni, thus locking them into the lower class more often than not. Unless they have some miraculous connections to someone in the workforce or at a business.

    So yes I agree with elizahughes and said before in the thread anyway that making Uni less affordable means less people go, and that's obviously horrible, isn't it? But eliza, what do you mean by the last question: "so the actual educational standard isn't affected by the fee change?" Is that rhetorical or?
    Required for what though? Not all degrees are equal in terms of job prospects/general usefulness. Although this is particularly hard to measure.
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    (Original post by hezzlington)
    Required for what though? Not all degrees are equal in terms of job prospects/general usefulness. Although this is particularly hard to measure.
    What do you mean required for what? Required for a job...It's expensive to train for the job, ask any employer/owner. They prefer someone who went to college/Uni/has been working already and trying to climb the ladder, because they already come with the required skills to do the job... As opposed to someone who's not worked/not been to college or uni. They provide no benefits, although it doesn't mean they are stupid and can't learn overtime but no one wants to deal with that, sadly, so that means you have to have a degree and even better with a filled up CV to start work, especially if you don't know anyone/have no connections.
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    (Original post by 0to100)
    What do you mean required for what? Required for a job...It's expensive to train for the job, ask any employer/owner. They prefer someone who went to college/Uni/has been working already and trying to climb the ladder, because they already come with the required skills to do the job... As opposed to someone who's not worked/not been to college or uni. They provide no benefits, although it doesn't mean they are stupid and can't learn overtime but no one wants to deal with that, sadly, so that means you have to have a degree and even better with a filled up CV to start work, especially if you don't know anyone/have no connections.
    If you do actually ask an employer, many will tell you that this is not true

    edit: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...+you+for+a+job it's a long read but this thread discusses my point a bit further.
 
 
 
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