We should scrap tuition loans and have a graduate tax Watch

skeptical_john
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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.
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JordanL_
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2. I think that's fair, though. There's an incentive to do a degree that's going to contribute to the economy, and those degrees are also often the ones that are going to provide well-rounded graduates that can think critically.

3. Honestly, I think I'd be equally put-off by a tax. The system as it is right now feels much like a tax anyway.

But I'm of the opinion that higher education should be free, anyway. Graduates bring more money in than it costs to educate them. Higher education benefits all of us, just like primary education, so I don't see why it shouldn't be funded. If anything, we need to encourage more people to get degrees.
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elizahughes
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What's wrong with going back to the 3k fees? Doesn't that seem like more of a happy medium? I think tax could be problematic as so many rich people are already reluctant to pay it, and generally just don't think it would be received well. I don't know loads about this though, how does the 3k fees compare to the 9k ones in terms of governmental benefit etc?
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john2054
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(Original post by JordanL_)
2. I think that's fair, though. There's an incentive to do a degree that's going to contribute to the economy, and those degrees are also often the ones that are going to provide well-rounded graduates that can think critically.

3. Honestly, I think I'd be equally put-off by a tax. The system as it is right now feels much like a tax anyway.

But I'm of the opinion that higher education should be free, anyway. Graduates bring more money in than it costs to educate them. Higher education benefits all of us, just like primary education, so I don't see why it shouldn't be funded. If anything, we need to encourage more people to get degrees.
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.
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JordanL_
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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.
Is this really a problem, though? From what I've heard (I don't know a great deal about this) universities make most of their money from overseas students, because the fees are different for them. We could have free tuition for British natives without offering it to everyone.
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john2054
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(Original post by JordanL_)
Is this really a problem, though? From what I've heard (I don't know a great deal about this) universities make most of their money from overseas students, because the fees are different for them. We could have free tuition for British natives without offering it to everyone.
Not for Romanions polish, and soon to be turkish. they can get home rates, because they are from the eu im afraid.
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Bang Outta Order
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A lot of ppl drop out though. How do you account for them while they were attending with a grad tax? Not that I care just pointing that out. Screw all this new stuff though. Keep it how it is, just stop raising the fees and raise the loans
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elizahughes
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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.
Why is it that Eastern Europeans are being bashed for living in the UK and bashed for leaving? Everyone is entitled to a good education, or among the best in the world as you say, regardless of where they come from. Besides, international students have different fees globally, hence why English students have to pay for Scottish universities which are free domestically. And international students pay larger fees, so without them the quality of university education would certainly decrease. I'm sure a lot of them also contribute to the economy whilst they're here as well through working, and I'm sure a few end up living here (contributing 4 times more than they gain, statistically)
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JordanL_
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(Original post by john2054)
Not for Romanions polish, and soon to be turkish. they can get home rates, because they are from the eu im afraid.
Fair enough, I can see why that would be a problem. But we can also attend their universities, so if anything this just means that the best universities get the best students. I'd be interested to see some stats on how many EU students attending UK universities end up staying here, it's probably a fair proportion.
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john2054
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(Original post by elizahughes)
Why is it that Eastern Europeans are being bashed for living in the UK and bashed for leaving? Everyone is entitled to a good education, or among the best in the world as you say, regardless of where they come from. Besides, international students have different fees globally, hence why English students have to pay for Scottish universities which are free domestically. And international students pay larger fees, so without them the quality of university education would certainly decrease. I'm sure a lot of them also contribute to the economy whilst they're here as well through working, and I'm sure a few end up living here (contributing 4 times more than they gain, statistically)
I still don't buy it i'm sorry.
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elizahughes
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(Original post by john2054)
I still don't buy it i'm sorry.
I just think that as someone so concerned about how this is affecting English people's education, you aren't emphasising the fact that rising fees are actually stopping people from going to university because they literally can't afford it, especially as working class white boys are the lowest achievers out of any group. My maintenance loan doesn't even cover my accommodation, and it's so hard to find work now as a lot of people didn't or weren't allow to gain experience during A Levels - if my parents weren't contributing university would be either out of reach or a very stressful time which would negatively affect my studies. The proportion of international students compared to white boys attending university here is low, so I'm just not really sure why you considered that to be the biggest issue

Either way, I find it very unlikely that university will be free again, at least in the near future, and £50k of debt is extortionate considering the quality of graduate jobs
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john2054
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(Original post by elizahughes)
I just think that as someone so concerned about how this is affecting English people's education, you aren't emphasising the fact that rising fees are actually stopping people from going to university because they literally can't afford it, especially as working class white boys are the lowest achievers out of any group. My maintenance loan doesn't even cover my accommodation, and it's so hard to find work now as a lot of people didn't or weren't allow to gain experience during A Levels - if my parents weren't contributing university would be either out of reach or a very stressful time which would negatively affect my studies. The proportion of international students compared to white boys attending university here is low, so I'm just not really sure why you considered that to be the biggest issue

Either way, I find it very unlikely that university will be free again, at least in the near future, and £50k of debt is extortionate considering the quality of graduate jobs
As someone who has just completed a five year degree, i can tell you with some confidence that the number of 'white boys' at uni, is dwarfed by the number of foreign students and 'white' girls. Thanks again
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Bang Outta Order
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(Original post by elizahughes)
What's wrong with going back to the 3k fees? Doesn't that seem like more of a happy medium? I think tax could be problematic as so many rich people are already reluctant to pay it, and generally just don't think it would be received well. I don't know loads about this though, how does the 3k fees compare to the 9k ones in terms of governmental benefit etc?
Well if we pay more ourselves then the gov't and taxpayers pay less.

The rich don't like to pay taxes and the gov't obviously won't want to keep paying for those who need university paid for.
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JordanL_
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(Original post by elizahughes)
I just think that as someone so concerned about how this is affecting English people's education, you aren't emphasising the fact that rising fees are actually stopping people from going to university because they literally can't afford it, especially as working class white boys are the lowest achievers out of any group. My maintenance loan doesn't even cover my accommodation, and it's so hard to find work now as a lot of people didn't or weren't allow to gain experience during A Levels - if my parents weren't contributing university would be either out of reach or a very stressful time which would negatively affect my studies. The proportion of international students compared to white boys attending university here is low, so I'm just not really sure why you considered that to be the biggest issue

Either way, I find it very unlikely that university will be free again, at least in the near future, and £50k of debt is extortionate considering the quality of graduate jobs
I know your pain, my parents make enough that I get a maintenance loan that won't cover my accommodation, but not enough that they'll be able to offer any financial support I don't think it's really related to fees, but I believe the maintenance loan should cover the full cost of living. People should be able to focus on their education and personal growth outside of it.
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JordanL_
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(Original post by 0to100)
Well if we pay more ourselves then the gov't and taxpayers pay less
Actually, when the fees went up, less people were able to afford them. The end result was that the amount of money coming in from tuition fees when they were £9k was exactly the same as the amount coming in when they were £3k. They tripled tuition fees and made no money from it. A great testament to the shocking incompetence of our current government.
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Bang Outta Order
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(Original post by JordanL_)
Actually, when the fees went up, less people were able to afford them. The end result was that the amount of money coming in from tuition fees when they were £9k was exactly the same as the amount coming in when they were £3k. They tripled tuition fees and made no money from it. A great testament to the shocking incompetence of our current government.
As I added in the post you quoted, the gov't doesn't want to pay. So much so they don't care if they don't even benefit. Like I hear in US the Repubs want to cancel social programs like uni grants altogether and anything publicly funded :\ I feel US and UK take cues from each other (like the 5p bag tax, the US will implement it the 5 cent bag tax in october 2016, they copy us, we copy them) so that's not looking good. it's just a way to keep lower class lower class, making education to hard to afford and thus not being able to compete and socially mobilise, even if they don't benefit. It's mad.
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Napp
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**** that it should be free like in the old days, hell my parents were paid to go [well dad not mum as shes a foreigner] simply scrap the micky mouse subjects tht are for idiots/lazy/those who just want a piece of paper like film studies/drama/dance/brewery/sociology etc. make them and their ilk be made to be privately finnced it will weed out those who are going to uni to skate by on doing jack all, those who will likely never pay a penny back and make degrees worth something again... a 2:1 is worth jack **** these days lets fce it.
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londonundergrad
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When I graduate I'll owe a total of £74,012. Even if I get 40k a year from the day I start earning, I will still never earn enough to pay it back before it gets written off after 30 years. (30 years of paying £142 a month, which is what people earning 40k pay, will still leave me with £22,862 of my loan written off after 30 years). It's obviously very unlikely that I will earn 40k from the get-go. It is very likely that more than the £22k will be written off.

Obviously I am elated about this. If I was the government, however, I wouldn't be.
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skeptical_john
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Well this thread got some traction after initially no response!

(Original post by JordanL_)
2. I think that's fair, though. There's an incentive to do a degree that's going to contribute to the economy, and those degrees are also often the ones that are going to provide well-rounded graduates that can think critically.

3. Honestly, I think I'd be equally put-off by a tax. The system as it is right now feels much like a tax anyway.

But I'm of the opinion that higher education should be free, anyway. Graduates bring more money in than it costs to educate them. Higher education benefits all of us, just like primary education, so I don't see why it shouldn't be funded. If anything, we need to encourage more people to get degrees.
If you think it should be free look what's happened to Scotland vs England since 2008. It's actually gone backwards while disadvantaged students in England have made good progress.
Yes it does feel 'like a tax' but there is a dishonesty around what we're calling it. That's why I think we should call it what it is with some slight reform.

(Original post by elizahughes)
What's wrong with going back to the 3k fees? Doesn't that seem like more of a happy medium? I think tax could be problematic as so many rich people are already reluctant to pay it, and generally just don't think it would be received well. I don't know loads about this though, how does the 3k fees compare to the 9k ones in terms of governmental benefit etc?
To do this would cost circa £7 billion (labour want to scrap them in total costing around £11 billion.) The problem though is makes unis highly restrictive on places so only thus education for the elites.
Yes in Germany they have no fees but only 27% go to uni (vs 48% here) and they have excellent apprentice schemes.

(Original post by 0to100)
A lot of ppl drop out though. How do you account for them while they were attending with a grad tax? Not that I care just pointing that out. Screw all this new stuff though. Keep it how it is, just stop raising the fees and raise the loans
The problem with the system is they CANT stop raising the loans because of inflation of costs etc. Otherwise you just end up with squeezed uni staff and they go on strike like recently. Drop out rates are about 8% so for those you would have to think about it. Maybe some tax if you've completed two years...?
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JordanL_
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(Original post by 0to100)
As I added in the post you quoted, the gov't doesn't want to pay. So much so they don't care if they don't even benefit. Like I hear in US the Repubs want to cancel social programs like uni grants altogether and anything publicly funded :\ I feel US and UK take cues from each other (like the 5p bag tax, the US will implement it the 5 cent bag tax in october 2016, they copy us, we copy them) so that's not looking good. it's just a way to keep lower class lower class, making education to hard to afford and thus not being able to compete and socially mobilise, even if they don't benefit. It's mad.
Oh, that's definitely true. Keep the poor stupid so they keep voting Tory, that's just how it works.
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