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    (Original post by Chicken)
    Say I earn £15K at first, then if i paid £90 a year, then it would take near 30 years to pay off my debt. I know my earnings are likely to go up after a while, but whatever happens I'll be paying off debt for around 20 years - thats a lonng time to be in debt!
    No more than most people are in debt for a mortgage - my mortgage is for 25 yrs (with 23 of them left to go) and that is on my first house - soon as I move I'm likely to have to reset again to 25 years to be able to move up the property ladder etc etc (my parents will be paying off their mortgage until they are 72...so no nice "written off at retirement age clause" for mortgages).

    And of course my morgage repayments (and the insurance to cover them should the worst happen) add up to over £600 a month (likely to go up after we've had the mortgage for 3 yrs and it switches to a repayment and interest mortgage).

    My mortgage (and the house it's bought) is an investment.
    My degree was the same (and incidentally I could never have got such a big mortgage at such reasonable rates without a degree - thank you HSBC graduate package )...it's massively improved my earning potential - but much more than that it's added an immense quality of life - I love my subject and what I've learnt will never leave me and the skills I've learnt are with me still too...making running my life and doing my job far easier and more enjoyable.

    I wasn't a "happy" student (in fact much as I loved my course and my uni I've just never felt comfortable fitting into a "student" catagory) and I even went through the fun of almost dropping out and compromising on restarting a similar course at a completely different uni...but despite all that, despite the parts of my subject I hated (bloody fieldtrips and palaeo), despite the pain in the a**e that was commuting 70 miles a day in my final year and a half....I still think it was time well spent and would willingly pay the £12k that it would have cost under the new system at the repayment rates proposed (in fact if I ever manage to get my own finances sorted out I intend to set up some scholarships for future students at my old uni...I'm actually looking forward to putting something back into the system (if only the almumni office would stop sending me begging letters to pay for medical research :rolleyes: )).

    One of the biggest benefits (IMO) of charging students for their degree is that the people who *want* graduates and good students (ie employers and universities) will be forced to consider ways of encouraging them - through sponsorship, bursaries and scholarships (instead of spending all that cash on flashy building projects (which we all know are being done so that their organisers can eventually get one of them named after themselves )).
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    During parliamentary discussion on top-up fees, part of the spin involves comparisons with other countries, e.g. "fees are part and parcel of student considerations in USA, Australia etc."
    I have just been reading today's news in the Australian press - University fees are going up by 25%!
    You can see that once the doors are open on top-up fees in this country it will be the norm for these fees to be increased by these percentages. Take £3,000 - add 25% and it becomes £3,750!
    When top-up fees were first put forward, Imperial College rector - Richard Sykes - said he would want to charge £10,000 pa, now!
    Take £10,000 - add 25% and it becomes £12,250.
    Where will it stop once it has started?
    Our grandparents once were able to buy their homes for £1,000, now we pay £250,000 some 50 years later. University fees of £3,000 will soon become £20,000 a year.
    We will be unable to buy our uni education, our homes, raise a family and provide for our pension all at the same time - unless, of course, we are extremely wealthy. And how will that happen if our expertise is no longer is very short supply because 50% of the population will have the same level of tertiary education?
    As Tony Blair said on his election in 1997, "We need to find another way".
 
 
 
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