Thursday, 12 June 2008

The case for a cross-party review of university fees

My column in the Independent today makes the case for a cross-party review of university tuition fees. You can read it here.

2 comments:

Sam said...

Spot on, Conor

bernard said...

You say that VCs believe higher fees are "vital".
If they mean the current system has failed to fund uni's adequately then I agree.
However clearly yet higher fees is not the answer.
It will be a disaster for the economy for over 40% of the workforce (ie graduates) to start their working life with £20k + of debt.
You note that graduate number haven't dipped. Surveys have shown young people are blase about debt, I am not reassured by this.
You cite maintenance of graduate numbers as a flawed prediction but don't mention the dubious claims made by the goverment to try and justify top-up fees, namely that graduates would earn a lifetime premium of £400k and that, according to Bill Rammell, standard tax would need to rise "3p or 4p" in the absence of top-up fees.
Given that neither is true top-up fees should be scrapped. A tax increase of just £1 /week for each of the UK's 30 million taxpayers would meet the £1.4 billion top-up fees are supposed to raise.
The war on students/graduates has gone on long enough.