Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum
Cogs

Good Article On Student Fees/tax Etc

Recommended Posts

Apologies to all in that this is more of a bookmark than a discussion starter but I have waited an awfully long time for a sensible discussion on this issue setting out some reasonable principles and, importantly, an account of the political history that has lead us to the present situation. Finally the much anticipated day has come.

  

http://www.telegraph...oliticians.html

A glimpse of old school high quality journalism that leaves you more, rather than less, informed for having read it. Pretend I wrote something massively offensive and incendiary if that is what it takes to make you read it  ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest DissipatedYouthIsValuable

Now that is a good article.

Like from one of those newspapers we used to have before Labour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since it's fallen out that you can't discern the difference between Matthew Kelly and Henry Kelly, I'm struggling to take your posts seriously but, anyway.

What I find interesting with the university debate is how any discussion about the cost of delivery seems out of bounds.

Is it not possible that universities could deliver quality degree courses for less money or that something like reducing the amount of holiday or length of the course be looked at.

Given a doss gap year is now de rigeur couldn't holidays be reduced to take the course down to two years that would still mean at least three years from sixth-form to the real world of work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Continues the usual glib conflation of students' incomes with that of their parents.

There is still time to fix this one. At bare minimum, no graduate should have to pay more than the cost of his degree: anything beyond that is income tax. If growth really matters to this lot, then allowing someone who has invested in a degree to enjoy any return that ensues should be a matter of instinct. The state's role should be limited to ensuring that those on low incomes who qualify academically are subsidised.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Given a doss gap year is now de rigeur couldn't holidays be reduced to take the course down to two years that would still mean at least three years from sixth-form to the real world of work.

Maybe a training college could reasonably do that. But not a real university. Those long vacations serve an important purpose: they give academics time for their research work. Take that away and you drive away the real research, leaving a training college staffed by teachers.

... which is probably not so far from what we have now, outside the Russell Group ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Continues the usual glib conflation of students' incomes with that of their parents.

That's been with us since the glory-days of student grants. The very worst thing to have is parents on PAYE with no accounting flexibility to 'spin'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe a training college could reasonably do that. But not a real university. Those long vacations serve an important purpose: they give academics time for their research work. Take that away and you drive away the real research, leaving a training college staffed by teachers.

... which is probably not so far from what we have now, outside the Russell Group ...

In which case, I'm not sure they're affordable in their current format. Decades ago a much large percentage of the student body must have graduated and ultimately joined the university staff. Nowadays, the bulk, of the vastly expanded student body, are there for their golden ticket out of the world of low-paid jobs and their aims are at cross purposes, really, to those of the institution they're attending.

It'll be heresy to some on here but, I also question the value of a lot of university research and think quite a bit has the whiff of a job creation scheme for the qualified unemployable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do not know why it is now 'normal' to spend 3 years at University. It shouldn't be.

It was not normal to go to university when I left school (late 80's), but because of this enforced 3 years at Uni thing, it is now an absence on my CV, when it never used to matter. I spent those years learning a trade, why am I now penalised for not dossing about for 3 years?

Please, PLEASE, can we go back to the days when the gifted and the academic went to University, not everyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In which case, I'm not sure they're affordable in their current format.

Hmmm?

We certainly can't afford not to have real universities (or do you really suppose, for example, our world-leading "silicon fen" happens to be in the same city as our top university purely by coincidence)?

But all good things in moderation. For ideological reasons, we're not allowed to distinguish between education and training. That leaves us with a whole lot of widely-differing institutions all shoehorned into the same one-size-doesn't-fit-all mould. Result - the problems we now have.

I'm not saying we got it right a generation ago: we had a different bunch of problems back then. But that's another topic.

Edited by porca misèria

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest DissipatedYouthIsValuable

Hmmm?

We certainly can't afford not to have real universities (or do you really suppose, for example, our world-leading "silicon fen" happens to be in the same city as our top university purely by coincidence)?

But all good things in moderation. For ideological reasons, we're not allowed to distinguish between education and training. That leaves us with a whole lot of widely-differing institutions all shoehorned into the same one-size-doesn't-fit-all mould. Result - the problems we now have.

I'm not saying we got it right a generation ago: we had a different bunch of problems back then. But that's another topic.

Society or a fantasy mathematical model?

Let's break society.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Universities, like pretty much every public sector institution, have only one solution to every problem: more money. The idea of making do with less is totally alien to them. They couldn't possibly give up their £300k vice chancellors, £40m construction projects for buildings designed to house just 150 staff (I worked in one and it was actually an unpleasant building to work in), expensive new build student halls with an en suite in every room, endless corporate catering and branding and global 'visions'. Many of the new ones should be shut down completely, and the rest should be given a hefty cut in funding. Tuition fees should be capped at 10% of the median UK salary per year and rents in halls should be capped at the local HB rate for a single room in an HMO. The universities are due a good shake down, it would probably improve their quality in the long run.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

fwiw,I believe that poorer students should get grants and that we,society should pay their fees.

I think that the amount of grants available and indeed the level of financial help now available is lost on many people. I will attempt to enlighten:

1. Maintenance grants are available. They are ranked in the following manner

Income Grant

<25k 2,906

<30k 1,906

<34k 1,106

<40k 711

<45k 381

<50k 50

>50 Zilch

Unis are legally obliged to make up the gap between those on the maximum grant (ie <25k) and the tuition fee, so that those on sub 25k household incomes pay no tuition.

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/EducationAndLearning/UniversityAndHigherEducation/StudentFinance/Applyingforthefirsttime/DG_174046

2. In addition to this, unis offer various scholarships and bursaries. They vary considerably from institution to institution however. So are very generous, others less so. Hard up prospective students should look into this carefully and not wait for others to point this out to them.

Whilst I agree that tuition fees are undoubtedly a problem, I am unconvinced that the financial hardship faced by students is that much different to that faced by students of my age in the 90s. For the very poorest I'd imagine the situation is not much changed.

I also agree that there are probably too many students. However given the number of applications in the last two years, the demand for uni education has never been higher. Clearly there is a large market for HE education where people feel that they are getting value for money. Also it should be pointed out that privatising the unis is not seen as a vote winner and there was a massive argument over introducing tuition fees in the first place. So it is reasonable to say that in the UK broadly speaking people are willing to pay both privately and accept public subsidies in order to access HE. Whether this is sustainable in the long term and whether the market is acting rationally is of course the million dollar question.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's been with us since the glory-days of student grants. The very worst thing to have is parents on PAYE with no accounting flexibility to 'spin'.

Agreed; it was wrong then, too B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
At bare minimum, no graduate should have to pay more than the cost of his degree: anything beyond that is income tax.

Is that the real cost of the degree, or just the subsidised one?

How much does, say, a 3-year engineering degree actually cost, rather than what the student pays? :unsure:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is that the real cost of the degree, or just the subsidised one?

How much does, say, a 3-year engineering degree actually cost, rather than what the student pays? :unsure:

Indeed. Cost of science degree involves expensive labs. Cost of "mickey mouse" hums. A classroom and a lecture theatre. Occasionally you might want access to a DVD player and a TV. Making the students pay the actual cost would massively disincentivise potential students from doing science, and increase "mickey mouse" courses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks for that,wasn't aware.

demand for Uni is down to

a)there beign no jobs

b)kids haven't realised most degrees are a waste of time and money

c)parents haven't realsied B)

d)kids jsut wanna go on the lash and have zero debt fears.

Sure.

But the fact remains that people have weighted up the pros and cons of uni education plus debt vs unemployment and decided on going to uni. I think fears of tuition fee rises are also playing a part.

Until the market perceives that there is no added value in going to uni, large numbers of applications will continue. There will be a knock on effect as students who don't get in this year reapply next year. Govt subsidies will be cut, which will lead to some HE bankruptcies. Govt is making noises about private takeovers in this eventuality, but am not sure who they will find to take that one on m'self.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably around £16,725 a year which is what non EU students pay at UCL.

Non EU students cross-subsidise their UK/EU counterparts, I would imagine it costs UCL a fair bit less than that to provide each place on the course. However it is difficult to count all the factors that go into it and there is also the effect that costs often increase to match the money available.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure.

But the fact remains that people have weighted up the pros and cons of uni education plus debt vs unemployment and decided on going to uni. I think fears of tuition fee rises are also playing a part.

Until the market perceives that there is no added value in going to uni, large numbers of applications will continue. There will be a knock on effect as students who don't get in this year reapply next year. Govt subsidies will be cut, which will lead to some HE bankruptcies. Govt is making noises about private takeovers in this eventuality, but am not sure who they will find to take that one on m'self.

And why should the market perceive that when its only true for certain courses ? For most school-leavers wanting some sort of structured career, there would be a big negative value in NOT going to uni. If you mean for jobs where for no good reason some sectors have switched from A-level to graduate level intakes, then I'd agree with you. But presumably many employers will take on a graduate at not much more than a school-leaver, so think why not? and raise the entry-level.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Indeed. Cost of science degree involves expensive labs. Cost of "mickey mouse" hums. A classroom and a lecture theatre. Occasionally you might want access to a DVD player and a TV. Making the students pay the actual cost would massively disincentivise potential students from doing science, and increase "mickey mouse" courses.

Making them pay the cost of the course (as opposed to an average fee) would be disastrous, as particularly for science, graduate jobs are among the most poorly paid. An administrative clerical job - esp in finance - will often pay more than a senior scientific job requiring a science degree and probably a higher degree on top. In many of these scientific posts you'll be lucky to pull in >30K even in London.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The teaching can be provided cheaply - providing the student is motivated.

OU sample cost for a Bacelor Engineering degree with Honours - £5720

Degree in physics with some maths content - £5650

Of course there are problems with the OU - modules/courses are only available at certain times so it can take longer to get your degree, probably 4-5 years rather than three.

Also right now quite a few courses (especially the practical away school ones) are being cut due to funding issues. The real cost are the practical courses where you have to go away for about a week and cram in a lot of lab work into that 1 week. So the two paths I worked out above aren't really available anymore but some sort of replacement would be on the cards for a similar cost I believe.

I think the University of Liverpool also offer distance learning and I can see more universities taking this route in future - give students a reading list, set assignments, mark assignments, no actual lectures needed just support through e-mails/phone calls.

The other option is why a degree? Would a shorter more focused course, such as a diploma or certificate work?

[Declared interest - current OU student]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks for that,wasn't aware.

demand for Uni is down to

a)there beign no jobs

b)kids haven't realised most degrees are a waste of time and money

c)parents haven't realsied B)

d)kids jsut wanna go on the lash and have zero debt fears.

The article is talking about elite institutions. I very much doubt demand for engineering at Cambridge or medicine at UCL is down to those factors and would vanish into thin air if only a nice job in carpentry opened up and those involved found a work ethic from somewhere. I love the way that demand from customers is always the gold standard...except in this particular case. ;) Axe to grind much?

Edited by Cogs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Non EU students cross-subsidise their UK/EU counterparts, I would imagine it costs UCL a fair bit less than that to provide each place on the course. However it is difficult to count all the factors that go into it and there is also the effect that costs often increase to match the money available.

it generally costs a little more. The Royal Society of Chemistry reckoned it cost about 1.5k extra per place per year than universities get paid overall, which is why departments are being shut. Generally we tend to subsidise out of research funds, this is what post-docs and PhD students doing teaching is actually about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Universities, like pretty much every public sector institution, have only one solution to every problem: more money. The idea of making do with less is totally alien to them. They couldn't possibly give up their £300k vice chancellors, £40m construction projects for buildings designed to house just 150 staff (I worked in one and it was actually an unpleasant building to work in), expensive new build student halls with an en suite in every room, endless corporate catering and branding and global 'visions'. Many of the new ones should be shut down completely, and the rest should be given a hefty cut in funding. Tuition fees should be capped at 10% of the median UK salary per year and rents in halls should be capped at the local HB rate for a single room in an HMO. The universities are due a good shake down, it would probably improve their quality in the long run.

Nonsense. HE in this country is held together with bailing twine and toothpaste. The standard to reach is set by our peers. Somehow we often manage it but when I'm going balls out to compete with someone in MIT paid three times as much as me with ten times the funding and the staff don't tell me i have no idea about doing more done with less. We've already had a 40% pay cut and been given twice the work to do of the last generation. Furthermore, most of what you are complaining about are actually attempts to generate revenue so I don't really get what your problem is with it. I also don't understand why you think we should throw away one of our last decently performing export markets. Yes, if only we build Halls of Residence students don't want to stay in we'd be fine!

Edited by Cogs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nonsense. HE in this country is held together with bailing twine and toothpaste. The standard to reach is set by our peers. Somehow we often manage it but when I'm going balls out to compete with someone in MIT paid three times as much as me with ten times the funding and the staff don't tell me i have no idea about doing more done with less. We've already had a 40% pay cut and been given twice the work to do of the last generation. Furthermore, most of what you are complaining about are actually attempts to generate revenue so I don't really get what your problem is with it. I also don't understand why you think we should throw away one of our last decently performing export markets. Yes, if only we build Halls of Residence students don't want to stay in we'd be fine!

Well, just look at the government's own figures Source:

Year ending | Total UK Higher Education Institution expenditure (£bn) | Percentage increase from previous year

1994 £9.11 -

1995 £9.81 +7.7%

1996 £10.53 +7.3%

1997 £10.90 +3.5%

1998 £11.31 +3.8%

1999 £11.92 +5.4%

2000 £12.69 +6.5%

2001 £13.53 +6.6%

2002 £14.44 +6.7%

2003 £15.47 +7.1%

2004 £16.66 +7.7%

2005 £17.98 +7.9%

2006 £19.35 +7.6%

2007 £21.01 +8.6%

2008 £22.87 +8.9%

2009 £24.94 +9.1%

So there was a nominal increase in higher education expenditure of almost 150% from 1997 to 2009, and the bulk of the funds spent came from taxpayers, not foreign students. We are now spending over £1000 per full time worker per year on higher education (excluding parental contributions towards student maintenance). That seems like a lot to me. The Americans have a worse HE bubble, to be sure, but we certainly have one too. I think there is a debate to be had over how this spending should be redistributed if the overall amount is to be cut. I would be in favour of sending more of it to high performing institutions and closing a significant proportion of the worse ones. But I still think that as a country we are spending more than we should be on higher education.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

and the bulk of the funds spent came from taxpayers, not foreign students. We are now spending over £1000 per full time worker per year on higher education (excluding parental contributions towards student maintenance).

Struggled a bit to understand how you came to the figures. First and foremost you quoted expenditure, not income. Income would be a better way of measuring how much the universities received because not all universities spend all the money received in a year. Indeed this assumption shows you have a limited grasp of how the financing of universities work.

The more pertinent statistics to my mind would be the division of the income which (in 2008/09) was divided into:

Funding Body Grants 34.8%

Tuition Fees and Education Contracts 28.7%

Research Grants and Other Contracts 16.3%

Other Income 18.8%

Endowment & Investment Income 1.4%

The total amount was £25.34 (following the way you wrote it)

Looking at that, I would argue that only Funding Body Grants could be seen as entirely taxpayer generated. The rest is private other than Research Grants and Other Contracts which will be partly public, partly private funded. The other problem with the figures you cited is that university sources of income vary pretty radically across the sector, though generally speaking you could say the Russell Group is less dependent on govt funding than Post 92s. So shutting some unis could lessen the cost to the taxpayer significantly. I'd be interested to know the precise sum you used to come to the conclusion that the cost is £1000 per full time worker.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • 149 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.