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Students Say £10,000 Tuition Fee Would Be 'unviable'

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A sob story from students.

No mention of the growing uslessness of Higher Education in this country.

Students say £10,000 tuition fee would be 'unviable'

By Sean Coughlan BBC News education correspondent

Oxford University University students are waiting to find about increased student charges and funding cuts

Students are calling on the government to rule out suggestions that tuition fees in England will be increased to £10,000 per year.

The National Union of Students says such an increase would make degrees "unviably" expensive.

Reports have claimed Lord Browne's review will recommend an increase in fees, plus a levy on higher earners.

A government spokeswoman said it would be premature to comment before the review had been published.

Next month Lord Browne will deliver his recommendations on funding higher education in England - including how much students will be expected to pay.

Extra premium

At present, tuition fees are £3,290 per year - but a report in the Sunday Times claimed that Lord Browne was considering raising fees to £7,000 per year, with the option of a further £3,000, if universities would underwrite the risk of loans for fees at this level.

There is also the suggestion that high-earning graduates would pay an extra premium.

Continue reading the main story

University Funding

* Q&A: University funding

* How about $200,000 for a degree?

* Fee rise 'will not stop students'

* University funding: Your solutions

The report also suggests that wealthy students could avoid such an excess charge by paying their fees in advance.

It is also widely expected that students will have to repay loans at a higher interest rate - with the Treasury wanting to reduce the cost of the subsidy of the current system.

"Raising fees would render university an inviable proposition for many of our brightest and most ambitious students... The government must rule out such proposals," said Aaron Porter, NUS president.

Such a fee hike would also put political pressure on the coalition government - as Liberal Democrat MPs fought the general election on a pledge to vote against an increase in tuition fees.

Spending cuts

Charges are set to be relabelled as "graduate contributions" - but the setting of a fee and the option of pre-payment would make it difficult for Liberal Democrats to say this was a type of graduate tax.

For instance, the Liberal Democrat MP for Cambridge, Julian Huppert, promised student voters at the general election: "I would vote to scrap student fees, whatever they may then be called."

Business Secretary Vince Cable, responsible for higher education in England, has raised the idea of a graduate tax as an alternative - and his department says that such "progressive" options are still under discussion.

Ed Miliband The political landscape has changed since the review began. Labour's new leader, Ed Miliband, is against tuition fees

"The government has asked Lord Browne to look at a model in which contributions are fair and progressive and related to people's earnings amongst the options he is considering to reform the funding of universities. We will need to see what options and proposals are put forward by the review this autumn," said a spokeswoman.

What is also emerging from the deliberations over funding is that increases in fees are likely to be accompanied by deep cuts in government funding for universities, particularly in teaching budgets.

Universities have voiced fears that they will see their budgets cut in the comprehensive spending review, while political doubts hang over any replacement funding from higher fees.

The long, drawn-out process of delivering this review means that the political and economic climate is very different from when it was announced in 2009.

Paul Marshall, head of the 1994 Group of research-intensive universities, says any increase in fee levels has to be seen in the context of overall funding.

If teaching budgets are substantially cut in the public spending review, then a fee of £7,000 per year could leave universities at the same level of income for some courses, even though students will be paying twice as much as before.

"You need to look at the overall package of funding," he says. There could be "quite dramatic" increases in student contributions without much financial advantage to universities, he says.

The political balance on fees has also changed with the election of Ed Miliband as the Labour party leader.

Mr Miliband has campaigned to scrap tuition fees and to replace them with a graduate tax.

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As we could expect, university education will be reserved for those from rich families, British or foreign.

The review might have been started by Labour, but the outcome will be Tory elitism.

Do not be poor, do not be unemployed, do not be ill or disabled. Camoron's Britain does not want you.

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As we could expect, university education will be reserved for those from rich families, British or foreign.

The review might have been started by Labour, but the outcome will be Tory elitism.

Do not be poor, do not be unemployed, do not be ill or disabled. Camoron's Britain does not want you.

if they carry on cutting i expect my tax to be lowered, why should i pay more for less and less, there is no value for money in tax and itsbecoming worse, seems to me tax is there to subsidice business , foreign nations and not the people of this country.

Edited by crash2006

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if they carry on cutting i expect my tax to be lowered, why should i pay more for less and less, there is no value for money in tax and itsbecoming worse, seems to me tax is there to subsidice business , foreign nations and not the people of this country.

Your tax will be significantly lowered in five years time if the Libcons are still in power.

They will be able to afford to do so by selling off OUR shareholding in the stricken banks and by redeeming OUR loans to the sector.

The tax cuts will chiefly be to income taxes, rather than direct taxes, thus achieving the Tory ambition that the taxes of the many will enrich the few.

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As we could expect, university education will be reserved for those from rich families, British or foreign.

The review might have been started by Labour, but the outcome will be Tory elitism.

Do not be poor, do not be unemployed, do not be ill or disabled. Camoron's Britain does not want you.

Why should a low earning but tax paying couple that decide not to have children or have children that are not bright enough to go to university pay for other parents kids to go to university?

Education is a universal right upto 16 for all children.

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Why should a low earning but tax paying couple that decide not to have children or have children that are not bright enough to go to university pay for other parents kids to go to university?

Because the likelihood is that they'll get that money back, and more, through the taxes paid by those other parents' kids after they graduate.

There is a vocal hard core on this site who believe, dogmatically, in 'the growing uselessness of higher education in this country', as the OP puts it. I made the mistake of trying to engage with this debate in a few other threads (disclaimer: I am a lecturer, in a humanities subject, at a Russell Group university, and formerly worked in a post-92), but it's clear that in most cases this belief is based in faith rather than reason. There is certainly a case for arguing that we are now putting a larger proportion of the teenage population through HE than we should be, and that Labour's 50% participation target was also based on dogma rather than rationality. But the 'all HE is useless' brigade are not borne out by the figures, or by the vast majority of graduates from the better universities, whose investment in their degree has proven to be a wise one.

However, tuition fees of £10k are not unknown in other developed countries. In the US, fee-paying HE was the norm throughout the decades in which America was the world's dominant economy and in the ascendency (end of WWII to 9/11 approx.). £10k is at the upper end of what most places charge undergrads, but not unusual. Only the prestigious places can get away with charging that much, and bright students are willing to borrow to pay it, because they know that the investment will almost certainly repay itself, and more, through increased earning power. The community college in Dead Man's Creek, North Dakota, will charge $2-3k a year maximum, because that's all its market will bear. IMO a similar system here would be fairer and more effective than the current setup. The dead end degrees whose graduates end up in call centres wouldn't last very long, because no bank would lend a prospective student money to study for them. It's an inbuilt form of quality control if you ask me.

Edited by The Ayatollah Buggeri

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They would be unviable. The number of students in University would drop. Universities would close. The remainder would get access to more public money. They would try to encourage people back with 'incentives'.

So now we have, instead of everyone doing a degree, you can now do one if you can:

a) Afford it

B) Earn it through achievement

That is how the darned system used to be! I do not say (a) is good but the presense of (B), which is presently missing in our system, is what it is all about!!!

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Because the likelihood is that they'll get that money back, and more, through the taxes paid by those other parents' kids after they graduate.

There is a vocal hard core on this site who believe, dogmatically, in 'the growing uselessness of higher education in this country', as the OP puts it. I made the mistake of trying to engage with this debate in a few other threads (disclaimer: I am a lecturer, in a humanities subject, at a Russell Group university, and formerly worked in a post-92), but it's clear that in most cases this belief is based in faith rather than reason. There is certainly a case for arguing that we are now putting a larger proportion of the teenage population through HE than we should be, and that Labour's 50% participation target was also based on dogma rather than rationality. But the 'all HE is useless' brigade are not borne out by the figures, or by the vast majority of graduates from the better universities, whose investment in their degree has proven to be a wise one.

However, tuition fees of £10k are not unknown in other developed countries. In the US, fee-paying HE was the norm throughout the decades in which America was the world's dominant economy and in the ascendency (end of WWII to 9/11 approx.). £10k is at the upper end of what most places charge undergrads, but not unusual. Only the prestigious places can get away with charging that much, and bright students are willing to borrow to pay it, because they know that the investment will almost certainly repay itself, and more, through increased earning power. The community college in Dead Man's Creek, North Dakota, will charge $2-3k a year maximum, because that's all its market will bear. IMO a similar system here would be fairer and more effective than the current setup. The dead end degrees whose graduates end up in call centres wouldn't last very long, because no bank would lend a prospective student money to study for them. It's an inbuilt form of quality control if you ask me.

Your last paragraph contradicts your first.

The likelyhood they will get it back is not good enough.

I am a graduate with a first class honours engineering degree from a Russell Group University, I retired at 38.

I passionately believe in University education, if somebody had a degree in History of Art from a top uni I would employ them for any job. What we have had over the past 13 years is the dumbing down of our higher education system where medioracy rules. We should have expanded the centres of excellance and grown form there.

But as I say if students have to pay they will be more selective in the Uni they are preapred to sell there soul to debt for and Uni's will have to provide the quality or disapear.

Having said that we need to compensate students that decide to be lecturers, teachers, nurses, doctors and wipe there debts clean.

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Because the likelihood is that they'll get that money back, and more, through the taxes paid by those other parents' kids after they graduate.

This is true but the benefit that is accrued by the person who gets a higher income due to their degree is much much greater.

Therefore, as they get the largest benefit, they are the most appropriate person to pay the costs of their education.

The way we currently have student loans set up is a good solution, let them pay it back when they can, and if they can't write it off after a long while.

However, tuition fees of £10k are not unknown in other developed countries. In the US, fee-paying HE was the norm throughout the decades in which America was the world's dominant economy and in the ascendency (end of WWII to 9/11 approx.). £10k is at the upper end of what most places charge undergrads, but not unusual. Only the prestigious places can get away with charging that much, and bright students are willing to borrow to pay it, because they know that the investment will almost certainly repay itself, and more, through increased earning power. The community college in Dead Man's Creek, North Dakota, will charge $2-3k a year maximum, because that's all its market will bear. IMO a similar system here would be fairer and more effective than the current setup. The dead end degrees whose graduates end up in call centres wouldn't last very long, because no bank would lend a prospective student money to study for them. It's an inbuilt form of quality control if you ask me.

I agree - we need a price system to operate in HE so people can decide how much a course is worth and how much they are willing to pay. Not all universities or degrees are equal - so they should not cost the same.

Edit - The report I read said that fewer than 10% of students would be put off by fees of £10k. Since very few universities could get away with charging this amount, it seems like a very good Idea to set universities free of government cash and let them charge fees as they deem appropriate.

The biggest advantage is that students would actually start to care more about the quality of their degrees and this would push up the quality of teaching in the UK (though already high) to a really world-beating standard. That would make HE a bit more of an export industry too, something we need more of.

Edited by LJAR

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An underlying problem in this debate keeps recuring- that you can compare the value of degree awards and the value of universities awarding them. It is just not so, they is no basis for objective comparison. To say that a degree from X uni is better than that from Y uni is not possible. It is subjective and prejudiced.

I heard recently from someone teaching a humanities subject at Oxford. They said that their time was spent drilling students how to answer a restricted range of questions in a style which would meet the examiner's standards. A great deal of one-to-one time went into that. The arms-length learning at say, Wolverhamton, is possibly (only possibly because no-one knows) more meritorious

Until we know what a degree is worth, the price cannot be honestly set, unless, as at Oxbridge, it is the price of pomposity and priviledge.

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An underlying problem in this debate keeps recuring- that you can compare the value of degree awards and the value of universities awarding them. It is just not so, they is no basis for objective comparison. To say that a degree from X uni is better than that from Y uni is not possible. It is subjective and prejudiced.

I heard recently from someone teaching a humanities subject at Oxford. They said that their time was spent drilling students how to answer a restricted range of questions in a style which would meet the examiner's standards. A great deal of one-to-one time went into that. The arms-length learning at say, Wolverhamton, is possibly (only possibly because no-one knows) more meritorious

Until we know what a degree is worth, the price cannot be honestly set, unless, as at Oxbridge, it is the price of pomposity and priviledge.

Which is one really good reason that we need to get a system which will fail an individual who is not meeting a certain standard. We have become fixated with pass rates. All we have managed to do is train a generation of people in how to get a piece of paper. The fact that that piece of paper is no longer a real indication of intellect or ability is the real horror of the system.

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Until we know what a degree is worth, the price cannot be honestly set, unless, as at Oxbridge, it is the price of pomposity and priviledge.

That sounds pretty easy.. let the universities charge whatever they want and let the students decide whether the fee's are worth paying.

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Which is one really good reason that we need to get a system which will fail an individual who is not meeting a certain standard. We have become fixated with pass rates. All we have managed to do is train a generation of people in how to get a piece of paper. The fact that that piece of paper is no longer a real indication of intellect or ability is the real horror of the system.

This is so true. In my day at university you would pass if you knew what the correct answer was but argued logically for a diiferent answer.

It was not a degree based on memorising the correct answer but a degree based on your intellect to argue logically and present your case.

We used to have a B.A in Maths where only the elegance of your equations was measured not the result.

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As we could expect, university education will be reserved for those from rich families, British or foreign.

The review might have been started by Labour, but the outcome will be Tory elitism.

Do not be poor, do not be unemployed, do not be ill or disabled. Camoron's Britain does not want you.

Funny, I always thought it was nu fascist that introduced tuition fees, in fact I distinctly remember going to univiersity just before they came to power and not paying tuition fees. :unsure:

Also wasn't it labour who decided to expand university education so that you now need a degree to work in a call centre. :rolleyes:

And I'm damn sure it was Brown who destroyed the public finances over the last 13 years. :angry:

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The biggest advantage is that students would actually start to care more about the quality of their degrees and this would push up the quality of teaching in the UK (though already high) to a really world-beating standard. That would make HE a bit more of an export industry too, something we need more of.

You would think...but my experience of this was that the introduction of fees in Australia made the students customers and in a customer driven market the customer gets what the customer wants, which is, on average, high grades for no work. This was exacerbated by the fact that students are admitted into science and arts degrees but not tied ot a specific department as they are in the UK, hence the departments compete with each other for already admitted students, and that competition basically turned into a race to the bottom.

At the beginning of the process I was on my department's consultative committee and the discussion was (literally) "how much do we lower the pass mark for 2nd year analysis so we can pay the photocopying bill." This was at one of the top 4 universities in Australia. One of my friends had his contract not renewed, to cut a long story short, because he failed 10% of his class for handing in no work. Another one quit in disgust over some of the grading decisions made so as not to lose service courses.

Comparison with the American experience is perhaps not valid, as their system formed in the past, and "now" is not "then."

Edited by Tiger Woods?

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The issue here is that universities are being expected to provide education that should have been provided in secondary schools; employers know this, which is why they recruit graduates when once they may have recruited school-leavers for certain roles.

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Why should a low earning but tax paying couple that decide not to have children or have children that are not bright enough to go to university pay for other parents kids to go to university?

Because we need a skilled, educated workforce. It is a collective investment in the future.

We have an utterly toxic attitude to the young in this country. We are destroying investment in education which provides for the future, and favouring stuff like free social care for the elderly and reducing inheritance taxes, which clearly does not. Increased graduate taxes are a good idea. So is increasing IHT and making the elderly (with assets) fund the added social and medical care they need. Demographics dictate that elderly care costs will far outstip higher education. It is in all our interests to redistribute the stored wealth of the elderly in a fair and productive way.

Higher education also needs to be more efficient and selective. It needs to provide skills, not just be a place to dump young people for 3 years because there are no jobs for them. For the last 10 years it has just become another way of massaging unemployment stats (like pretending that 1.5 million long term unemployed are really disabled).

I still hope that the coming public spending debate includes a bit of honest discussion about what is needed in UK.

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Guest The Relaxation Suite

As we could expect, university education will be reserved for those from rich families, British or foreign.

Mainly Chinese. Even ten years ago nearly all the overseas students were rich Chinese, and it's even more dominated by them now. Only the very top of British kids (private schools, etc., or very lucky scholarship kids) will get a chance to go to HE and get an advanced education now.

Thanks to the socialists who bankrupted the system and destroyed the lives of millions of the poorest in the process.

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Because the likelihood is that they'll get that money back, and more, through the taxes paid by those other parents' kids after they graduate.

There is a vocal hard core on this site who believe, dogmatically, in 'the growing uselessness of higher education in this country', as the OP puts it. I made the mistake of trying to engage with this debate in a few other threads (disclaimer: I am a lecturer, in a humanities subject, at a Russell Group university, and formerly worked in a post-92), but it's clear that in most cases this belief is based in faith rather than reason. There is certainly a case for arguing that we are now putting a larger proportion of the teenage population through HE than we should be, and that Labour's 50% participation target was also based on dogma rather than rationality. But the 'all HE is useless' brigade are not borne out by the figures, or by the vast majority of graduates from the better universities, whose investment in their degree has proven to be a wise one.

However, tuition fees of £10k are not unknown in other developed countries. In the US, fee-paying HE was the norm throughout the decades in which America was the world's dominant economy and in the ascendency (end of WWII to 9/11 approx.). £10k is at the upper end of what most places charge undergrads, but not unusual. Only the prestigious places can get away with charging that much, and bright students are willing to borrow to pay it, because they know that the investment will almost certainly repay itself, and more, through increased earning power. The community college in Dead Man's Creek, North Dakota, will charge $2-3k a year maximum, because that's all its market will bear. IMO a similar system here would be fairer and more effective than the current setup. The dead end degrees whose graduates end up in call centres wouldn't last very long, because no bank would lend a prospective student money to study for them. It's an inbuilt form of quality control if you ask me.

The problem is the system is run at present for the benefit of those employed in the provision of education not in the interests of those studying, using the US as an example is actually another broken system you are comparing with, the economist ran an article on this a couple of weeks ago, basically the unis are run in the interests of the professors not the students, they will compete on fancy facilities or academic research results but not price or the quality of teaching this is absolutely against the interests of students who cripple them selves in debt so the uni has a state of the art gym and 40 professors in the history department 20 of whom are on sabbatical at any moment in time , if we are going to have 50% of our young studying ( which is a crazy notion 10% is much better ) we should have 90% of them in teaching universities where there is no research and all teaching, much much cheaper, a few high quality research unis should exist and there should be massive competition to be granted research funds.

Also the vast majority of people study not because of interest in the subject matter but because they want to get a job, A levels are failing to differentiate between good and bad pupils and so are unis now so the main reason people study, which is to prove they are smart, is being denied them, if we ranked a level and degree results by percentiles then grade inflation is gone and its very clear who is good and who is bad, tough luck for the 5th percentile guy and the 99 percentile guy has a piece of paper worth the debt !

Also to the guy who says the BA in maths is only based on the artistic nature of the math not the result is talking out his ass , I have a BA in maths and you have to get the right result bozo !

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The problem is the system is run at present for the benefit of those employed in the provision of education not in the interests of those studying, using the US as an example is actually another broken system you are comparing with, the economist ran an article on this a couple of weeks ago, basically the unis are run in the interests of the professors not the students, they will compete on fancy facilities or academic research results but not price or the quality of teaching this is absolutely against the interests of students who cripple them selves in debt so the uni has a state of the art gym and 40 professors in the history department 20 of whom are on sabbatical at any moment in time , if we are going to have 50% of our young studying ( which is a crazy notion 10% is much better ) we should have 90% of them in teaching universities where there is no research and all teaching, much much cheaper, a few high quality research unis should exist and there should be massive competition to be granted research funds.

Also the vast majority of people study not because of interest in the subject matter but because they want to get a job, A levels are failing to differentiate between good and bad pupils and so are unis now so the main reason people study, which is to prove they are smart, is being denied them, if we ranked a level and degree results by percentiles then grade inflation is gone and its very clear who is good and who is bad, tough luck for the 5th percentile guy and the 99 percentile guy has a piece of paper worth the debt !

Also to the guy who says the BA in maths is only based on the artistic nature of the math not the result is talking out his ass , I have a BA in maths and you have to get the right result bozo !

Read what I wrote.

"We used to" - past tense, i.e no more.

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Read what I wrote.

"We used to" - past tense, i.e no more.

And I am telling you that there never has been a maths degree run on such a dumb principle

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And I am telling you that there never has been a maths degree run on such a dumb principle

Well it is not a dumb principle. In how many Universities around the world do lecturers walk in and ask the students to prove 2+2 = 5. To get the students to understand the concept of challenging current understanding.

Where would we be if Copernicus had not challenged the belief that the Earth was the centre of the universe.

Take two students today one proves that the Theory of Gravitation is correct. The other proves that it is the distortion in space time that the earth creates that means that space time is forcing objects of lighter mass onto the surface of the earth.

Which student is right and which student is wrong?

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  • 244 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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