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PROTEST AGAINST STUDENT FEE HIKES - A financial comparison of old and new
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COMMENT: You can see my own views about this in comments on Lynne Featherstone's blog: Click here. My initial post was as follows:
It would be great to have universities fully supported through increases in taxation, but that is scarcely an option we are likely to be offered in a long time. I have tried to understand (not easy!) how the new proposals compare with the current arrangements set up under Labour, in hard financial terms. Look at my conclusions here: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/~ucgbarg/fees .
I suspect that the uproar and government condemnation from students would actually be far worse if it were the opposite change that was being imposed on us (from the new system to the present one). This would be seriously anti-progressive. Those unconfident of gaining above-average career earnings would be deterred from university by the larger amounts they could expect to pay back, while prospective bankers would be well pleased. Imagine the uproar!
Why are the libdems so dismally failing to explain how terrible the current system is? Yes, they pledged to vote against it – that was good! They should claim credit for the progressive features of what is being proposed. Yes, the fees will go up (incidentally putting more clout into the hands of students choosing their courses) but this is only a technical breach of faith, since these will only be paid by the ultimately well-off, those who really benefit from professional skills and who mostly know from the outset that university education is well worth the investment. Who would opt to work in the supermarket because they were afraid that university education might put them into an earnings bracket where they would have to pay what it costs? This isn’t going to be perfect, and it’s not going to save the government money for a very long time, but it has important good points.
COMMENT: There's a surprising silence from students in response to this challenge (given to the UCL occupation on 30 Nov). There are some corrections and additional calculations now on the site I set up ( student debt calculations) and additional comments from me and others on Lynne Featherstone's site. TGM
** Further comments of mine on Lynne Featherstone's site are A , B , C , D , E . TGM 13/12/2010
COMMENT: You can read my views triggered by David Colquhoun's blog on this subject here and here. TGM