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Should degrees cost more?

05:31 UK time, Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Universities in England should be able to charge unlimited fees, a major review of university funding has recommended. Can you afford to pay more?

Lord Browne's review calls for the £3,290 cap on fees, which students borrow in loans, to be scrapped.

Instead it proposes a free market in fees - setting out models of charges up to £12,000 a year for a degree course.

In a speech in the House of Commons, Business Secretary Vince Cable, endorsed the recommendations of Lord Browne's proposals saying they were "fair and affordable".

The UCU lecturers' union said the plan was "the final nail in the coffin for affordable higher education". However, Lord Browne's review makes clear that universities that charge more than £6,000 a year would lose a proportion of the fee to help cover the cost of student borrowing.

What do you think about the proposals? Are you planning to go to university? Could you be priced out of education? Are you a parent? Are you concerned about making increased contributions? Should the fees cap remain?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 15

  • Comment number 1.

    (I'd like to see how much different courses from different Universities cost.)

    Of course, over time the cost will increase - the problem is who pays?
    Either tuition fees go up, or taxes go up, or big business contributes more - perhaps a combination.

    But you can't get something for nothing. Students have to be prepared to pay more.

  • Comment number 2.

    Yet another step to privatising education.

  • Comment number 3.

    Should degrees cost more? Main stream degrees, such as those based around mathematics, science, engineering should be free to those who are intelligent enough to complete the degree. For so called Trendy, lefty type degrees which have know real meaning in helping create wealth for the nation, then yes people who wish to waste there own time on these pointless degrees should pay the whole cost. Also, if people drop out of the degree then, depending on the circumstances, they should be made to repay the cost.

  • Comment number 4.

    Education shouldnt cost a thing i should be able to continue to expand and grow and be able to better myself.

    If universitys are able to charge whatever they want then they need a ombudsman to deal with universities that fail their students.

  • Comment number 5.

    University is a choice, not a right. Many courses have way too specific a focus, making them close to a waste of time. At least "Media Studies" will teach about TV, Radio, Print, Advertising etc, but what range of vocation can be opened up by a "Belly Dancing" course as featured on the BBC News this morning?

    Allowing Universities to choose what fees to charge potential students will show them the true value of the course they will attend, and hopefully weed out the more useless courses!

  • Comment number 6.

    Maybe, but they should be much more rigorous first. The standard of UK graduates on the whole is pretty poor, a tenuous grasp of language at best and virtually no idea how to add up and take away. Now I know all you kids with degrees are going to be up in arms, especially when you have sports science under your belt or hotel management, you don't need to add up you cry, we have machines for that. Wrong, you do need to able to add up and write, longhand with proper attention paid to punctuation and grammar.

    When you have mastered these dark arts, like the rest of us, then you can use a machine and if you can't, then you don't deserve to be at university in the first place.

    Degrees and degree holders from the UK are becoming a laughing stock, and its about time you, the students do something about it, either your degrees need to be much harder or more expensive because at the moment they are being devalued by people who should be at technical college.

    When large firms have trouble filling places from thousands of applicants alarm bells start ringing.

    We need to make universities places of learning for the elite not everyone, and by elite I mean minds not financial the two do not necessarily go together. I doubt if making degree more expensive will encourage this, but making the entry exams much more difficult will, there needs to be a dramatic change at 'A'level in order to bring back some sort of balance before we start increasing costs.

  • Comment number 7.

    No. The true wealth of a nation is in the capabilities of its citizens. It is our duty and obligation to ensure that an inspiring education is available to all.

    If that is not being done, I see no point in providing any funding to government as it is not prepared to fulfil its obligations to citizens.

  • Comment number 8.

    1. No academic establishment should receive any funding from the taxpayer if it spends any part of such funds on foreign students.
    2. Full grants should be made to those graduatess who are studying for proper degrees eg science or engineering.
    3. Graduatess studying degrees like media studies should be made to pay for it themselves.
    4. All graduates receiving taxpayer help who drop out without good reason should be made to pay back their grants.
    5. Graduates receiving taxpayer help should be continuously assessed to ensure that they are not slacking.

  • Comment number 9.

    I have two granddaughters, both very bright, due to start University next year and the year after. It was always going to be difficult to find the fees for both of them even at the old rate but to at least double will make it impossible. We will dip into our pension funds as much as we can but it looks as if one if not both will have to miss out. If we had the money then there would be no doubt they would receive the best education so it does come down to only the very rich will be educated to degree level.

  • Comment number 10.

    Having been through university i agree with charging fees for courses; but i do believe that in the best interests of the UK there should be courses which are free.

    Pure Sciences, Engineering and Medical should be free as they are of industrial and social benefit to the nation. Others should be charged for.

  • Comment number 11.

    "
    1. At 07:07am on 12 Oct 2010, TheWalrus999 wrote:

    (I'd like to see how much different courses from different Universities cost.)

    Of course, over time the cost will increase - the problem is who pays?
    Either tuition fees go up, or taxes go up, or big business contributes more - perhaps a combination.

    But you can't get something for nothing. Students have to be prepared to pay more.
    "

    Students will pay for it, with the taxes they pay through their earners. By your statement "But you can't get something for nothing", this could be taken and turned around to say that primary, secondary and other forms of higher education should not be free too? In which case, who pays? The parents? The children, say given 5 year old's fix interest loans to repaid when they start work? Education is right, a human right for which we gladly pay taxes to provide so long as the money is well spent and gives a return on that investment, i.e. successful, well educated people who con tribute to the success of the nation.

  • Comment number 12.

    Lets all not work , sponge on the benefit system , become unlawful and refuse to do anything ; this country is being ruined by each government in turn heaven help us all the future what happened to the message a free and good standard of education for all ?? Mr Cameron and Milliband and the rest of them will be ok no problem.

  • Comment number 13.

    To Andrew - who placed comment 4...

    The ability to articulate yourself properly is a must for any degree candidate. You've failed to punctuate, capitalise and form sentences properly.

    I hope this is not the level of ability for University intake in years to come.

  • Comment number 14.

    As usual there seems to be no consideration of the administrative complexities of this proposed complicated scheme - how much of the increased fees will need to go to employing further huge numbers of civil servants (at a time when the Government is trying to reduce Whitehall expenditure). The Student Loan Company and the the Inland Revenue are struggling to get things right and on time now - how will they cope with this further increase in work load and complexity?

  • Comment number 15.

    Yes, university is a choice, but it should also be a right - especially in a leading first-world country such as ours. We pay taxes to educate our young. Charging ever more for courses will drive away gifted students - the potential doctors and scientists of tomorrow who simply cannot afford higher education any more. What makes me especially angry is that this and the previous government has persuaded the general public that starting working life tens of thousands of pounds in debt is somehow acceptable - and this is a disgrace.

  • Comment number 16.

    British universities appear to be morphed into a version of the premier league. The top tier of prestigeous universities want to attract fee-paying students, from overseas if necessary. It's becoming more and more like the U.S.

  • Comment number 17.

    I simply cannot believe the extent of the shift from my university days to where we are now. Higher education has been totally mismanaged, starting with the late Conservative era and made a million times worse by labour's meddling.

    Making all colleges 'universities' has made the degree the baseline qualification for academic and vocational studies. It is ridiculous that colleges are offering three and four year courses for subjects that could be covered in one or two years (e.g. Event Management at Bournmouth); Universities try to manage the costs down by giving appaullingly low contact hours with a tutor; the rest is 'coursework' (coursework: this is for a very sizable minority a euphamism for 'sleep in or go to the pub').

    Government policy has not only forced up the cost of education, it leaves students more in debt. Also, the smorgasbord of courses diverts capable degree students away from harder options (Science, Maths, Engineering) that our economy needs - and SOME students have so much free time that every night is party night.

    Bring back one and two year vocational certificates so that students can better match their studies to what they need, what they are capable of, and what they are willing to invest!

  • Comment number 18.

    We are going back to when only the well off could afford higher education and so keep the working classes at the bottom remember who writtern this report LORD brown say no more.

  • Comment number 19.

    "
    8. At 07:34am on 12 Oct 2010, Bob wrote:

    1. No academic establishment should receive any funding from the taxpayer if it spends any part of such funds on foreign students.
    "

    Why? foreign students are huge earner for the Universities.

  • Comment number 20.


    The education system is already unfair, Scottish students go to university for free, while welsh students have subsidies, why are English students being asked to pay so much for something other students get for a fraction of the price or for nothing.
    Contrary to popular belief students are an important group of society and it's unfair to believe that We should be burdened with so much debt ,especially when in a few years we will be expected to be paying increased taxes, live off of decreased wages all while being expected to pay off the national debt.

  • Comment number 21.

    There is another HYS "How Fair is Britain" - these two subjects say it all about Britain today.
    I was one of the lucky ones in the early 70's who went to University on a full grant. With the money I earned from holiday jobs I came out of Uni with an actual credit on my bank account.
    However, over the years, my income rose until just before I retired I was paying more in income tax than my partners salary! So over the years I consider I repaid the State for my education.
    The old saying is a truism " A politician looks to the next election, a Statesman looks to the next generations!

  • Comment number 22.

    "
    7. At 07:34am on 12 Oct 2010, Megan wrote:

    No. The true wealth of a nation is in the capabilities of its citizens. It is our duty and obligation to ensure that an inspiring education is available to all.

    If that is not being done, I see no point in providing any funding to government as it is not prepared to fulfil its obligations to citizens.
    "

    Exactly right.

  • Comment number 23.

    My Daughter has just started a 4 year course at Lancaster. She went with the belief the Student Loan would be £3200.00 a year.

    Will the higher rate apply to students that have already started their
    courses? if it does I can see 1st year students opting out and wasting a year of their lives.

    regards ..... Paul from Manchester

  • Comment number 24.

    Can someone tell me why it is only England that have to pay more.
    Scotland,Ireland and Wales are not going to pay more but they get the same education.IS THIS FAIR?
    HEY GOVERNMENT LOOK AGAIN AND MAKE IT FAIR FOR THE ENGLISH!!!!

  • Comment number 25.

    8. At 07:34am on 12 Oct 2010, Bob wrote: No academic establishment should receive any funding from the taxpayer if it spends any part of such funds on foreign students.

    I think you are missing the point Bob. Foreign students pay more (except EU of course) and bring in money - they are a cash cow for universities.

    A more pertinent question is should Universities in Scotland have been allowed to charge students from England MORE than students from other EU counties. I may be wrong but I understand that Universities in Scotland could not discriminate against students from other EU countries but discrimination within the UK border was OK. This was implemented to stop a rush of students going North of the border when top-uop fees were introduced in England.

    In 2005 this was being challenged by a student in the courts but I've no idea whether rthe case went ahead, or its outcome if it did. Can anyone enlighten me?

  • Comment number 26.

    It seems obvious, that the noble, but incredibly-rich, Lord Browne has little concept of what £10,000 means to the average British family.
    It's getting on for half the average wage - how could such a family contemplate the proposed cost of university for just one child? And to borrow this amount yearly, for three consecutive years, not to mention the cost of daily life - it's a massive burden, with absolutely no guarantee of decent employment when the degree is awarded.
    For bright working-class kids, the opportunity of an Oxbridge education is receding rapidly, and the nation's rulers should hang their heads in shame.

  • Comment number 27.

    3. At 07:23am on 12 Oct 2010, Kuradi Vitukari wrote:

    Main stream degrees, such as those based around mathematics, science, engineering should be free to those who are intelligent enough to complete the degree. For so called Trendy, lefty type degrees which have know real meaning in helping create wealth for the nation, then yes people who wish to waste there own time on these pointless degrees should pay the whole cost.

    ==========================================================================

    What about the cultural identity of a nation? I did English Literature; i might not add to the "wealth" of a country but i recognize the rich tapestry of art and beauty this country has constantly produced.

    In 50 years when everyones forgotton about the bottom line and the early 21st century recession people will still talk about hurst, duffy, banks.

    Its not about money. Education represents the improvement of a society, i wouldn't want to live in a society without a deep understanding of its culture. Thats much more important than any deficit.

  • Comment number 28.

    My worry is that the maximum loan available will be for £7000 per year. If this only covers course fees (which could cost over £10,000 per year), how will students afford to feed and house themselves? For self-supporting students, whose parents cannot afford to provide financial backing, university will no longer be an option. This will be even more apparent at elitist universities which ban their students from working part-time. If these changes are enacted, then universities should be stopped from dictating whether their students can earn more money in their spare time.

  • Comment number 29.

    Increasing fees will discourage the less well off from attending and achieving their potential. University education will slowly become elitist (based on wealth rather than ability) as it was decades ago.

    However, I can't disagree that students should be prepared to invest in their own future, so there's a balance to be struck.

  • Comment number 30.

    I'm making sure that my daughter becomes completely bilingual in the hope that when she goes to university higher education is still free in Sweden so that she can get her degree with a much smaller debt than if she were to study here.

  • Comment number 31.

    To be clear, STUDENTS don't pay anything. GRADUATES pay and then only when they get a salary of £21,000. The higher they earn beyond that, the more they will pay.

  • Comment number 32.

    Yet again, those not earning will benefit to the detriment of those that do contribute to the public purse. Yet again, those that are well off will be looked after because in earning or having access to more money their overall debt will be less. Yet again, the backbone of the country, those in the middle, gets stuffed - just because the Govt can. How much l much more does this country think the backbone can take before it bends and then breaks under the weight of all the Govt places on it?

  • Comment number 33.

    What sort of education system have we got when employers are asking applicants for a 2.1 or better just to get an interview?

    Companies should start recruiting GCSE / A level students again and take responsibility for training them.

    University should be an option not a necessity.

  • Comment number 34.

    SO students will have to pay more fees, and the richer students will pay higher rates of interests (apart from those wealthy enough not to need loans of course) and yet they don't have to start paying it back until they earn enough (but interest will continue to accrue...)

    How about asking the bankers to pay massive insurance premiums to protect us against their avarice. They can pay for it with a massive loan at high interest, but they can choose to pay it back over 20 or 30 years if they like (but interest will continue to accrue...)

    In that FAIR scenario, let's see how many bankers take the generous offer to delay repayments.

  • Comment number 35.

    in this day and age the british empire is loosing it's fundamental principle of believing in it's own home grown produce in education,the price of which to students, is to be increased,to reduce the many passes qualified to attend british universities by favouring the affordable fees of foreign applicants.
    The stiff upper lip of the tory education cult is in poverty street,which tells their Lordships that the flag of democracy is trailing in the poor areas of the ordinary people,and should rise above the demarkation line between rich and poor,by increasing education fees,preventing so many ordinary students the chance to succeed in their home grown education system, is about to be deflated by tory dogmatism, an assured sign of the return of the extreme right of power over people,
    rather than allow young people to be engaged in their own home grown territory,for the good of home bred residents,Lord Brown and his collection of scholars,will increase the flow of rich students from other rich areas in favour of money rather than give home grown students the chance to succeed.

  • Comment number 36.

    My 16 year old daughter wants to be a doctor and, though i say it myself, would make a very good one. In what world does it make sense to put this huge potential obstacle in her/our way?

  • Comment number 37.

    13. At 07:39am on 12 Oct 2010, Cottroad wrote:
    To Andrew - who placed comment 4...

    The ability to articulate yourself properly is a must for any degree candidate. You've failed to punctuate, capitalise and form sentences properly.

    I hope this is not the level of ability for University intake in years to come.
    ------------------------------------------------------------

    I would not recommend #4 for a degree in English Literature. However, I think you will find degrees are offered in subjects that require little grasp of the English language. Perhaps I could recommend a degree in Tennis with the University of Central Lancaster (Preston Polly to my generation). Perhaps Surf Science and Technology at Plymouth) might be more to their liking.

    You only need to grunt loudly for the former, and for the latter you can scrape by so long as you able to converse with your fellow students (sorry, I mean "dudes," "brahs" or "bruddahs") in surfing lingo.

  • Comment number 38.

    Should I be grateful to the BBC for exposing the myth you have to work for a degree?

    Or should I mention the simple fact we seem to be returning to a pre-enlightenment situation where those who had the most managed to get more letters after their names?

  • Comment number 39.

    27. At 08:00am on 12 Oct 2010, lefty_lefty wrote:
    3. At 07:23am on 12 Oct 2010, Kuradi Vitukari wrote:

    Main stream degrees, such as those based around mathematics, science, engineering should be free to those who are intelligent enough to complete the degree. For so called Trendy, lefty type degrees which have know real meaning in helping create wealth for the nation, then yes people who wish to waste there own time on these pointless degrees should pay the whole cost.

    ==========================================================================

    What about the cultural identity of a nation? I did English Literature; i might not add to the "wealth" of a country but i recognize the rich tapestry of art and beauty this country has constantly produced.

    In 50 years when everyones forgotton about the bottom line and the early 21st century recession people will still talk about hurst, duffy, banks.

    Its not about money. Education represents the improvement of a society, i wouldn't want to live in a society without a deep understanding of its culture. Thats much more important than any deficit.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I agree with one proviso. I think there are too many frivolous degree subjects (Golf management? Event Management?). We should focus on providing affordable higher edcucation in core subjects; Universities should be about academic excellence and research - be it art, literature, engineering or science. We need another MORE FLEXIBLE tier for vocational subjects (this is where Golf Management and Event Management belong)

  • Comment number 40.

    How do the Scottish universities function without charging huge fees for it's students?

    Why can't the English universities do the same??

  • Comment number 41.

    At 08:00am on 12 Oct 2010, lefty_lefty wrote:

    What about the cultural identity of a nation? I did English Literature; i might not add to the "wealth" of a country but i recognize the rich tapestry of art and beauty this country has constantly produced.

    In 50 years when everyones forgotton about the bottom line and the early 21st century recession people will still talk about hurst, duffy, banks.

    Its not about money. Education represents the improvement of a society, i wouldn't want to live in a society without a deep understanding of its culture. Thats much more important than any deficit.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I'd ask for your money back if that's the fruit of an English literature degree, Perhaps the basics have become a forgotton (sic) art?

  • Comment number 42.

    Students should pay for their own educations. The habit of expecting someone else to pay is utter nonesense. We've turned into a nation of scroungers - always wanting someone else to foot the bill for our lifestyles. So what if a graduates end up with having to re pay £30,000. They have all their working lives to repay it. By my estimation, that's about £20 per week. As things stand at the moment, I'm paying £20 per week (in taxes) for someone else's education and for an education I'm NOT getting myself. If students are not prepared to pay for their own educations, on what moral basis should someone else be forced to?

  • Comment number 43.

    Reading some of the comments on here from people who want free 'educashun' I am stunned at the grammar and spelling etc - so poor. I paid for my own degrees and worked hard because it was my own money paying for it but too many take the easy route because it's not their money and too much of their loans goes on the student union and partying these days. There is no reason for the tax payer to support students who can pay for themselves and those that can't afford to pay for themselves should clearly pay back their fees and loans once they are earning. It's an unfair society that just hands money out from taxpayers who are working hard to support themselves and their families and it's an unfair society that just expects it.

  • Comment number 44.

    This has nothing to do with affordability.
    It will ensure that there is an underclass of people unable to afford education at the highest standard.
    Back to Victorian times we go.
    There won't be any one from the working classes attending Oxford or Cambridge so that Cameron and Cleggs cronies have free rein at the plum University places as they are the only ones who will be able to go. US style scholarships based on sporting prowess rather than intellect here we come.
    ConDem attitude towards working and middle class aspiration at it's best.

  • Comment number 45.

    I am appalled by Lord Brown's report. The trouble is that he is wealthy and is totally out of contact with the ordinary families of this country and their aspirations. His education was also free. I can't believe we can't afford to pay for a descent education for our young. Just about every other country in the world is encouraging university eduation. This will also create a two-tier system. The wealthy will go to the elite universities. Poorer to middle income families will go elsewhere. What's the vision here. It's all about markets and look what they've done to us. The real unfairness is that bankers and financiers will still be able to afford to send their kids to the top universities. It's crass. It WILL DEFINITELY DETER youngsters from going Lord Brown. What planet are you on?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 46.

    33. At 08:09am on 12 Oct 2010, VikingView wrote:
    What sort of education system have we got when employers are asking applicants for a 2.1 or better just to get an interview?

    Companies should start recruiting GCSE / A level students again and take responsibility for training them.

    University should be an option not a necessity.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    A degree is a necessity these days:

    1) The O / A level grades are not now fit for purpose. With 'A' grades dished out so readily they cannot be used as a selecton criteria; they do not distinguish the very brightest students.

    2) Degrees are now as common as muck; with so many people out there with degrees it is logical that degree classes are used as a basis for selection.

    3) Employers no longer want to train people; they expect you to hit the ground running. Relevant degrees are very useful in this respect as they dispense with some of the initial training responsibility that might otherwise have rested with the employer

  • Comment number 47.

    As a member of the UCU and a university teacher this will have a devastating effect on higher education in the UK. HE needs diversity and originality and this will inevitably stifle both. For those who complain about so-called "trendy lefty degrees", it is worth noting that the UK economy has moved on from the 'traditional' skills and now requires new skills, especially those relevant to media, the arts and entertainment.
    It is a mark of a civilised society that we maintain and fund a healthy, vibrant and diverse HE system and it is the mark of an intelligent society that we understand the need for us to fund this through a system of taxation. It is not only about how many productive (wealth making) individuals we produce through the university system, it is also about our attitude to learning and the broader values of our society.

  • Comment number 48.

    The irony is that it will not deter the financiers and bankers who got us into this mess in the first place. They'll probably be able to afford it from one year's bonus alone. The rest of us are left to our own devices! It's a bad day for the UK.

  • Comment number 49.

    The only people who will be able to go to University is the wealthy (The Tory cabinet won't have any worries here) and foreigners.

  • Comment number 50.

    31. At 08:06am on 12 Oct 2010, TheWalrus999 wrote:
    To be clear, STUDENTS don't pay anything. GRADUATES pay and then only when they get a salary of £21,000. The higher they earn beyond that, the more they will pay.

    -----------------------------------------

    I think you are splitting hairs - BUT - it does rtaise an interesting question.

    What happens if a student starts a degree but after say, 2 years, they drop out. I would hope that they still cary the burden of debt under the same terms and conditions.

  • Comment number 51.

    "24. At 07:55am on 12 Oct 2010, Malcolm wrote:
    Can someone tell me why it is only England that have to pay more.
    Scotland,Ireland and Wales are not going to pay more but they get the same education.IS THIS FAIR?
    HEY GOVERNMENT LOOK AGAIN AND MAKE IT FAIR FOR THE ENGLISH!!!!"
    =====================================================================

    The reason why is devolution. It's just like so called postcode prescribing in healthcare. If you devolve decision making power from the centre (i.e. from central government), you're bound to get different decisions. Otherwise, there'd be no point in devolving power in the first place!

    If you want complete uniformity, what is available here is eactly what's available there, then forget devolved decision making. If you want local decison making, then it's inevitable that different areas will get different provision.

  • Comment number 52.

    36. At 08:11am on 12 Oct 2010, alfredwallis wrote:
    My 16 year old daughter wants to be a doctor and, though i say it myself, would make a very good one. In what world does it make sense to put this huge potential obstacle in her/our way?

    ----------------

    In this very stupid one!

    Note that I did not say a Tory one - I believe that Labour would have been forced to make some some equally unsavoury decisions to adress the mess that they created.

  • Comment number 53.

    "4. At 07:23am on 12 Oct 2010, Andrew wrote:
    Education shouldnt cost a thing i should be able to continue to expand and grow and be able to better myself."
    ================================================================

    I suppose you expect a free lunch as well Andrew!

    Get real man. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Someone has to pay. With education, if individual students don't pay then the taxpayer has to.

  • Comment number 54.

    • 27. At 08:00am on 12 Oct 2010, lefty_lefty wrote:
    What about the cultural identity of a nation? I did English Literature; i might not add to the "wealth" of a country but i recognize the rich tapestry of art and beauty this country has constantly produced.

    In 50 years when everyones forgotton about the bottom line and the early 21st century recession people will still talk about hurst, duffy, banks.

    Its not about money. Education represents the improvement of a society, i wouldn't want to live in a society without a deep understanding of its culture. Thats much more important than any deficit.

    --------------------------------------------------------
    I think he is on about the difference between something that will be of benefit the whole nation and personal self improvement. After all would you want to cross a bridge designed by an Engineer or an Literature student? Or have surgery performed by a media studies graduate as opposed to a medical graduate?
    Its seems logical that a line is drawn somewhere when money is tight and not everything can be afforded. I don’t think all courses should be fee paying, but ones what are of benefit to the nation (science, engineering, medical) should be free while self improvement (Literature, art, politics etc) should pay full fees.

    It doesn’t mean I don’t recognise the impact Hurst has had on this nation, after all our only world cup win and the famous phrase “they think its all over….it is now!”, and as for Banks, well I will still owe them mortgage money fifty years from now!

  • Comment number 55.

    13. At 07:39am on 12 Oct 2010, Cottroad wrote:
    To Andrew - who placed comment 4...

    The ability to articulate yourself properly is a must for any degree candidate. You've failed to punctuate, capitalise and form sentences properly.

    I hope this is not the level of ability for University intake in years to come.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I wouldn't be so sure. Part of the problem with education standards nowadays is the fact that punctuation, grammar etc are no longer important in any subject except English. I cringe sometimes when I see some of the posts from Graduates. It would appear that even teachers are not exempt.

  • Comment number 56.

    We all understand the need for fiscal prudence, but the education of the young is the only way we will get out of this mess.

    However, no matter what the level of tuition fees, the assertion of Lord Browne that many graduates will not pay off their loans is the most worrying of all.

    Are we breading a large body of people who accumulate debt only not to pay it off? How is this the right behaviour to promote? What will happen to the debt that is never paid off?

  • Comment number 57.

    Why is being a ex-chief of BP a qualification for reporting on the future of our children's university prospects? He's obviously got no social adhesion experience. He's rich. His world in no way reflects that of an ordinary or aspiring family in this country, let alone a poorer family. What's his view of fairness? It undoubtedly not the same as the majority of the UK. He's a rich capitalist and his report reflects that. It's a very sad and depressing day for our students if the Liberal Democrates allow this report to be implemented. University in this country is now for the children of the wealthy and foreigners. We, the ordinary citizen, have lost out to the markets (nothing new there).

  • Comment number 58.

    The real reason that university education is rising in cost is because there are so many more attending university than there was X years ago.

    The last Government created a meaningless statistic that 50% of all school leavers should go to university to attain degree level education, however there are a few issues surrounding this that were not accounted for initially:

    1) 50% of all school leavers didn't necessarily WANT to go to university
    2) 50% of the school leavers weren't necessarily of a standard right for university education

    Bearing these issues in mind, the solution to these has become a matter of social eningeering, so now:

    The solution to 1) - place so much emphasis on university education that now virtually no-one will employ someone without a degree

    Result: Now almost every school-leaver wants to attend university as they stand a slim chance of employment without a degree, and even if they're not bothered, they can still go as it's a cushy three years.

    The solution to 2) - reduce the standards by such an amount that will ALLOW 50% to achieve a grade suitable to attend university.

    Result: The standard of graduates now plummits as universities are taking in students from all levels of intelligence and academic attainment as they are now indistinguishable from each other. Also, this action has allowed the individuals mentioned in the above result an easier way in.

    All this done in the name of a statistic that was self-engineered.

    University education was fine as it was - only the best earned the right to pursue a degree, therefore the standards were higher and there were fewer graduates, making the competition to employ them more fierce. Now, thanks to the stance of "everyone should have the right to achieve, and if they can't we'll lower the standards so they can", a degree has become so worthless that it demeans the efforts of those who genuinely gave their best and studied subjects worth noting.

    Another wonderful mess created by the socialist nonsense policies Labour brought us. Image over substance every time.

  • Comment number 59.

    33. At 08:09am on 12 Oct 2010, VikingView wrote:
    What sort of education system have we got when employers are asking applicants for a 2.1 or better just to get an interview?

    Companies should start recruiting GCSE / A level students again and take responsibility for training them.

    University should be an option not a necessity.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    HERE HERE! I couldn't agree more.

  • Comment number 60.

    As a university lecturer, teaching and researching a science subject, I am most concerned about Browne's recommendation that all university lecturers should have a teaching qualification. This might seem strange to most, but shows a fundamental misunderstanding of what a university actually does.

    Universities need to attract internationally-leading research staff who are also very good educators. If potential staff have to take a teaching course on top of their first degree, PhD and postdoctoral research, this will put off almost all candidates and will severely damage the profession.

    Back to the subject of fees, what will actually happen is that many students taking what have been described as 'lefty' courses will not earn over the repayment threshold until the debt has been erased, so that in fact the only people who will actually repay their debt will be those who do a core degree and earn more - those people are already going to be paying more in tax anyway.

    If anything, the people who should be targeted to cover the cost of their education are those who do not contribute to the economy as a result of their studies. It is all well and good to talk about 'right to an education' and 'personal advancement' but if you wish to study in order to learn something that you are interested in, that is fine as long as you can afford to do so. If you wish to study in order to develop your career, then you will end up paying anyway.

  • Comment number 61.

    Degrees that are valuable to the Community and will produce something worthwhile benefits in the future should not cost more.Those such as Theology,Media Studies,American Studies and the so called Arts should pay considerably more.Better still they should be scrapped as they serve no useful purpose what so ever.

  • Comment number 62.

    One step closer to achieving the Zero, as our nation marches forward back to the Dark Ages!

  • Comment number 63.

    re comment 19, 25 and any other HYs who says foreign students are a huge earner for universities.
    Agreed they contribute towards the running costs but for every foreign student in taxpayer funded university there is one less place for our own graduates. Look at the annual debacle over enrolement because there are no places left.

  • Comment number 64.

    Sick of Layabouts No. 43 - you've totally missed the point - a bit like Lord Brown really. University is good for all of us. It is a wonderful experience and sets our young in good stead to compete in the world. We need well educated people in the future and we will all prosper if that can happen. You paint a cold picture of the world.

  • Comment number 65.

    45. At 08:26am on 12 Oct 2010, diane wrote:
    I am appalled by Lord Brown's report. The trouble is that he is wealthy and is totally out of contact with the ordinary families of this country and their aspirations.

    ----------------------------------------------

    I don't actually agree. I think the truth is that something HAS to be done to sort out a terrible mess but there simply isn't any means to pay for it. The choices are very limited.

    A gradate tax is unfair. If a degree means that you earn more then by definition you pay more tax. My yearly tax bill is a very significant percentage of the average UK wage; I have paid the costs of my university education MANY times over. The government invested in me by paying for my education and has seen a huge return on this investment. This is how the government should be thinking now BUT past governments have created a huge higher education 'monster' that is cannot deliver what is expected of it without soaking up an almost inexhaustible supply of cash.

    Student loans are fairer but I disagree with the lifting of caps on fees.

  • Comment number 66.

    "
    27. At 08:00am on 12 Oct 2010, lefty_lefty wrote:

    3. At 07:23am on 12 Oct 2010, Kuradi Vitukari wrote:

    Main stream degrees, such as those based around mathematics, science, engineering should be free to those who are intelligent enough to complete the degree. For so called Trendy, lefty type degrees which have know real meaning in helping create wealth for the nation, then yes people who wish to waste there own time on these pointless degrees should pay the whole cost.

    ==========================================================================

    What about the cultural identity of a nation? I did English Literature; i might not add to the "wealth" of a country but i recognize the rich tapestry of art and beauty this country has constantly produced.

    In 50 years when everyones forgotton about the bottom line and the early 21st century recession people will still talk about hurst, duffy, banks.

    Its not about money. Education represents the improvement of a society, i wouldn't want to live in a society without a deep understanding of its culture. Thats much more important than any deficit.
    "

    I would say that English Literature does just that, I'd certainly not class English Literature as a pointless degree, so I'm not sure why you replied.

  • Comment number 67.

    3. At 07:23am on 12 Oct 2010, Kuradi Vitukari wrote:
    Should degrees cost more? Main stream degrees, such as those based around mathematics, science, engineering should be free to those who are intelligent enough to complete the degree. For so called Trendy, lefty type degrees which have know real meaning in helping create wealth for the nation, then yes people who wish to waste there own time on these pointless degrees should pay the whole cost. Also, if people drop out of the degree then, depending on the circumstances, they should be made to repay the cost.
    ===============================================
    Its very sad that as a society we are starting to put a monetary value on all aspects of life. Even though I have a science background, I personally dont want to see the arts and humanities marginalised, wither and die. We have a rich and varied culture that we should all be able to enjoy. OK it costs a little in tax revenue but we are much the richer for it.

  • Comment number 68.

    18. At 07:45am on 12 Oct 2010, phil wrote:
    We are going back to when only the well off could afford higher education and so keep the working classes at the bottom remember who writtern this report LORD brown say no more.

    ========================================================================

    Yes and no. I feel the real victims are/will be the children of the middle working-class who will struggle to pay initially for living costs, face high fees and later high interest rates, debts and high tax bands and not have parents who can afford to help.

    It has been suggested that poorer students will be attracted to university by grants (probably funded by the higher fees paid by others). Why do they get grants for something that isn’t paid for until you graduate and earn £15-20,000?

    I completely disagree with means tested loans. All students who study a course at university should pay the same and take out the same loan at the same interest rate.

    A few years ago a friend of mine said her mother claimed to be a single mother on her student loan form. As a result, this friend didn’t have to pay any university fees, and also got free rail travel throughout her 3 years at university. Other friends had parents earning £35,000 between them (before tax) and had to take out a full loan to pay full fees putting the former at financial advantage of several thousand £s. She now has a minimal debt whilst the others are just watching the interest amount rise.

    There needs to be some kind of plan that makes it fair for all. At the moment it is not fair to the children of the English working families.

  • Comment number 69.

    How can this Government say they want more and better education for the younsters and then they make them pay MORE to get it
    They is as daft as one can get
    Say ONE thing one minute and change it the next
    Typical Government

  • Comment number 70.

    I can't help wondering how, in a few years time with all these 25-30 year olds potentially being £40-50K in debt, they are going to be able to afford to buy property? How exactly is this going to work?

  • Comment number 71.

    The main problem is that the bright-but-poor will not to go to university. The middle classes have effectively pulled up the drawbridge.
    Opportunities for social mobility are fewer now than they were in the '60s and '70s, when the bright-but-poor went to grammar schools, and then, if they chose, on to top universities. This was not only free, but also a full grant covering all living costs were provided. Part-time work was not necessary, and students could concentrate entirely on their studies.
    Now, nearly 50% of 18 year olds currently go to university - but are they the brightest 50%? A-level grades alone will not provide an accurate answer to this question, as those with no financial prospect of going to university will hardly be motivated to excel in A level exams.
    Solution: The most academically able 5% of students should have a completely free, grant-supported undergraduate education (subject to means test). In particular, any pupil on a school's gifted and talented register, who is also in receipt of free school meals should not have to take out loans to progress further in their education, as this would almost certainly rule them out.
    Who gains if able and intelligent people end up as cleaners and shop assistants? (Or even worse, buffoons end up running the country?!)

  • Comment number 72.

    "33. At 08:09am on 12 Oct 2010, VikingView wrote:
    What sort of education system have we got when employers are asking applicants for a 2.1 or better just to get an interview?

    Companies should start recruiting GCSE / A level students again and take responsibility for training them."
    ========================================================================

    Unfortunately, with many jobs the professional bodies have got a strangle hold. In order to increase the status and earning power of their members they've taken the opportunity offered by Blair's 50% target for young people going to university, to require all new entrants to have degrees.

    When I left school, most new entrants to accountancy, law, banking and others only needed a couple of good 'A' levels. Now they have to have a degree.

    Even nurses now have to have degrees for goodness sake! How many people who would make excellent carers of the sick and injured are barred from full professional status because they don't have the intellectual capability, or the financial wherewithall, to get a degree?

    I'm in my 60s, and a few years ago a company would not even look at my CV for a job for which I was very well qualified, because I don't have an Oxbridge degree. I was told by several recruitment consultants that the company demands Oxbridge degrees for all employees.

    So many people have degrees these days, that the only way for the box-tickers in HR to distinguish between them (because HR don't understand anything about any of the vacncies they have to fill), is to look for higher classifications from 'better' universities.

    A degree course represents very valuable and worthwhile education, in its own right. But, it's absolutely ridiculous that a degree is now essential for almost any worthwhile job, and for a very good job it has to be a 1st from Oxbridge.

  • Comment number 73.

    This is typical once again you get punished for working all your life. My wife and I earn just over the amount were you are entitled for a government grant so we get no help however we will be expected to pay up to £12,000/year just in fees not to mention living costs. I have taken a 10% pay cut just so the company can function in this current climate. We have no spare money so it would be impossible to pay for this increase in fees so my children will miss out on further education but most of his friends will have all their fees paid for. The rich can afford this the poor will be given this but all the middle earners will pay for this or more realistically miss out.

  • Comment number 74.

    Degrees already cost more than one another, its just that people dont notice due to the fact that they dont personally pay for their courses.

    A revamp of higher education is overdue, along with most of the things which Labour, with good intentions, messed up and made free for all, regardless of race, religion, class, and crucially, intellect levels. We should be helping gifted people from lower income families to get through Uni yes, but the number of useless degress which are currently out there, which inevitably lead to a £15k salary, are just unacceptable. Spending £40k to put somebody through Uni for 4 years, only for them to earn 20% above minimum wage, is a complete waste of time and money. I sense that if people had to pay more of this themselves, they would think twice before entering further education, unless they were doing a course which was certain to pay back the investment. In short, it would encourage serious students, and discourage the aimless wondereres who make up a massive proportion of students.

    I think the end is near for the answer of 'I dont know', then you ask somebody who is studying at Uni, 'What do you want to do when you graduate?'. If you don't have an outline career plan before signing up for your £40k course, then you probably need to get a job and think about it before you start wasting Governmental money. Basically, study a useful and relevant degree, and get rid of all the ones which people traditionally do when they are studying just for the sake of not working, or who have a personal interest in, yet wont earn them a decent salary. Sure, perhaps reserve a small number of courses for these, but on the whole, people can go to night college for things like that, not University.

    There are currently 13000 registered psychologists in the UK. There are also 13000 people studying psychology at any one time in the UK. It just doesnt stack up, and will invariably lead to about 12500 psychology students, every year, with no job to go to. Supply needs to meet demand, and the whole point of Uni, is to qualify you to begin a career! End of story. Why though, if there is no need for that career? Its common sense. Im sure that theres a degree in that somewhere too?

  • Comment number 75.

    "
    53. At 08:33am on 12 Oct 2010, Chris mather wrote:

    "4. At 07:23am on 12 Oct 2010, Andrew wrote:
    Education shouldnt cost a thing i should be able to continue to expand and grow and be able to better myself."
    ================================================================

    I suppose you expect a free lunch as well Andrew!

    Get real man. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Someone has to pay. With education, if individual students don't pay then the taxpayer has to.
    "

    Taxpayers is what the students themselves will become. They will end up paying way more back to society in the long term.

  • Comment number 76.

    It is not a matter of whether degrees should cost more but why should those who did not spend at least three years in further education pay for those that do. After all those who go to university do so to increase their income potential.

  • Comment number 77.

    Once again a report from the usual suspects. Lord Browne, former boss of BP expounding on the almost doubling of University fees and the effect on working class students.
    Give me a break.

  • Comment number 78.

    Well, one must question the moral integrity of EVERY LibDem MP if they back this plan to rob the children!!!

  • Comment number 79.

    There was a time when the children of the working classes didn't go to university and the wealthy had no competition. There is a elitist government at the moment and they are trying to impose the same. Lord Brown may have been qualified for business as he was the Chief of BP, but he is not qualified to advise the future of our young people's educational prospects. How much did he get paid for producing this bilge and how has he got the nerve to tell us that it won't deter students from a less than wealthy background from goint to university, let alone to an elite university which will be favoured from his ilk. I want my granddaughter to go to university and there's no way we can afford the fees. IT'S GROSSLY WRONG for our children, our country and our future. Save us from the likes of Lord Brown.

  • Comment number 80.

    54. At 08:34am on 12 Oct 2010, Dave wrote:
    • 27. At 08:00am on 12 Oct 2010, lefty_lefty wrote:
    What about the cultural identity of a nation? I did English Literature; i might not add to the "wealth" of a country but i recognize the rich tapestry of art and beauty this country has constantly produced.

    In 50 years when everyones forgotton about the bottom line and the early 21st century recession people will still talk about hurst, duffy, banks.

    Its not about money. Education represents the improvement of a society, i wouldn't want to live in a society without a deep understanding of its culture. Thats much more important than any deficit.

    --------------------------------------------------------
    I think he is on about the difference between something that will be of benefit the whole nation and personal self improvement. After all would you want to cross a bridge designed by an Engineer or an Literature student? Or have surgery performed by a media studies graduate as opposed to a medical graduate?
    Its seems logical that a line is drawn somewhere when money is tight and not everything can be afforded. I don’t think all courses should be fee paying, but ones what are of benefit to the nation (science, engineering, medical) should be free while self improvement (Literature, art, politics etc) should pay full fees.

    It doesn’t mean I don’t recognise the impact Hurst has had on this nation, after all our only world cup win and the famous phrase “they think its all over….it is now!”, and as for Banks, well I will still owe them mortgage money fifty years from now!
    --------------------------------------------------------------

    I have to take you to task on the following:

    "Its seems logical that a line is drawn somewhere when money is tight and not everything can be afforded. I don’t think all courses should be fee paying, but ones what are of benefit to the nation (science, engineering, medical) should be free while self improvement (Literature, art, politics etc) should pay full fees."

    I disagree that Literature, art, politics, etc. (and especially Literature and Art) are only about about self improvement. We as a nation benefit greatly from graduates in these traditional subjects - the minds and tallents some of our best authors, journalists, historians and leaders were nurtured in subjects such as these.

    I only draw the line at fully vocational courses within Universities -courses such as "Golf technology", "Event management"; though it can be argued that these might lead to increased tax revenues for the government.

  • Comment number 81.

    Once again, some idiot in an ivory tower has come up with a scheme to penalise "middle England". The filthy rich won't have any issue paying extra fees, the poor will be protected and thousands of middle income English families are going to get hit again - just like with the proposed child benefit changes. Scrapping the cap on fees will be detrimental and lead to many more foreign students at the top universities because they're the only ones who are going to be able to afford it. Time for hard working "middle English" families to rebel.

  • Comment number 82.

    54. At 08:34am on 12 Oct 2010, Dave wrote:

    I think he is on about the difference between something that will be of benefit the whole nation and personal self improvement. After all would you want to cross a bridge designed by an Engineer or an Literature student? Or have surgery performed by a media studies graduate as opposed to a medical graduate?
    Its seems logical that a line is drawn somewhere when money is tight and not everything can be afforded. I don’t think all courses should be fee paying, but ones what are of benefit to the nation (science, engineering, medical) should be free while self improvement (Literature, art, politics etc) should pay full fees.

    It doesn’t mean I don’t recognise the impact Hurst has had on this nation, after all our only world cup win and the famous phrase “they think its all over….it is now!”, and as for Banks, well I will still owe them mortgage money fifty years from now!

    ========================================================================

    I disagree that personal improvement doesn't benefit a nation.

    However you can propose that degrees such as business and economics should be free and BA(Hons) should be paid for but.....


    All Universities will implement a very simple Supply and demand model. Popular courses will cost the most while less popular courses will cost less.

    No thought will ge given to any potential wealth that could be generated by a particular group of graduates. Welcome to the privatisation of the education system.

    Least ive got someone on my side.

    http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2010/09/tuition-fees-clegg-vote-mps

  • Comment number 83.

    "
    63. At 08:42am on 12 Oct 2010, Bob wrote:

    re comment 19, 25 and any other HYs who says foreign students are a huge earner for universities.
    Agreed they contribute towards the running costs but for every foreign student in taxpayer funded university there is one less place for our own graduates. Look at the annual debacle over enrolement because there are no places left.
    "

    I'm not sure where you get that information from, but it's not entirely accurate.

  • Comment number 84.

    I did not expect anything else from the Tories but what about the LibDems? There was a student conference over the summer in Newcastle and the LibDems were canvassing heavily for student votes. Apparently they were the only party which could be trusted regarding student fees etc.

  • Comment number 85.

    My daughter has just started a degree in maths. We are aiming to pay tuition fees and accomdation at a cost (currently) of over £7300. This means her debt was going to be very small. It won't be if the fees double. Great.

    This can only have a negative affect on the housing market as well as young people will take longer to get a mortgage. They already need masssive deposits - who will lend them more money when they already owe £30000

  • Comment number 86.

    In other countries degrees cost quite a bit however in places like America the rewards are so much greater for those who qualify and overall they pay less tax but you cannot say the same about this country. What dismays me is that under this new proposed system the very poor will not get to go to university at all despite the government saying otherwise.The Tories are born liars,just look at their record so far since the election.That means genuine talent will never get the education they need to push this country forwards.You have to remember that just because you are rich it doesnt always make you a brain box.The reality is that many rich kids get degrees because of their parents wealth and influence not intelligence.

  • Comment number 87.

    Should degrees cost more? Not necessarily. In the UK, sponsorship or even outright ownership of universities or specialised colleges is virtually unheard of yet many Far East countries have exactly that system. Oil companies, drug companies, private hospitals, Agricultural conglomerates, the car industries all have either funded sponsorship agreements or entire owner/operator deals that covers all aspects of these industry's operations, not just core degrees but also peripheral subjects such as accountancy, office management and so on but the arts, as always, is not sponsored. Nothing new there then. So there are other ways of achieving further educational needs but more important, it works!

  • Comment number 88.

    We all knew this was coming- we have a Tory government again so of course they're going to put university education back in the hands of rich people. The problem isn't the fees, it's that too many students apply to universities. Institutions need to raise their entry grades and cut down on the amount of courses they supply to ensure a person can only get there on merit, not how much money their parents have.

  • Comment number 89.

    If this goes through then only rich people will be able to go to the top universities (no middle/low income family would be able to afford £12,000 a year). This government claims to promote a "fair society" and then hits us with this?
    When I was looking for a job after graduating there were a lot of jobs that said "Red brick university graduates only". So now these might as well say "only the rich need to apply".

  • Comment number 90.

    Also, Im really pleased to see that student loans will soon, no longer be interest free for years on end! I mean, why should they be? I was a student 15+ years ago now, and chose to live at home whilst studying for financial reasons. It made sense, since ultimately, studying is about getting a good job, which is about getting paid lots, right? Sure, not everybody has the option to live at home, but still. Strangely, I was allowed to get a student loan, despite working 14 hours a week officially, and another 5 or so cash in hand for a friend. Yes, I could easily fit this into my 25 hours a week of lectures. Crucially, I was allowed a 10k student loan. I put it in a high interest bank account for 4 years, didnt touch it once, and then when I left Uni and got a job, paid it all back in one go, banking a few grand in interest! Its rich of me to say it, but why was I allowed an interest free loan, when I was working, living at home, and getting a student grant?!

    And perhaps Im imagining things, but when I see students these days, they just dont look like students anymore, and seem to have more cash, or perhaps just more debts? Other than studying materials, if students cant afford something, they shouldnt be able to buy it, and maybe consider getting a job and drinking less beer, aswell as studying. A bit like the rest of the adult society really?

  • Comment number 91.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 92.

    My daughter is in the second year of her Accountancy degree (for which she was asked for, and got, 3 A grades). Last year she was in university for 8 hrs per week. This year it is 6hrs. The rest is personal study. She lives at home to cut costs and works 15 hrs per week to earn money to live off, which means she has had little opportunity to make friends and enjoy student life. She will still owe thousands at the end of her course. She may as well have gone through the Open Uni route, as most of her learning is done online. What exactly are Universities charging for? I have 2 more children. Unless they wish to do a career for which a degree is necessary, I will encourage them to look at alternative routes.

  • Comment number 93.

    Dave wrote:
    "I don’t think all courses should be fee paying, but ones what are of benefit to the nation (science, engineering, medical) should be free while self improvement (Literature, art, politics etc) should pay full fees."

    I think you still don't get it... If you genuinely believe that literature, art, politics etc. are solely about 'self-improvement', as opposed to enriching the cultural wealth, the 'civilisation' and ultimately the economic and political power of the nation, then sadly the education system has already failed.
    As for the loonies saying that even 'American Studies' etc. should be made very expensive to study, where would that leave us in a few years' time, vis-à-vis our politics with our 'allies'? More Iraqs, even less understanding...

  • Comment number 94.

    Having a society rich in graduates is a great investment in the future. Training the next generation of engineers, scientists, lawyers, teachers and doctors is important work.

    How far we've come in the 13 years since I started studying Computer Science at Southampton University, when it was still all 'free'.

    The social contract I was entering was that I would become valuable to society and repay it with the fruits of my education and my taxes. The fact there are fees at all, let alone fees that reach to five figures, worries me. I don't understand how the prospect of massive amounts of debt was ever supposed to entice the less well off into university education. This latest move will put off even more people.

    And to throw my hat in with the rest - no, media studies, retail management and a thousand and one other non-subjects should not have a scrap of money from the taxpayer.

  • Comment number 95.

    Over the last forty years I have obtained three degrees, I left school at sixteen, my first degree was because my employer had courses for employees, but as part you had lower pay. My second degree was paid for as a voluntary redundancy package, no help in anything from the state paid all other costs. My third was OU all costs met by me. I invested in myself and every year I give small donations to the universaties even though I'm retired.
    Higher education for many has never been free, also re foreign students, my friends company is winning large contracts abroad because they gave a foreign student one months work experience,
    Before anything is announced or decided Sky and BBC bring on armies of people saying we need to spend more cant make cuts cant pay more. How many no we cant people are their in the UK. Two big costs to the public purse are ignored the constant wars we take on and an ageing population, the media create panic, we need reasoned arguments not hysteria, we need to incentivise more alumni contributions more business backed degrees.
    If you believe Lord Browne is wrong whats your alternative higher taxes, cut help for pensioners, keep borrowing graduate tax what/

  • Comment number 96.

    Every day in every way, we get more like the USA, our Liberal parties make it obvious that that is where we are heading.

    Eventually we will have one of the most unequal and violent societies in the world with a gigantic prison population, just like the USA.

  • Comment number 97.

    University education should be free but, and it is a very big but, it should only be available to the top 5% of students in the country. There are far too many universities, far too many mickie mouse courses and far too many students studying them because they don't actually want to go out to work. University, like everything else is not a right, it is something that, if you are one of the most intelligent people in our society, enables you to get qualifications that are actually worth something. The last government dumbed down GCSE, dumbed down A levels so that basically you don't need to even be bright to get an A grade and they followed that by tying get everyone to go to university. We have to ask why? Make it harder, much harder all along the way and then only those students who are actually bright will get there, then fund them completely. That way the qualifications will actually be worth something.

  • Comment number 98.

    Free education has now gone. If the universities can not recoup the costs of running the courses from the DES then the students or their parents will have to pay. Also we do not need all these graduates industry would much prefer to have young people training at night school or day release for their specific trade or profession. Companies must be encouraged to take on school leavers at 16 and HE colleges encouraged to run the training schemes including all professional qualifications run by the professional bodies.

  • Comment number 99.

    Should degrees cost more?

    Tricky one - at this point in time, if we trust what the universities are saying, there is a shortfall in funding, therefore the cost of a university education has to rise.

    However they implement the price rise it is always going to affect people from the poorer families more than anyone else.

    At least the current proposals seem to be basing repayments on future earnings, rather than at some arbitrary minimum threshold, so i suppose, that in the circumstances its about as fair as it can be.

  • Comment number 100.

    Let's think of a very possible scenario

    Two students go to a Russell Group University charging say £10,000 pa, many of which now specify that students must not work during term time, Government cuts mean no work is available during holidays they both graduate with the same degree with debts from fees and living costs which could easily exceed £75,000.

    Student A ,the son/daughter of a Merchant Banker,then gets a job in the city at £50,000 courtesy of dad's old school tie net work. Multi millionaire parents pay off debt, progeny on the gravy train!

    Student B Son/daughter of a waitress, tries desperately to get employment all the top jobs are taken by public school hoorays, eventually manage to get an entry level post at £22,000, immediately required to commence payment of loan back with 6% interest, in debt straight away up to their armpits!

    Welcome to 21st Century Britain

    Now I would have been student B if it hadn't been for the availability of a student grant and work when I went to University 30 years ago.

    Now I simply would not have been able to afford to go,freeing up another place for a public school Rupert or Fiona or an overseas student.

    If the Lib Dems sign up to this they can kiss their supporters *****


 

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