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Do you support the changes to tuition fees?

11:46 UK time, Wednesday, 8 December 2010

A car containing Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall has been attacked amid protests after MPs voted to raise university tuition fees in England. Are the changes to funding fair?

Home Secretary Theresa May said she "utterly condemned" the violence. "What we are seeing in London tonight, the wanton vandalism, smashing of windows, has nothing to do with peaceful protest," she said.

The vote will mean fees will almost treble to £9,000 a year. The government's majority was cut by three-quarters to 21 in a backbench rebellion. Three ministerial aides resigned.

Are you affected by the changes to tuition fees? Are you a student protester? What do you think about the concessions? Are there better ways of funding university education?

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

Comments

Page 1 of 31

  • Comment number 1.

    Do I support proposed changes to tuition fees? Yes

  • Comment number 2.

    Doesn't matter what concessions they announce.

    The plan is to have everybody in debt for the rest of their lives. That way the population will be more pliable.

  • Comment number 3.

    Are the former lib Dem MPs going to be fooled by this 'concession'? This concession is an empty promise as the chancellor will decide at each budget whether to increase by inflation or not.

    If they do change their minds then it shows that their aim in joining this 'coalition' was simply the pursuit of 'power'.

  • Comment number 4.

    If the government are correct, and graduates have higher earnings than non-graduates, then their higher taxes will repay the costs of educating them, therefore, these fees make them pay twice.

    The big problem is that we, for misguided reasons, decided that we needed 50% of people doing degrees. We don't need that number, we need more technical and vocational courses, and with fewer folk going to do better degrees, we'd be able to pay for it.

    Now, we're facing a generation of falling attendances, and this will probably worsen our already dropping results in global education tests.

    Well done Liberal Democrats, you're the architects of everything you alleged to despise!

    Marvellous

  • Comment number 5.

    Congratulations to Mr Clegg (Dave's poodle), who once again has proved he will do whatever it takes to hold on to what little bit of power he has. His head must be spinning I have never known a politician turn around so many times in such a short space of time. Mr Clegg should do us all a favour and climb back under the rock he crawled out from.

    His partner in crime "call me Dave" is no better, a PM who judging by his performances in PMQs is no better than a child in the playground. his constant childish comments and sniping are not what the British public expect from a PM, it is am embarrassment!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 6.

    I support the proposals. For a start there are far too many people graduating too easily from university and a degree these days has become meaningless. Hopefully this will reduce numbers of students and leave graduates (like myself) in a better position.
    If a degree guarantees a well paid job (as it should do), then it is perfectly fair to expect the graduate to repay some of the money that the education will cost. In a lot of cases it will be a minimal amount of repayment compared to the salary.

  • Comment number 7.

    This is another sign of desperation. They are making up policy on the hoof! Nobody should have confidence in a government that is trying to rush through such a bad policy.

  • Comment number 8.

    Yes, absolutely.

    The alternatives are:

    1. Top universities go private and charge upwards of £20,000 a year in fees
    2. Reduce the number of universities and courses so that only the top 5% of academically able students attend, with the taxpayer footing the bill.
    3. Increase tuition fees to allow more students and courses, but make it so that students pay nothing up front, and graduates only start paying back above a certain higher threshold.

    What's the problem?

  • Comment number 9.

    How can it be right that my daughter will have to pay a much bigger fee than Scottish or Welsh students, yet both of those groups take more of my income tax!

    So on Thursday we will find out that it is wrong to lie about an opponent during an election - but OK to lie about your voting intentions during an election.

  • Comment number 10.

    Yes people need to pay university, however, paying a £30k 'loan' even when earning £21k is alot out of anyone's wage. The problem is for the students going to uni in the next 10 years who won't have started saving for such a huge bill. Anyone who is having babies now needs to set up a uni fund which is common practise in America

  • Comment number 11.

    Maybe.

  • Comment number 12.

    I support this proposal and that includes the amendment to the repayment structure.

    However, what is of greater concern to me is how this farce of a coalition Government are falling over themselves to make a mockery of their respective pre-election promises.

  • Comment number 13.

    no! yes ill agree that there are to many people getting degrees out there
    but what you run the risk of doing it makig it so all the rich kids who just party for a few years will get degrees and the poor people who are more likely to give it alot of effort will not get in.

    do you really want more rich kids with no knowledge of the real world in charge of you?

  • Comment number 14.

    No, however the government spin it they are burdening students with increased debt. The Libdems should be ashamed of themselves and I for one will never vote for them again.

  • Comment number 15.

    The coalition claims that we cannot afford to let education be free and that immediate action is needed to shift the cost to students.
    But the students will not start work for 4 years and then a further tax year before the money even starts to roll in.
    So it will be 5 years before the financial situation can change, by which time, the coalition predicts, the deficit 'problem' will have been overcome. (They may not believe this of course?)
    The student fee move is ideologically inspired to bring us into line with the Capitalist USA.
    Once they achieve this objective they will inevitably move to charge for secondary and primary education.
    This ideology will damage our cohesion as a society where lack of money, for whatever reason will sideline many of the most intelligent members of society, just as it presently sidelines the most caring.

  • Comment number 16.

    YES!

    Too many mediocre students going to university to study for degrees in watching daytime TV! Anything that can be done to reduce this should be welcomed, 80% of students going to university was never going to be sustainable and was nothing more than labour fiddling the jobless figures.

    However we have yet to hear a coherent policy for providing the training that school leavers need for their future that will allow them to find work!

  • Comment number 17.

    We are talking about adults continuing in further education. Why shouldn't they pay for it. I am starting an MBA and it will cost me thousands to gain this qualification. I am not complaining about having to pay, I am making a choice.

    People who attend university make the same choice. The government aren't forcing people to attend and then saying it will cost you £30k.

    Under-graduates are getting an interest free loan, paid for by my taxes. A loan they might repay once they start earning at least £21k, and with very low repayments; repayment dependent on whether the have finished a Mickey mouse degree or not, in which case they may never earn enough to begin repaying.

    What the hell are they complaining about?

    You can't keep harking to the past, saying previously people didn't have to pay to attend university. Today it is different, today you do have to pay. Move on - get on with your life and stop complaining!

    The only obvious issue is the difference between what an English student and devolved status students will have to pay. It is about time the government at Whithall started reducing funding to Wales and Scotland to re-balance the situation.

  • Comment number 18.

    No, I do not support the proposed increase because it is outrageously excessive compared with present levels. It will put a financial noose around the necks of all future undergraduates that the prospect of long-term unemployment will tighten.

    As a nation we cannot support our present population in the manner to which it has grown used to. Our only chance of future prosperity is that our young university trained brains can be sufficiently inventive that they can out-invent the rest of the planet and then keep ahead of the game. But if they are loaded with debt they are going to be very cautious about exercising the sideways thinking needed to conjure up a really big wealth creating idea.

    Sorry, Government, this is a very bad idea.

  • Comment number 19.

    3. At 12:44pm on 08 Dec 2010, whowillwevotefornow wrote:
    Are the former lib Dem MPs going to be fooled by this 'concession'? This concession is an empty promise as the chancellor will decide at each budget whether to increase by inflation or not.

    If they do change their minds then it shows that their aim in joining this 'coalition' was simply the pursuit of 'power'.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Sorry, but was there ever any doubt that the lib-dums would have sold their collective souls for a sniff of power?

  • Comment number 20.

    The majority of people in this country are not, haven't been or will not go to University.

    Are you affected by the proposed changes to tuition fees? Yes - because in effect the majority are subsidisng the ninority - yet again.

    Are you a student protester? If you don't like the terms and conditions, don't sign up.

    What do you think about the concessions? Spinless politicians - nothing new

    Do you think there are better ways of funding university education? Save in advance, pay when you've received it. Similar to any other investment in life such as houses etc.

  • Comment number 21.

    As a former student I support these changes.

    All other areas have taken a hit on the recent economic climate and education is no different.

    Also with the recent behaviour at the protests how can their protest be taken seriously?

    Accept it and move on like the rest of us.

  • Comment number 22.

    I strongly oppose the rise in student fees.

    I passed the 11 plus, went to a girls high school and went to University 30 years ago, the first in my family to do so. That was the days of grants, I got almost the full grant and with a small amount of help from my parents and summer jobs managed to leave university without debt.

    I worked out that excluding interest it would take me 30 years to pay pack my student loan under the current proposals, assuming a £50 000 debt and my current salary. Not all graduates end up on big salaries, there are a lot of jobs that are important for society such as teachers which depend on a degree yet salaries are £20-40 000 per year and these are where graduates will be lumbered with student debts for their entire working lives.

    On most other things, I agree with what the coalition is doing.

  • Comment number 23.

    I think it is fair that the people who will benefit most from a university education, pay the most for it. It should however maintain a level of state subsidy as the technological and economic benefits derived from graduates have a universal benefit to the state as a whole. So yes, I think the fees plans are fair. Also, no state subsidy should be permitted for courses which make a mockery of higher education like media studies, art history, drama etc.

  • Comment number 24.

    I dont think many people see the tuition fees as a good thing but it is a necessity. All those protesters are in the wrogn place fighting the wrong gov. They should be blaming the last labour gov for breaking the education system

  • Comment number 25.

    8. At 12:50pm on 08 Dec 2010, Tinacakesniffer wrote:
    Yes, absolutely.

    The alternatives are:

    1. Top universities go private and charge upwards of £20,000 a year in fees
    2. Reduce the number of universities and courses so that only the top 5% of academically able students attend, with the taxpayer footing the bill.
    3. Increase tuition fees to allow more students and courses, but make it so that students pay nothing up front, and graduates only start paying back above a certain higher threshold.

    What's the problem?

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Option 2 sounds like a winner to me.........

  • Comment number 26.

    Yes,"british" children born in the UK should be educated for free.The only condition would be that those who get a degree would be expected to work in this country for 5 years.To pay for this over inflated education the banks and super rich would be expected to fund an extra 1% tax and 0.5% in vat..The banks and super rich benefit from graduates so its only fair that they pay for the education that make them millions.A total root and branch overhaul of how universties are run is also needed.If this age of superfast broad band much of the teaching at university could be done on line using the very best the world has to offer.All the over inflated fees charged would shrink down to pence and of course many universities would close.Each major town would build state of the art facilities for practical work to be accessed.Its about time we left the 20th century behind and embraced the 21st century.None of the current problems would exist if these important decisions of how we educate the young had been tackled 20 years ago.Politicians are so shallow,they embrace everything free if they can have it but if others want to follow in their footsteps its "dont do as I do just do as I say".As for the Lib/Dems,they are finished as a party.We expect the Tories to lie,its ingrained in them but the Lib/Dems are just a bunch of jesters and no hopers and the sooner they are all kicked out of politics the better.They are so stupid they cant even see when they are being set up.

  • Comment number 27.

    This is the result of previous governments shoving more and more people into higher education without increasing the funding to match.
    There are 3 potential solutions to the lack of funding.

    1 - Let teaching and research standards fall
    2 - Reduce the number of students
    3 - Increase the fees to be paid

    Given that 1 is out of the question, and 2 doesn't seem to have occured to the current Govt, the only remaining option is to increase fees.

  • Comment number 28.

    Yes, I totally support the changes to tuition fees. The country can't afford to support the current numbers of students in universities, many of whom are doing subjects that are not needed in the economy e.g history of art is, I'm sure, very interesting to study but art historians are not going to generate the economic wealth needed to bring UK out of its present situation unless they change field.

    The rise in the threshold to £21,000 is a fair way to protect lower income graduates although, as usual, most of the population are not listening to the actual changes proposed but merely jumping on the band wagon of objecting to everything without taking the time to understand it properly. For example, most people do not seem to understand that the necessity to pay back the cost of university is not a debt in the same way as others in that if you graduate and never find a job that pays more than the threshold then you will never pay back the money.

    I know many people, a large proportion of whom are on low incomes, who have been happy to run up large debts for expensive holidays, large TVs etc. but when it comes to their education suddenly view it as a problem to be asked to pay back anything and claim that the concept of debt will prevent them attending university.

  • Comment number 29.

    Still cannot understand the outrage. Students, like everyone else in the world, should pay for the services they receive. Full stop. The Nanny State, where governments take care of us from cradle to grave, ended. People are now required to become responsible for their own actions, paying their own way and managing their own lives.

  • Comment number 30.

    Seems OK given where we find ourselves. Of course "£9k max" has become "£9k all the time" when of course sub-standard establishments doing sub-standard and pointless qualifications won't be able to charge anything like this if they want any punters. If this shuts a large number of pointless courses, so what?

    Equally you don't pay it back until you earn over £21k, and then only at 9%. So if you earnt (say) £22k you'd have to pay back a whole £90 a year. That's about a pint of lager a fortnight. Gasp.

    It should be clear to anyone with 2 brain cells that the vast bulk of students will never pay all their fees back - only the high earners will as they can afford it. If you never earn £21k you'll never pay a penny back. Needless to say all this will be portrayed as a "barrier to poor students".

    Please don't bore me with subsistence costs etc - you have to live somewhere, eat, heat the place etc whether you go to further education or not. It's not all an "extra".

  • Comment number 31.

    No and I think the need for this has come about as a result of more and more univerisities offering more and more courses to attract students. I think a better option would be to make fees uniform accross the entire country (including Wales and Scotland where fees are less or free) and then the government issue quotas for specific courses where they feel there is a need. For example 10,000 places for Maths for example, which will be fully funded (so no tutition fees) and any additional places after that will have to be funded via tution fees. So for courses the Government feals are not in demand the number of places they would fund would be much lower. This then means the state funds courses they feel have a large benefit to society and students fund other courses. The only issue I see is how to agree who gets the free places and who pays. Perhaps make it done on grades, so the students most likely to succeed in the course (e.g. higher A-level results) take priority over those less likely to succeed with the bonus this may help improve A-level pass rates if students feel they have to work harder to get a "free" university place.

  • Comment number 32.

    Loving the way Cameron just says "you dont have to pay upfront". O thats alright then.

    I came out of University 3 years ago with £15,000 of debt just from living costs. If I'd had these tuition fees I would've come out with £42,000. With the rising interest rates on tutition fees (it was 0% this year, but it is rising to 4% next year) it is going to be impossible for people to ever pay these off. You'd have to start on 30-40k+ to make a proper dent in that debt. I feel for the grads of the future and fully support all of their protests, good luck to them.

    The Lib Dems make me laugh. They could've at least abstained on this vote, the Tories would still have got it through. But to vote for it after everything they said before the election.

    And I dont accept the "well they arent the ones in power, its a coalition, so pre-election talk means nothing". The Lib Dems have got NOTHING back from being with the Tories, its Tory policies and the Lib Dems nod along.

  • Comment number 33.

    In a free market prices are driven down as demand and competition increases. In higher education, demand increases, competition increases and prices go up (agreeably due to reduced government subsidy). With all of these clever brains out there, why not design a higher education system that is cheap to run ? Education after all is something one develops personally, you are not given it no matter how much you pay. A cheap all inclusive education system would raise the nations overall level of ability and make this nation an economic force once more. The university system is broken, it is charging a ransom to provide pre prepared texts, a mixture of variable lectures and some advice, if you meet 'their' standards, they rubber stamp 'your' essay, pat you on the back and kick you out the door. Sorry if I sound down about this, but I think the protesting students are simply buying in to the establishment of divided elitism. The protestors should be asking, why if I am doing all of the work are you charging me 'x' for the privilege, if the universities cant answer that question sufficiently then you are being taken for a ride.

  • Comment number 34.

    Interesting how a real story - that of the massive decline of our school system under Labour (who doubled or tripled 'investment') is being practically ignored by the Left-wing BBC.

    Frankly I'm fed up of hearing about tuition fees. Most of the reports seems to infer that everyone will have to pay £9000 - thats not the case.

    I support tuition fees, though I think they should waive them for useful subjects like Science, Maths, Engineering and double them for micky-mouse degrees like photography, politics and journalism.

  • Comment number 35.

    Tomorrow is the day the Liberal Democrat turkeys will vote for Christmas. In the short term it may keep them clinging to the scraps of power the tories see fit give them but in the long term it is the end of their party. No-one will ever trust them again.
    Their new friends in the Conservative party don't care about this, a two party system will suit them as much as it will suit Labour.
    Mr Clegg, you have a lot to learn.

  • Comment number 36.

    No I don't support this idea but I do think it fair that students should pay towards their education. I feel the more earning potential their degree gives the more they should pay so an example a Lawyer should pay more than a nurse etc.

    But one thing that hasn't been mentioned by anyone is the possibility of introducing a post graduation tax. We constantly here celebreties and politicians on television stating how they got their university education free, well there's the answer place a post graduation charge on everyone who got a degree for free. It could be paid over a long length of time but the money that would generate would solve the problem straight away.

    Doing this would still mean that todays students pay but a hell of a lot less than is being proposed and it would end that unfairness of some paying while others didn't.

  • Comment number 37.

    Me, me, me, me, I want, I want, I want!!!! When will the 18 - 22 year old children grow up and accept responsibility as adults. You want, does not get! You want a university education then you pay for it yourselves instead of bleating like little brats insisting you should burden a state which is trying to pull this country out of the dire state of affairs left by Bliar, Brown and Labour. Whilst we are on the subject of the Lib Dems breaking their pledge, well done Clegg and party for sacrificing your principles to save this country. Unfortunately spoilt children will be threatening to turn to Labour just like the brats they are.

  • Comment number 38.

    Yes, completely.

  • Comment number 39.

    12. At 12:55pm on 08 Dec 2010, Nushed wrote:

    I support this proposal and that includes the amendment to the repayment structure.

    However, what is of greater concern to me is how this farce of a coalition Government are falling over themselves to make a mockery of their respective pre-election promises.


    The individual party manifesto commitments went out of the window once the coalition agreement was made.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8677933.stm

    I'm still surprised that some people fail/refuse to understand this.

  • Comment number 40.

    I support the reforms wholeheartedly. Too many Mickey-mouse degrees, too many sub-standard students who go to University, because they can't think of anything else to do.

    I applaud the Lib-Dem MP's who are now backing the reforms. That takes guts to stand up to these hypocritical students.

  • Comment number 41.

    This issue is being looked at in a very one dimensional way i.e. from the point of view of the educational institutions.

    1. Why do degree courses need to be 3 or 4 years. Medicine or sciences maybe but there is no need for BA courses to be this long. Some degree courses should be 2 years.

    2. What about the cost structures of Universities? Has anybody looked into the salaries, pensions and costs of running universities. Why are we crucifying students for fat salaries of university administrators.

  • Comment number 42.

    I'm fed up of hearing politicians, especially the Lib Dems, parrotting the same speech when they are questioned on this subject. Yes, we know there are no upfront fees; yes, we know repayments don't start until 21,000; yes, we know, if you don't pay it off after 30 years it gets written off. So, yes, we do realise that graduates who don't go onto high salaries may not have to pay anything back. They are treating us like dummies to keep repeating this mantra.

    If the low paid don't have to pay it back, then the taxpayer of 30+ years on will be picking up the tab. Has anyone properly assessed what this future liability is? If the students themselves haven't benefited, then why should the taxpayer? At least for high income graduates it gets more tax back in addition to the fee repayments.

    If all graduates, irrespective of their parents' income, are destined to earn more then why are students from poorer backgrounds going to receive scholarships? It seriously undermines the case that fees can be afforded by graduates because of their potential for future earnings.

    Graduates will be incented to either take low paid, but possibly socially useful jobs, or to go for the highest salary open to them. Who'll do the jobs in between like teaching? Which graduates will feel loyalty to the country? Employers of those who do demand high salaries will then charge more for their goods and services which then filters through to the consumer in higher prices: so we'll pay for these graduates anyway!

    Those middle income parents who fund their children through are basically taking this money out of their savings for retirement. The state has a risk that it will need to spend more than it would have done to support these parents in retirement.

    Parents who have been responsible and saved to fund their children's university education see an almost doubling in costs with little time to prepare. When fees tripled in 2006 this only increased costs by about 25% (£3K fees plus about £3K living costs and £4K accommodation, so a rise from about £8K a year to £10K). Now with £9K in fees the costs to get a child through university will leap by 60%. Most have not made such provision (they started planning 16 years ago when there were no fees, remember, so at 2 years notice have to find 60% more than they planned for).

    Graduates will find it harder to get mortgages as their student debt will be considered by lenders and so can only get a smaller loan. This will affect house prices and act to keep prices lower than they would have been. This will affect the rest of the economy. So, whether they like it or not, the taxpayer pays for it anyway through higher prices to fund the higher salaries demanded by graduates, through lower asset returns (housing mainly) and through increased costs for middle income jobs so that graduates can still be attracted to them (or accept lower standards for recruits into such jobs).

  • Comment number 43.

    I strongly reject these proposals and Nick Clegg's u-turn. It'll be the last straw for the majority of people who helped put him where he is.

    Lets go through it step by step shall we?

    Both the individual and society gains from having a well educated work force. Doctors, engineers, physicians and quite a few artists are educated at University. Paying £3,000, whilst not ideal, isn't unreasonable. Asking students to pay for their entire course with the tax payer funding nothing is not. If you don't want to pay taxes towards peoples education that's fine, but I hope you won't be going to the hospital when you require it and I also presume you'll be home schooling your children. No, thought not.

    Secondly, this will put off the poor students. It doesn't really stop people taking 'micky mouse' courses because it's not just the poorer students who enroll on these. It's an idealistic proposal set so that the only the rich can benefit from further education in our elite Universities. This is fundamentally wrong.

    Thirdly, the payback rate of £21,000 is actually regressive and will see poor people paying back more than the rich over their lifetime. Rich people can afford to pay more if required or indeed pay it off in one go, meaning the accumulated interested hits the poorest the hardest.

    Fourthly, why is the Government seemingly against our national finances being in debt but are quite happy to lump students with a £40,000 debt before they've even got a house or a job?

    Fifth: What jobs? Maybe this would be justified if graduates were guaranteed a (well paying) job upon successful completion of their course. Fact is, they aren't, and whilst they struggle on minimum wage jobs, their debt as in point four continues to increase.

    Sixth: The fees are rising but the quality of a students education will not. This will deter many people on the fence (again, typically the poor) who might opt out, weakening the quality of the work force down the line.

    Seventh: If we really cannot afford investing in our young (but can afford to bail out Ireland) then there are fairer ways of achieving this. How about slapping a one off payment of £1,000 for every graduate that is still living? You can't have some of the population benefitting from free education whilst newcomers who can't even vote in an election having to pay upwards of £40,000.

    There are many more factors on why this is a terrible proposal and I wish people would see it for what it truly is - a chance to force through idealism in a time when the country is pointing the finger at everyone else whilst saying "take from them, not me!"

    For shame.

  • Comment number 44.

    9. At 12:50pm on 08 Dec 2010, Wage_Slave wrote:

    So on Thursday we will find out that it is wrong to lie about an opponent during an election - but OK to lie about your voting intentions during an election.

    A simplistic argument. Had the Lib Dems been elected to government they would have probably honoured their pledge - they didn't and they are working as part of a coalition. That means give and take. You fight the battles worth fighting and give ground where they are not. Tuition fees is a minor thing compared to the massive debt we are ALL paying for.

    You want to blame someone - blame Labour for their lies and miss-management.

    And no I'm not a Tory sheep - I just happen to think they are right!

  • Comment number 45.

    Do you support proposed changes to tuition fees? No.

  • Comment number 46.

    28. At 1:09pm on 08 Dec 2010, geparry wrote:
    Yes, I totally support the changes to tuition fees. The country can't afford to support the current numbers of students in universities, many of whom are doing subjects that are not needed in the economy e.g history of art is, I'm sure, very interesting to study but art historians are not going to generate the economic wealth needed to bring UK out of its present situation unless they change field.


    Are you sure of that? The National Gallery, Tate, and other art galleries around the country bring in tourists and tourist money. We can debate how many art historians the economy truly needs, but the answer is surely not "none"!

  • Comment number 47.

    14. At 12:55pm on 08 Dec 2010, moreram wrote:

    No, however the government spin it they are burdening students with increased debt. The Libdems should be ashamed of themselves and I for one will never vote for them again.


    I assume that you won't vote Labour either as they introduced Tuition Fees and Top-up Fees when they said they wouldn't, and they also initiated the Browne review which they have now abandoned?

  • Comment number 48.

    13. At 12:55pm on 08 Dec 2010, scotty1694 wrote:
    no! yes ill agree that there are to many people getting degrees out there
    but what you run the risk of doing it makig it so all the rich kids who just party for a few years will get degrees and the poor people who are more likely to give it alot of effort will not get in.

    do you really want more rich kids with no knowledge of the real world in charge of you?
    ---------------------------------------------
    What a presumptuous class-war-ridden post! I'm a university lecturer and I can assure you that no matter how much money you might have, if you don't meet the required standard you don't get your degree. In my university rich and poor students work very hard to get their degree.

    To answer the original question: yes, I do support the proposals. If we are to continue the policy of having so many students in the HE sector then it is clear that the taxpayer cannot afford to pay. Labour knew this when they introduced fees in the first place. With students having to pay nothing up front, then there is no reason at all for poorer students to be put off from going to university. However, ALL potential students should consider whether it is worth it to make this investment in themselves. The government also need to ensure that available loans will cover ALL costs. Too often in the current situation students are finding that their loan barely covers their accomodation costs.

    From the universities' point of view, the government need to make sure that all of the funding they are removing from HE can be recouped in fees. If not, then they are going to get badly squeezed.

  • Comment number 49.

    Yes.

    It is a fairer system than the one I was subject to when I started University 8 years ago. My parents had to pay £1,100 up front and I now pay 9% of everything I earn over £15k as oppose to £21k (and my allowance doesn't rise ever!).

    Yes I don't owe as much but at the end of the day it's a graduate tax not a loan as such. Nobody will repossess your house if you don't earn enough to pay it back.

  • Comment number 50.

    Tuition fees are a red herring

    The real underlying issue is the deficit , what caused it and how to "JUSTLY" fix it

    The deficit was caused by a catastrophic failure of the financial markets. It is over reliance on the financial markets and flawed Capitalist economic doctrine which has got us in this mess.

    To fix the problem we need (1) An international tobin Tax (2) An end to tax havens
    This is what the protesters should be campaigning for all around the world. World leaders and finance ministers should be locked in a room together and not allowed out until this is agreed

    Once these policies were agreed, there would be no need for increased tuition fees or many other damaging cuts to public services

  • Comment number 51.

    I heard an MP saying that the reason the Scots and Welsh didn't have tution fees was because they had voted for parties who promised not to introduce them. I thought many people in England also voted for MP's who promised no tution fees.
    What makes me most angry is Cameron's constant repetition that graduates won't have to pay until they earn £20,000. He wouldn't have a clue how to manage on this anual income, his wife earns more than this every year for doing nothing. Most young people will be thinking about starting a family and taking on a mortage when they start earning. Having tution fees as well, probably from both partmers, will be a great burden.
    It is perfectly simple just increase income tax on the top earners, if these are graduates then they will pay along with those who earn money by having a well educated work force.
    The big problem is that many who are very rich such as Cameron, Clegg and many Tory front benchers have no idea just how much £9,000 seems to many. The fees at many private schools are this much a single term and they find this for several children. The wealth gap is getting wider and with it the understanding of how little, the majority have. These people can now see their children being discouraged from getting on.

  • Comment number 52.

    "Do you support proposed changes to tuition fees"? is the HYS question.

    How many HYS posters, students, NUS or most MPs actually know what the original changes to tuition fees were?

    A vote on Thursday (tomorrow) in the House of Commons - rushing through legislation that most of the electorate might say - "what's the hurry, why are the Coalition so intent on this before it's clear and open - better that democratic politicians would say back up and have an open and full discussion on this issue that so many are demonstrating against

    Why are students demonstrating? What is their problem. Why is there so much bullying 'whip' behaviour in The House of Commons that threatens MPs if they abstain or vote against this whole issue.

    Is the Coalition Government - the Prime Minister, David Cameron and the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg genuinely interested in an open debate on an unpopular and unclear change in higher education.

    No, this is bad and undebated legislation being rushed through before the long Christmas break of all MPs.

  • Comment number 53.

    Nope I don't support the changes.

    Every single MP voting for this new system had the opportunity to go to university without paying fees - most will even have had full maintenance grants instead of the maintenance loans I had to take out to attend university.

    If this isn't a classic case of pulling the ladder up behind them, then I don't know what is.

    Personally I'd favour a graduate tax on all UK graduates - every one of them including those who graduated before fees were introduced. That way they can repay the state for the education that they had for free. After all - a free education is unaffordable and unrealistic.

    Oh, you mean they pay higher taxes now because they earn more? Shouldn't that justify the state having paid for their degrees?

    Why can't that same argument be applied to students of the future?

    All these fees will do is deter the poorest, irritate the middle class and cause the wealthy to huff about the cost. The middle classes will emigrate shortly after graduating to avoid paying the loans back, the upper class will be able to afford to pay up front - it's only the poorest who will end up repaying the loans which, incidentally, aren't interest free.

    I'll respect the first ConDem who votes for the fees and then stumps up the cash to repay what they owe to the state for their unaffordable degree - plus interest and inflation. But it's unlikely that they'd be able to put that though on expenses...

  • Comment number 54.

    I didn't go to university because I wasn't academically bright enough to get there.

    When you see today's candidates adding 3 x £9,000 and getting £21,000 you got to wonder why they're bothering. I work for a big company 20 years down the line. I'm doing OK but find myself working now with an ever increasing army of new recruits who can't do basic maths or simple spellings.

    Of course they're worried about the money - they waste their education.

  • Comment number 55.

    19. At 12:58pm on 08 Dec 2010, pzero wrote:

    3. At 12:44pm on 08 Dec 2010, whowillwevotefornow wrote:
    Are the former lib Dem MPs going to be fooled by this 'concession'? This concession is an empty promise as the chancellor will decide at each budget whether to increase by inflation or not.

    If they do change their minds then it shows that their aim in joining this 'coalition' was simply the pursuit of 'power'.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Sorry, but was there ever any doubt that the lib-dums would have sold their collective souls for a sniff of power?


    The Labour party abandoned their own principles in the nineties to get into power so nothing much has changed in politics.

  • Comment number 56.

    Haven't heard one student blaming th Labour government for initiating tuition fees in the first place....oh, sorry, that's because if you're a student, you have to follow Labour and hate Conservative, no matter what.

    Clowns

  • Comment number 57.

    I got my higher education totally free at the point of use (the last year to do so.) As such I do not support the existence of tuition fees full stop, let alone the proposed rise. I often wonder how much support for this policy there would be from baby boomers/early gen x if they were told they too would have to pay back the cost of their education retrospectively. I should imagine considerably less. The question that perhaps should be asked here should not be whether this rise in tuition fees is a good idea or not; but rather how much longer this new generation will allow themselves to be trampled on by the generation before them. As if screwing them over with house prices was not enough...There is far too much "I'm alright, Jack" in this country.

  • Comment number 58.

    Yes, I totally support the changes to tuition fees. I do not however agree with Scotish and Welsh MP's having the vote on things that only impact England.

  • Comment number 59.

    37. At 1:16pm on 08 Dec 2010, Confuciousfred wrote:

    Me, me, me, me, I want, I want, I want!!!! When will the 18 - 22 year old children grow up and accept responsibility as adults. You want, does not get! You want a university education then you pay for it yourselves instead of bleating like little brats insisting you should burden a state which is trying to pull this country out of the dire state of affairs left by Bliar, Brown and Labour. Whilst we are on the subject of the Lib Dems breaking their pledge, well done Clegg and party for sacrificing your principles to save this country. Unfortunately spoilt children will be threatening to turn to Labour just like the brats they are.

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

    Sounds like you didn't get into University. Nevermind eh, the rest of us will pick up the slack and ensure a well rounded workforce.

    Oh wait, no we won't, we're being priced out of it. Would you like fries with that?

  • Comment number 60.

    It is said that the average graduate earns about £100,000 more than non graduates over a working life. Under these proposals students will typically spend £50K (£9K a year fees plus about £7K a year living and accommodation) and assuming all is borrowed then that loan will need repaying. At 9% that's £150K repaid over 30 years. Now, if anyone received advise that taking a loan of £50K over three years would get a return of £100K over 40 years then they would have a clear case of financial mis-selling.

  • Comment number 61.

    I think the Government should fund the tuition fees for a number of university courses. But only those that will be of major benefit. Courses in Maths, English, Real sciences.
    But those wanting to study sports science, media, drama, computer games, football management, marketing and other such mickey mouse degrees should have to pay more.
    We already have more than enough people out there with degrees that mean nothing and do nothing

  • Comment number 62.

    "7. At 12:50pm on 08 Dec 2010, Daylillie wrote:
    This is another sign of desperation. They are making up policy on the hoof! Nobody should have confidence in a government that is trying to rush through such a bad policy."

    So when they don't change their stance, they;re "not listening to the voters".

    When they listen to the voters, they're "desperate".

    I suspect that your agenda is less fees and more Government-bashing. Please at least try and be consistent.

  • Comment number 63.

    Everyone benefits from university education, so everyone should pay for it. Without university graduates there'd be no medical care, no teaching, no communications, no food safety, no infrastructure, no utilities or anything else that means the difference between modern life and living in a mud hut, because all these things are the product of university learning. Oh, and no telly - where all those 'worthless' media studies graduates work. As for me, I graduated in English Literature years ago, went into publishing and made millions in overseas advertising revenue for UK plc, so don't try to tell me which subjects are valuable and which aren't.

  • Comment number 64.

    Elected in May, wide spread popular resistance by November. The days of this government are numbered. General election sometime next year.

  • Comment number 65.

    I don't see the problem, The rich will be able to afford to send their students to university and the poor won't, the poor will stay poor the rich will stay rich.

    I guess if you inherit £30m or are a millionaire, as most of the cabinet are, you can see no problem.

    So what do you expect if you vote Tory and proto Tory.

    I just hope the Lib Dems and Conservatives will remember just how many students will be voting in the next general election, my 14 year old daughter will remember just how much they are going to cost her.

    As has been said before a debt of 40-50000 will take over 30 years to pay off if you are being paid £400000 a year, I've told mine to get a degree and run away to Canada.

  • Comment number 66.

    NO No NO No, That my children will leave university with debts of more than my 1st Mortgage is a disgrace. How can anyone have a chance in life if they begin that life in debt. I left university with no money, no debt and just the education and experience that it provided. That allowed me to get on with life and make the life choices that have got me to where I am now, a useful prosperous tax paying citizen. Had I been loaded down with debt I very much doubt that I would be where I am today.
    What happens to those who flee the country in future years, how will they repay such debts?
    The Tory party can be forgiven for this policy, it is their ideology that only the wealthy should be educated and given life chances, The liberals however should be ashamed of themselves and these oppotunist must be driven to political extinction at the earliest opportunity.

  • Comment number 67.

    Yes I do. We do not need 50% graduates in the job market anyway but can not afford even the current levels of students who wish to go to university. Poorer familes will get help and I assume subsidised up to 100%.

  • Comment number 68.

    Is the Government completely daft, or do they just act so?

    Look at the situation: somebody studies in England and is then faced with a bill when he is earning a reasonable salary (which is incidentally probably about the time that he gets married, is looking for a mortgage, wants to start a family). He´s not keen on paying that bill so if he has a chance to work abroad (open European market and all that) he´ll probably jump at it.

    Result - lots of 20-somethings with qualifications, drive and gumption will not be working in England.

  • Comment number 69.

    Simple answer is Yes ! Someone has to pay for university fees , why should it always be the taxpayers, many of whom never went nor had the opportuniy to go to university, they have priorities on which they want their taxes spent as much as spending on students. Better to scrap all the courses not directly aimed at gaining employment in sciences ,teaching ,engineering, business or medicine. Those who want to study hobby subjects , or anything else that is of dubious value to the community must pay for it themselves. This would considerably reduce the wage bill of universities and give them an income into the bargain.

  • Comment number 70.

    Now that students from the EU have the right to come here to study at what are seen as the best universities in the world student fees must increase.

    The British taxpayer may be reluctant to pay for the higher education of our own students but even more reluctant to pay for those from outside the UK.

    Like in Scotland where only English students have to pay whereas those from other EU countries pay nothing.

    How crazy is that?

  • Comment number 71.

    Tuition fees is the least worst option of those available. I despair at the Labour Party's hypocritical stance on this issue:

    1. The Labour Party introduced tuition fees after stating in it's manifesto it wouldn't.

    2. The Labour Party introduced top up fees.

    3. The last Labour Government commissioned the Brown report and now won't back it's findings.

    4. The only thing Labour can suggest is a graduate tax. We now live and work in a global economy. If there was ever an incentive for graduates to get a job abroad and not pay UK income tax at all this would be it.

    The Labour Party is trying to give the appearance of being the student's ally but it's form on this issue suggests otherwise. Milliband the Lesser accuses Clegg of being a hypocrite on tuition fees. It takes one to know one.

    Perhaps rather than trying to score points Milliband could be constructive and share his ideas on how to solve this issue long term. Oh, I forgot he hasn't got any.

  • Comment number 72.

    I hope for their sake that the students don't get the hare-brained idea that a majority of the people in this coutnry are behind them. I would bet my house on it being the other way round. I would also hazard a guess that their pathetic actions recently will galvanise people's resolve against them even more.

  • Comment number 73.

    I don't support any political climbdown based on pressure. This will lead to other protests now that people think they will get some form of concession by kicking up enough of a fuss.

    Everyone understands that there must be cuts but as soon as the axeman looks in their direction, they protest. Get real.

    The government needed to stand up to this and make it clear that they won't be budged by the kind of tactics the students have used. Smashing things up should never be rewarded. People need to calm down and bite the bullet - these students will not be in debt for the rest of their lives.

    They have had free primary and secondary education and they are still being offered heavily-subsidised tertiary education. They don't know they're born - if they had to pay what it actually costs they would be shocked.

    What this does is to make them choose wisely and have a reason to succeed. I was at uni during the days of grants and I can vouch for the fact that there were lots of professional wasters there, mostly doing "soft" social sciences courses and most of them choosing to fail so that they could have another go, finally leaving the education system when they were over 30. Many of them went through the route of fail, pass (degree), post-grad, teacher training... into education as a teacher.

    Never saw the real world and never understood that money doesn't come from a magic well in the garden of 11 Downing Street, it is collected from all those who pay tax.
    Paying fees does at least incentivise people to do something they will actually use and... to pass and get their degree.

  • Comment number 74.

    I don't agree with the tatting tround the edges that went on over the weekend. If the Tories and out of their depth Liberals really believe in this then they should stick by their guns. But they haven't.
    On the one hand they are saying that students won't have to pay anything up front and that they will only start to pay after they being to earn £21,000.
    Yet on the other hand they started muttering about offering concessions such as waiving fees for students from families where the kids had been on free school meals!
    What's that got to do with it?
    If the repayment is linked to supposed higher earnings potential of graduates and contingent on their future earnings then what a student's parents earned is completey and utterly irrelevant. Why should my daughter leave University with a debt potentially 50% higher than another child (i.e 3 year's of fees, not 2) just because I earn more than her dad? i.e why should I subsidise a child through my taxes that might potentially earn more than mine who leaves with a bigger debt?
    All this on top of Cameron's idea that it is somehow fair to take Child Benefit away from my wife because I pay Higher Rate tax while a couple earning more than us jointl but neither of whom are Higher Rate, so pay less tax anyway, keep theirs.
    Implement the system properly Dave's or give up and let someone who can run a country more fairly have a go.

  • Comment number 75.

    Education up to the age of 18 is not free. You pay for it in your Council Tax Bill.

    Higher Education is also not free - all taxpayers pay for it along with banks bail-outs and MPs allowances and salaries.


    Parents and their student children pay huge sums in basic needs such as accommodation costs, utility and food costs. Our twins worked for employment agencies to fund their accommodation and tuition fees - plus paid income tax and National Insurance on that employment too.

    Can any MP voting tomorrow on tuition fees - say they pay their own way - and not at the expense of the tax-payer?? NO!!!!! Am I angry - YES.

  • Comment number 76.

    No Why can the Welsh and Scots not charge fees but the English have to. What are they doing better! If you want a selfish reason to vote No then how about your house prices, facilities and jobs all being created/affected by Universities.

  • Comment number 77.

    We already pay for tuition, through our taxes. A graduate will generally pay even more through taxes. For this reason I do not agree with tuition fee's full stop, not unless the Gov. reduce our tax rates.

  • Comment number 78.

    Yes, absolutely.

    The alternatives are:

    1. Top universities go private and charge upwards of £20,000 a year in fees
    2. Reduce the number of universities and courses so that only the top 5% of academically able students attend, with the taxpayer footing the bill.
    3. Increase tuition fees to allow more students and courses, but make it so that sudents pay nothing up front, and graduates only start paying back above a certain higher threshold.

    ----------------
    The fees proposed will produce the most expensive public university system for students/graduates in the World. 60% of whom will never pay their debt off. Why then should the absence of this scheme make it even more expensive?

    There are alternatives if you examine the situation in Finland or Sweden for example undergraduate course are free for all students irrespective of nationality and these two systems rank amongst the best in the World.

    If it is true that graduates earn more,(when such occupations as nursing,teaching and social work even being a paramedic require a degree in the UK I suspect the difference is far less than it was when only 5% of individuals held degrees),then they will pay back more in tax anyway and are more likely to appear in higher rate tax bands so it is not the case that a graduate will get away without paying for their added earnings potential.

    We need as a nation to look again at in house training for essential but relatively low paid occupations rather than saddling an individual who is never likely to exceed average earnings by much with a debt for life.

  • Comment number 79.

    In my opinion what the government really wants is the closure of many of the present universities.
    It does not matter to the offspring of the wealthy for obvious reason and the plebs are just something you have to tolerate but not fund.
    Education is for those who will keep the power where it belongs, the wealthy, the bankers, politicians etc....the peasants will always be peasants...and they will make very sure of that.

  • Comment number 80.

    Yes I do agree with the proposed policy-but I do think the Government have missed an opportunity.

    The Higher Education sector is one of the least efficient parts of the public sector- but somehow the Government haven't asked the question "Are the Universities delivering degrees as economically as they can?"

    Having worked in HE, I can confirm that the Universities are highly inefficient- have Trade Unions who think that "change" is for other people- and lecturers who barely provide a full weeks work.

    It is incredible to think how much time has been spent performance managing schools- but nobody thinks about how school education is ruined by poor Universities.

    Staff in the NHS and local Authorities should look at their HE colleagues with disgust- they're being made redundant- whilst the lecturers continue their cushy number.

    I think you'd find the costs involved and fees to be paid would be somewhat reduced if Universities were brought into the real world.

  • Comment number 81.

    The comments on this subject are (in the main) well considered, reasonable points of view. Contrast that with the BBCs REPORTING this morning. There seems to be a concerted campaign to make it sound very much like SCOTLAND (and Wales too!) are getting "something for nothing" that England is missing out. This stirs up a lot of undeserved resentment - on the lines of "We want this", "It's unfair THEY get it and WE don't" etc, etc. the facts are different!

    PLEASE correct this impression BBC! These parts of the UK spend their budget the way THEY want - it's up to their government to decide which department is getting what proportion of their spending.

    A bit like YOUR kids complaining that next door's kids get more sweets than you do... and NOT considering YOU get more holidays or CDs or whatever.

    In fact it's VERY much like this... that is, childish. So please BBC, report evenly without playing it up as if England is, in some way, losing out unfairly. In the case of school/university funding, England should vote for more Labout MPS if they want a fairer funding of public education. But that's political, ennit?

  • Comment number 82.

    Let's face it, a UK undergraduate degree is not worth the paper it's written on. Even UK postgraduate degrees are ten a penny. You've only got to look at the number of highly qualified people who are unemployed and unemployable.
    The Government wants to raise the status of the UK degree, back to where it was before all people were able to get one, back to the domain of the privileged few. People who are not one of the privileged few will have to be content to saddle themselves with debt, which they will spend a large part of their lives attempting to repay.
    So the choice is: go to University, saddle oneself with debt, get degree, join dole queue or join dole queue and perhaps get some job. Obviously, the latter is the better choice, especially given that UK degrees are pretty worthless for anybody, privileged few or not.
    We need to encourage our children to get working as soon as possible. Don't worry about going to University - that paradigm has shifted. Get a job, get an apprenticeship, get thinking about setting up one's own business.
    Oh yes, I can talk - I've got several UK degrees, including a Doctorate.

  • Comment number 83.

    This is an utterly asinine argument that probably has little to do with the financial position of future university graduates.

    The calibre of the current crop of teenagers and grads who infest the radio and clog the streets with their drivel, marks them all down as practically unemployable anyway.

    I am half tempted to include the question, "Do you support the coalition's policy on university funding?" in my interviews from now on. If any answer "No" then clearly their ability to grasp fundamental issues is flawed and they can expect a 'sorry, but no', letter from me. Hopefully other hirers and firers will react similarly

    Aside from that, I am assuming that some of these young people understand English and Maths. Therefore, they will realise that the new policy is actually better for THEM, than the old Labour policy. A failure to accept that simple premise shows one of two scenarios.

    1, they don't understand it, in which case – why are they wasting three years of their life going to university to learn media studies, photography, archaeology etc.

    2. they understand it perfectly, but the national rejection of the failed Labour experiment finally gives them the opportunity to rail against a machine. Students love a cause.

    Personally I find the Liberal dogma insidious and in some ways, malevolent towards my own values. However, I find myself in some sympathy with them over this issue. By allying themselves with the Tories – the traditional enemy of radical and hysterical academia – they are being tarred with the same brush.

    The final issue is completely risible. I cannot believe the naivety of anyone who believes a single word any politician ever says. To find out that these students trusted the Liberal candidates is so funny, but moreover, their guileless simplicity makes one wonder whether these people are best served by attempting to grasp more education.

    I just love the way these 'students' demand that my taxes pay for their education, when they themselves have not contributed a single penny to the exchequer. The real world is a pretty uncompromising place and these little darlings are in for a surprise when they eventually have to leave their halls and participate.


  • Comment number 84.

    If someone wants a higher education they should be prepared to pay for it themselves and have a bit of pride instead of increasing the benefit burden on the taxpayer. The benefit system has been due an overhaul for years so why should the government pick on employment and incapacity benefits and ignore what they can gain from tuition fees.

  • Comment number 85.

    what we could do is simply make reductions else where. Or Tax the rich a bit more to ensure the economy is stable in the long run and thus makeing sure the captial of the rich keeps its value.

    It is silly to reduce state intervention, by way if finance, when regarding education. It is the only way to ensure the maximum amount of people remain free and individual with out the effects of weath division impacting there eqaulity of oppertunity.

  • Comment number 86.

    Some of the arguments here are ridiculous, implying that somehow the only people who benefit from a degree are the graduates themselves.
    Very well taxpayers, let's remove every single university educated worker from your life, however distant, and see what you have left. What's that? You miss your teachers, your computer and your doctor? The museum and art gallery you were going to take your date to this weekend has closed? Try exercising your brain before posting such ignorant comments.
    Everybody in the country benefits from a well educated workforce, and profit is not the only measure of a prosperous society. Therefore everybody should pay. Those with the ability should be trained to do the jobs that will benefit all of society. I agree that the education system needs changing to target suitable skills with training rather than pump out identikit graduates, but that is not the discussion here. It should be, as changing education can only be done as a total overhaul, not simply cutting 80% of the budget without any real plans for what to do next, but we know that the Conservatives do not care about our country, they care about their bottom line, so the debate becomes about money.
    Taxpayers are not the only ones who should fund higher education. Any business recruiting for an applicant with the tag 'graduates only' should pay an extra tax which goes directly towards higher education funding. Big businesses reap the products of our excellent education system and seem to think they can get this for free as they hoard their wealth off our borders.
    Burdoning our young with an immense level of debt is just unfair. As I said above, everybody benefits from an educated workforce and the government claiming the students are too stupid to understand how good they have it is simply insulting. Perhaps these students who have the radical hope of NOT living in debt should give the government a few lessons!
    They will not be getting their success for free. A degree does not somehow get you a free pass to easy money. They will be the ones equipped to do the hardest jobs in the country and will have to work hard for their living. They may earn more, but then guess what, they pay more taxes and provide a proportionally bigger benefit to your life!

  • Comment number 87.

    An argument used is why should the low paid who never went to university through their taxes fund those who do go and then earn much more than them. Well, many of these low paid consciously chose to leave school with no or few qualifications so inflicted low pay on themselves. Many will find themselves unemployed for long periods, so why should graduates, who are much less likely to be unemployed, fund unemployment benefit for those who chose against educating themselves? Why not treat unemployment benefit as a "loan" that has to be repaid when the recipient is back in employment?

    I'm not seriously arguing this, of course (though as this is HYS I feel obliged to point out the blindingly obvious). But as a society we choose to fund things that have benefits to that society. A highly educated workforce for the 21st century is a social and economic necessity that all in society benefit from, not just the graduates. That is an investment that should pay back long term. Providing a safety net for the unemployed is also a social and economic necessity. However, it is not an investment.

  • Comment number 88.

    37. At 1:16pm on 08 Dec 2010, Confuciousfred wrote:

    Me, me, me, me, I want, I want, I want!!!! When will the 18 - 22 year old children grow up and accept responsibility as adults. You want, does not get! You want a university education then you pay for it yourselves instead of bleating like little brats insisting you should burden a state which is trying to pull this country out of the dire state of affairs left by Bliar, Brown and Labour. Whilst we are on the subject of the Lib Dems breaking their pledge, well done Clegg and party for sacrificing your principles to save this country. Unfortunately spoilt children will be threatening to turn to Labour just like the brats they are.

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

    I think you'll find they simple want the same treatment everyone who came before them had.

  • Comment number 89.

    Oh dear! Some people have got their knickers in a real twist over this haven't they? Lots of twisting facts, scaremongering and amateur dramatics - the works!!

    With kids at Uni now plus one that will probably follow when this comes in I cannot really see what the fuss is all about. The new system is, in effect, a graduate tax pure and simple as most students will have to pay 9% of their earnings on anything over £21K for 30 years. The only ones actually paying back the "loan" will be those on very high incomes from day one (approx £43kup). As to "debt" - no it isn't really. There will never be any baliffs coming round for repayment and no payments at all if you earn under £21K or become unemployed. To be honest it is very, very similar to the current scheme with the only real difference being the new students will probably have to pay for the full 30 years whereas the current students may be able to pay back before the 25 years deadline that theirs is active for.

    My real beef is the situation with the Scottish & Welsh system. Somebody who resides in England going to a Welsh/Scottish Uni has to pay under the English fee system whereas somebody from another EU country qualifies for the Scottish/Welsh system. How nobody has challenged this under EU law I'll never know as it it blatantly unfair....


  • Comment number 90.

    72. At 1:34pm on 08 Dec 2010, derwaldmann - cow tipping is a myth wrote:

    I hope for their sake that the students don't get the hare-brained idea that a majority of the people in this coutnry are behind them. I would bet my house on it being the other way round. I would also hazard a guess that their pathetic actions recently will galvanise people's resolve against them even more.

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

    Lucky you who has a house. Graduates, having been priced out of a mortgage, are now being priced out of education too. Want to pull the ladder up any further? Why don't we just shoot the young in the face when they're born, it's not like we need anyone to pay towards the elder generations retirement is it?

    You reap what you sow. Please, if you're so against education, do the following:

    - Stop visiting doctors when you're sick
    - Don't send your kids to school
    - Don't use the internet.

  • Comment number 91.

    No I do not support the proposed changes to tuition fees.
    The maximum cap is too great. Coupled with living expenses a student could end up leaving uni after a 3 year course with debts of £42,000 and thats @ £9,000 a year with £5,000 living costs. This is simply a too greater burden to place on the next generation.
    I agree that there are perhaps too many degree courses that really shouldn't require a university education, but for those who are academic, University should be a viable option. Not everyone is cut out for vocational training in the same way that not everyone is cut out for academic learning.
    The proposed changes will discourage many prospective students, not just the poorest but modest backgrounds who don't qualify for funding. Meaning that again, only the well off and those from poorer backgrounds will benefit and the majority suffer.
    The concession to allow free funding for poorer students at first sounds good but, as graduates with a degree, they are still as likely to attain better paid careers as their non free meal counterparts. The arguement being, they will be just as able to pay back the fees, as someone whose parents earn perhaps, just slightly more than the free school meals qualifier.
    I think the threshold to pay back should set at the national salary average, as it currently is for older mortgage style student loan payments, (which incidenatlly i am still paying off 12 years after graduating).
    The current fees should not be increased and government funding should not be cut in tertiary education. The Government should pursue all Businesses practicing tax avoidance, such as Vodafone and Arcadia Group (Topshop, Topman, Burton, Dorothy Perkins) instead.
    Everyone should be against these proposals and do all they can to prevent the bill getting through. If the Scottish Government can fund free tertiary education for their own, surely The English should be able to manage it as well.
    Also, why is more not made of the Scottish fees issue? The fact that EU students except those from England, Wales and Northern Ireland can get free funding at Scottish Universities is blatent discrimination.
    The other issue to remember is that this Bill is indicative to the intentions of this Condem Coalition, be prepared to pay through the nose.
    If you tolerate this then your children will be next.

  • Comment number 92.

    Why don't we have a bit of a compromise? We want talented people to go to university, but we can't afford for everybody to go, even if they want to. So why don't we set up a bursary fund where, say, 20,000 funded places are available to those with the best academic records? The funded places could be in a variety of subjects, and awarded to those with the best academic achievement record, regardless of income (but maybe weighted according to type of school they attended, so that bright students from grotty comps don't lose out to middle-class grammar children who've had an easier ride).

    The rest of the places must be paid for in full. This allows the richer people with dim kids to get the places they want, or for people who wish to take out student loans to invest in their futures - but who, for whatever reason, lost out in the funded places.

    In times of recession the number of funded places could be reduced, and the bar raised, and in times of plenty the number could be increased. This would encourage the genuinely academic people to get into Uni, and make the rest consider whether it is really worth their while. We don't want Uni to be seen as a teen 'rite of passage' for everyone, as we just can't afford it. But neither can our Government be seen to be withdrawing support for further education as it seems to be doing now.

  • Comment number 93.

    Governments have focused on pushing our young folk into continuing their education, ( to keep unemployment numbers down) this has led to more and more going to University. This has degraded the value of degrees. What is needed is for the Government to bring back more apprentice schemes to add to our diminishing skills base in Manufacturing/Building industries etc.

  • Comment number 94.

    No. University should be free - for the ablest 5% - 10% of the student population.

    As well as being unaffordable, a 50% university target creates other problems. Employers use a degree as the employment standard, even if the jobs they are looking to fill don't require a university level education. This discriminates against the bright person for whom university wasn't the appropriate choice. 50% of jobs in Britain do not require a degree. Furthermore, university is to some extent remedial secondary education and putting 50% of people into university takes the focus off failing secondary education.

  • Comment number 95.

    13. At 12:55pm on 08 Dec 2010, scotty1694 wrote:
    no! yes ill agree that there are to many people getting degrees out there
    but what you run the risk of doing it makig it so all the rich kids who just party for a few years will get degrees and the poor people who are more likely to give it alot of effort will not get in.

    do you really want more rich kids with no knowledge of the real world in charge of you?
    ---------------------------------------------
    What a presumptuous class-war-ridden post! I'm a university lecturer and I can assure you that no matter how much money you might have, if you don't meet the required standard you don't get your degree. In my university rich and poor students work very hard to get their degree.

    --------------
    It is my experience both as a graduate and now working in tertiary education that this is generally true,however it is also a hell of a lot easier for a merely adequate student from a public fee paying school to get to one of the Russel Group Universities in the first place than the most gifted candidate from an inner city or indeed pretty much any state school irrespective of its standard.

    The result of this is while at university and in terms of degree outcomes performance is generally based on merit if you exclude most of the poor best candidates in the first place the effect is the same as bias in favour of the rich.

    As you work in the sector you know this to be true.

  • Comment number 96.

    The big question everybody seems to overlook is this one.

    'Why is the British government allowed to racially discriminate against the English’?

    Why do the Scots and welsh get their Unis for free?

    Britain is one country, one government, one Queen ETC so we are we English discriminated against in this manner.

  • Comment number 97.

    The lazy government should specify what skills it needs for the next five and ten years and agree with the universities the nature and cost of courses to fill those skills.

    Universities then select the candidates who are best suited to train in those skills.

    These courses should be paid for by the tax payer and recouped in future taxation or repayment in full if the graduate emigrates or fails to take up the skills they have trained for.
    Any other students wishing to take course should pay for the course themselves.

    We should also look at putting more emphasis on HNC /ONC style courses worked in conjunction with apprenticeship schemes.

    As for the politics behind this I believe that those MP’s who publicly signed the pledge not to increase tuition fees before the election and who fail to honour their pledge are the lowest of the low, they are con artists and should be done for fraud.

    As things stand I would never consider voting Lib Dem in the future

  • Comment number 98.

    Having graduated the year John Lennon was murdered (yes, I do remember the morning when the news was broadcast and where I was) I would just like to say I don't give a damn whether these students have to pay. When I went to uni 5% attended and the level was grand! I can't imagine what the union bar must be like these days, ipods and reeeeally and soooooo this and soooooo that (all spoken with a rising inflection at the end, of course). Stop whinging the lot of you and if your mummy can't pay then do the American thing and 'horror of horrors' WORK YOUR WAY through college.

  • Comment number 99.

    39. At 1:16pm on 08 Dec 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:
    12. At 12:55pm on 08 Dec 2010, Nushed wrote:

    I support this proposal and that includes the amendment to the repayment structure.

    However, what is of greater concern to me is how this farce of a coalition Government are falling over themselves to make a mockery of their respective pre-election promises.

    The individual party manifesto commitments went out of the window once the coalition agreement was made.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8677933.stm

    I'm still surprised that some people fail/refuse to understand this.

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

    I genuinely wasn't aware of it - for a time prior to, during and after the election, I avoided nearly all political news. The election result itself and the coalition formation were just about the only news items I heard about.

    Allow me to rephrase it:

    However, what is of greater concern to me is how a major political party has sacrificed what it believed in for a sniff of minor and fairly meaningless power.

  • Comment number 100.

    There's a lot of anger and bitterness directed at the students of today. I wonder why that is? Although these message boards do encourage a lot of vitriol from the older and uneducated posters...oh, I've answered my own question. Jealousy. Never mind.

    Just remember that the youth of today will be governing the country in the future.

    Budget Statement 2034: "Given the state of public finances and the sheer number of old people wanting to continue to live, we've decided to cut funding to nursing homes by 90% and will be means testing access to all other benefits for the elderly."

 

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