The morning after the night before…

Yesterday saw the passing of the controversial bill to increase the tuition fee cap to £6000 and £9000 in exception cases, the bill got through with a parliamentary vote of 323 seeing the majority of Liberal Democrat MPs voting for the increase, despite fears of a mass rebellion. Now, I ll be honest, when I first heard that the Government was planning to raises tuition fees I was against the idea, however, that was before I read the proposals properly and realised that it is in fact a very good deal for students, particularly students from a less well off background.

So lets clear up a few of the myths;

Firstly, as with the current system no student would pay £6000 or £9000 upfront, so the argument that people afford to go through University is completely unfounded.

Secondly, the earnings threshold for graduate contributions will be raised from £15,000 to £21,000. The repayment rate will remain at 9 per cent. This means that no one earning under £21,000 will pay anything and graduates earning over £21,000 will pay back £45 less each month.

Thirdly, people believe they will be paying it off all their lives, not true, all outstanding contributions will be written off after 30 years.

Fourthly, there will be more support for students on low incomes: there will be a new £150 million National Scholarships Programme to help the poorest students into the top universities; maintenance grants for students from lower-income families will increase from £2,906 to £3,250

I do urge all fellow students to actually read the proposals before they reject them, it is a good deal for students, and if anything make university more accessible for poorer students.

Unfortunately, yesterday won’t be remembered as the dawn of a fairer higher education system, instead the day will be scarred into people’s memories as the day the students went too far. I won’t dwell on this for too long, because I think it is important that the fairer system introduced yesterday is the focus of this blog. However, disgracing a statue of Churchill and attacking the car of Prince Charles both great men who have done so much for our country, whether it be saving us from fascism or raising £100million a year for disadvantaged teenagers is absolutely disgusting. So to anyone who took part in these outrageous acts yesterday; shame on you!

Tim Hasker

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8 thoughts on “The morning after the night before…

  1. Whole heartedly agree on the student antics of last night. Can’t say the same for the fee hike. You can only dress this policy up so much. It’s like the government saying, right we’re going to pay off the deficit by sending the bailiffs around to every single house in the country, but the richer houses have proportionally more taken. Yes, it’s fair in itself, but it’s just not, right.

    Yes the IMF agreed that the policy in itself is fair, which I welcome. But they also far more importantly state that 77% of students are going to be worse off under the new system.

    The whole new system is false economics anyway. If the government is trying to eliminate the deficit by the end of the parliament, this will actually make things worse. It will be introduced in 2012, in which case the government will have to give bigger loans (to plug the 80% cut) and also more importantly, bigger grants to students. Meaning that no one will be paying back any of their loan until at least 2015, at which point the deficit, theoretically, should be eradicated.

  2. “It’s like the government saying, right we’re going to pay off the deficit by sending the bailiffs around to every single house in the country,”

    Oh come on Max. Lets review shall we;

    * Noone pays a penny upfront
    * Noone pays a penny back until you earn £21,000 far higher and fairer than the current rate of £16,000
    * Grants and loans are going up to people from poorer backgrounds
    * Repayments from those earning £21,000 – £35,000 will actually be less per month than they currently are
    *Higher earners will be subject to higher rates of interest
    * If you havent paid it back by 30 years its written off completely

    No bailiffs will be at your door. If you haven’t got it, you don’t pay it. But if you do have then you do repay, albeit at a reasonable rate. I swear Im going to blow a fuse with the ignorance of some of these bloody protestors. READ THE DAMN POLICY PROPERLY AND THEN COMMENT!

  3. Dan I have read the proposals & yes I guessed the bailiffs wont be sent round. It was merely an analogy (if that’s how it’s spelt), the same way the Coalition compares government finances to a household budget (although the latter can be turned on its head). If this system was introduced without the hike in fees, I’d welcome it. It’s more progressive, but, as my analogy shows, being progressive doesn’t mean that it’s to the benefit of the people as a whole. The simple fact is that 77% of students will be worse off due to these changes as the IFS stated. Oh & sorry this just one large lump of text, I’m writing this on my phone.

  4. Being as you don’t start repaying until you get to the median wage, this is de facto progressive.

    Also, current students should love it, because it may help restore the prestige that comes from degrees having a certain rarity value. ;-)

  5. So you’d like the universities to return to a more elitist system? Only two countries in the OECD are cutting their higher education budgets, us & Romania. Every other country recognises the need to increase student numbers to aid their high value, high skill economies.

  6. As you may imagine, I’m with Max on this. Sure Dan, the basic principles of the loan system which mitigate the up front effect remain, or are improved in the case of the 21,000 repayments threshold.

    “Higher earners will be subject to higher rates of interest”
    This is a key problem with this proposal. By removing the limits on interest rates for student loans it will hit hardest those who earn the least, or around average incomes, as the far higher interest will accumulate while they are VERY SLOWLY paying off the debt. In reality the most well off will just pay it off quicker, or in some cases all at once, and so avoid the interest rates.

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