Excellent news!

Around one-in-20 students is being put off university by annual tuition fees of up to £9,000, according to a major report published today.

Even if the effect is a little weak. A personal opinion is that we\’re over universitying the kiddies by about 50-75%.

So perhaps a further rise in fees is desirable?

Will Hutton, principal of Hertford College, Oxford, and former head of the Work Foundation, who is chairing the commission,

It would be, wouldn\’t it?

20 thoughts on “Excellent news!”

  1. If the idea of £20k student debt is not enough to put most students off (including me, just finished degree), then the idea of £40k+ debt with a higher payment starting point won’t make much difference.
    Many of us won’t ever pay off the debt, we may end up paying off some of the interest.

    The amount of repayment is rigged so that the idea of student debt is not like thinking in terms of bank loan or other debts.

  2. “Will Hutton, principal of Hertford College, Oxford, and former head of the Work Foundation”

    Until he destroyed it by spending the pension fund on his ENORMOUS salary.

  3. If Willy really wanted to do something about this he should promote e-learning. There is absolutely no reason to continue with the existing expensive and inefficient university model. Oh, wait…..yes there is, isn’t there? Universities need a captive audience of students paying loadsamoney so that they can afford to pay the likes of Willy. Yeah.

  4. Having experienced both e-learning and a brick university, I’d say I got far more out of the brick university. Thats despite missing most lectures (some lecturers have never seen me).

  5. “Thats despite missing most lectures (some lecturers have never seen me).” You are Barry Soetero and I claim my five pounds.

  6. “some lecturers have never seen me”

    Perfectly normal. When revising for my finals I discovered that I had apparently attended a 10 week module in my first year, though I had no recollection of it or any notes at all.

  7. Mr Worstall, you seem to have fallen into the same trap as the usual suspects over on the Guardian who are complaining about a nasty Tory policy to restrict university education to the rich.

    There has been no drop in the number of students at English universities. There’s the same 490,000 places offered and taken up this year as last year.

    All that has changed is that overall applicants are slightly down. Even before the rise in student fees there were 30% of applicants who never got a place.

  8. Martin Davies,

    Having experienced both e-learning and a brick university, I’d say I got far more out of the brick university. Thats despite missing most lectures (some lecturers have never seen me).

    Maybe, but at what cost?

    I spend around £350/year on training using Pluralsight online. That covers training in all sorts of things that I need to learn. To do even one 3 day course with a trainer would cost me £1000.

    And because the Pluralsight courses are used by everyone, they have renowned experts in the fields doing them, rather than a hired trainer reading from materials.

    I don’t know many software developers that go on training courses now.

  9. The loan pkg isn’t a loan, it’s an option linked to the students earnings upon graduation. That option is quite valuable and the govt gives it to u for nothing. Maybe not as valuable as a free education. Still pretty valuable. So only 5% of students leave the market.

  10. Tim, in my professional capacity I have to pay (or sweet talk an employer into paying) courses costing £200 – £400 a day. And getting far more out of the course than the online courses my professional body has provided. Possibly because we learn from each other as much as we learn from the written notes – an idea bounced around over lunch can be worth tens of thousands of pounds. An idea mentioned in response to something in the written material can be worth thousands. Or picking the brain of someone with 30 years experience in the field who comes up with stuff I haven’t thought of.

  11. some of us ex-students see it as a graduate tax. With currently £15k tax free allowance.

    Hardly, as it doesn’t apply to students who have already passed through the system. For those who went to university prior to 1990, they would have also received free tuition and grants for those too poor to otherwise attend.

  12. Agreed that 5% is far too low.

    The problem seems to be the loan arrangements, that people still don’t see the cost as real.

  13. John, I will get taxed (from April) for my contribution towards loan repayment. Its a graduate tax on me. Doesn’t matter what happens to others – not unknown for taxes to apply to some people and not others.

    Richard, the cost is not real. Its nothing like a bank loan, nothing like pretty much any other debt. And after a time government writes the debt off. So what if £20k or £40k is owed? Or even just £3k owed? Odds are for some of us (majority?) we won’t actually ever earn enough under current payment arrangements to pay the loan off before its written off.

  14. Martin – I imagine we don’t disagree on the economics, just on the starting point. U think the starting point is a free education, I think it’s a paid one.

  15. I’m inclined to agree that there’s too much ‘university’ education. But I’m concerned that the students who are put off by the new fee and loan system (I agree it’s structured more like a tax) may not be the ones who ought not to be at university.

  16. Rahul – I graduated last month and so far have myself not paid a penny for the degree. So from here it does look very much like free education.
    If I retire at 60 then at best there’s 19 years of possibly paying something in any one year towards the student loan.

  17. I listened to Willy on R4 this morning, he was his usual incoherent self & Willetts pointed out that Uni’s are oversubscribed – he had no answer.

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