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Yes Martin, yes!

The consumer finance champion Martin Lewis has highlighted the impact of the new arrangements for student loans, saying some school-leavers may no longer consider a degree is worth the cost.

This is precisely the point of thew entire system.

A degree has a cost. Whether that’s to society or the individual taking one there’s a cost associated with it.


So, as always we want to do things which add value and not do those things which do not add value.


So, people should do degrees which add value and not do those which do not.

Pretty simple really.

So, how do we gain that goal? The people making the decision to do a degree or not need to be exposed to the costs of the degree being done. They then face the correct incentives, prices and benefits, to make that decision.

That’s actually the damn point. That people intending to do Mickey Mouse at a third rate tech don’t.

10 thoughts on “Yes Martin, yes!”

  1. These people think a degree is the be-all and end-all and everyone should have one. If you don’t want or have one, there is something wrong with you and you are a second class citizen.

    As with when I was at work, we had sessions filled with ‘role play’ and ‘flip chart exercises’,
    designed by people who like role play and flip chart exercises, with no thought or consideration of those of us who who don’t like role play (outside the confines of the home obviously) or flip chart exercises.

  2. Is there a way to see how quickly graduates of different degrees and unis pay off their student loans? It would help potential students see if studying course x at uni y. Is a good idea or not. It might bankrupt some unis though which the government would not like.

  3. A quick google says the top ten, in order:
    Veterinary Medicine
    Chemical Engineering
    Electrical & Electronic Engineering
    General Engineering
    Mechanical Engineering
    Aeronautical Engineering

    Ooo look, actual real-world stuff that doesn’t depend on feelz but on actual reality.

  4. The presence of Economics on that list just teaches us about a limitation of markets: nothing’s perfect.

  5. There are good reasons for going to university, but most go for the bad reason that everyone else appears to be going and teachers and parents like the idea.
    At eighteen they have a poor grasp of money and debt repayment, and assume that if someone will lend them the money it’s OK to borrow.
    We need to educate them in personal finance before eighteen, as well as pointing out that a three year course will cost them three years wages as well as the tuition, roughly £60,000 assuming that the job is at minimum wage.

  6. Not helped by jobs listings requiring “A Degree” where the job itself simply doesn’t. Nursing being a prime example of credentialism destroying a role that was perfectly adequately done with on-the-job teaching for the most part and classroom for the textbook stuff.

    Now our hoity-toity Graduate Nurses are too posh to do the messy ground and toil that comes with the job, so we’ve had to expand the role of nursing auxiliaries to cover those aspects.

    Where you genuinely need graduate nurses like supporting surgery, chemotherapy, etc. grade inflation in nursing has left them feeling undermined and undervalued. No wonder they are buggering off to Australia for more pay and less hours.


  7. There was a why-oh-why piece in yesterday’s Times: By degree, we’re losing touch with humanity, bemoaning unis dropping arts courses (not just grievance studies, but English, history etc.). I commented:

    Almost all the academics I speak to mention the coalition government’s decision to increase tuition fees to £9,000 a year in 2010 as a turning point.

    But the £9,000 is a maximum not a minimum. If unis have difficulty attracting students at £9,000, why not try £7,500 and see what happens? Perhaps Vice-Chancellors could reduce their upper 6-figure salaries. Nobody can doubt that teaching humanities is generally much less costly than teaching sciences.

  8. Same with regulated ply-for-trade taxi fares, they’re a maximum not a minimum. When I had drivers come to the committee asking for a fare increase “because we’re not making enough money” I always suggested them dropping their fares below the ceiling to attract more custom. I once moved dropping the ceiling 25% to “bring us into line with similar cities” to the horror of the drivers and most of the committee. It was voted down, but I did get them to change policy and tell the drivers they couldn’t just turn up and ask for an increase, they had to submit a report and provide evidence to support an increase, and it would only be considered in the Autumn session to be implemented at the start of the next financial year. No trying to sneak something in halfway through April.

    Personally, I’d abolish the ceiling, but it’s an acceptable restriction on trade to balance the lack of transaction control by the customer. There’s no ceiling for private hire, which is fine because it’s the customer in control of the transaction, not the driver.

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