Fairer funding for university tuition

My idea for the Progressive manifesto is a fairer funding system for university tuition. This would be achieved by introducing a graduate tax so that essentially students contributions were relevent to what they financially gained from their degrees.

Jack Storry

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7 Responses to “Fairer funding for university tuition”

  1. unseen

    So two people being paid the same in the same job will pay different tax rates on their incomes.

    How is that ‘fairer’ than the current system?

    In fact, how is it different to the current system, where graduates pay back their loans out of their PAYE income as if it’s a tax?

  2. Jack Storry

    With the current system your tuition fees and loan are essentially a fixed amount of debt that you leave university with. So for example person A and person B graduate with the same degree, however person A goes to work at a charity earning £18,000 per year while person B gets onto a graduate scheme at an investment bank earning £22,000. Fifteen years later Person A is still at the charity earning £23,000 per year but person B has been promoted many times at the investment bank and is earning £70,000 per year. Under the current system person A and person B both have to pay the same amount of debt despite person B being in a position that would enable them to pay more.

    Under a graduate tax person B would have to pay more money back than person A because they have gained much more financially from their degree than person A.

    I hope that helps explain it.

  3. unseen

    So would the Graduate Tax only apply to people who go onto graduate training schemes?

    Self-made millionaires would be exempt but a charity worker who went to university would have to pay for the rest of their life. It’s a very right-wing way of looking at the world.

  4. Jack Storry

    Currently higher education is subsidised by the taxpayer anyway. This would continue under a graduate tax. A graduate tax is simply a way of making the contributions students make to the system more progressive and fairer.

  5. Chris

    There is a tax that works like this already called income tax.

    Why not tackle shortage areas such as engineering etc (perhaps tied into skills shortages identified in immigration system), by reducing fees on these areas, and increasing fees on subjects that do not have a shortage.

    We could encourage subjects with clear technical background

    Pure Science
    Business Management
    etc etc

    Other pure subjects such as English, History, Modern Languages, even Media Studies, could be treated similarly as long as teaching modules are taken (another lifelong skill), and some support provided within the education system.

  6. Meandering Mammal

    What’s the basis for saying that this is ”fairer”?

    A couple of years after graduation the fact that one has a degree becomes pretty meaningless in terms of promotion, and equally the example above assumes that the individuals are of otherwise equal ”competence” for both roles. Clearly the examples are intended to press the right buttons; charity worker good, banker BAD!!!!!! The argument may be more credible using a less emotive case.

    We make many choices in our careers, we all have different skills and competencies. Promotion may depend on interpersonal skills, preference, meeting the right person at the right time.

    Personally speaking my current role has little to do with my degree, and everything to do with the skills I developed following graduation.

  7. m

    For those expecting a good financial return on their degree, would this not create an incentive to pay to study at a university outside the UK, paying only the cost of one’s education, rather than potentially paying over the odds through a lifetime of extra taxation?

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