There is a report on the BBC website suggesting that the government has underestimated the cost of it’s Higher Education policy. I thought I would reblog a post that I wrote in October 2010 (just after the Browne report was released, but before the government policy was finalised). I suggested not only that it was a questionable policy since it is effectively a regressive tax, but also suggested that the government would only recover about 2/3 of the money anyway. I underestimated how much would be lent to each student, so that would suggest that even less will be recovered. The new report seems to suggest that this is indeed the case. I don’t really like saying “I told you so” but it is confusing that this seemed fairly obvious to me, but for some reason wasn’t to those deciding HE policy.

To the left of centre

Although not surprised, I am quite disappointed with the Browne report. I haven’t read it in detail, but at first glance it reads as something in which the outcome was essentially known from the beginning. There appears to be very little discussion of the fundamental reasons for the existence of a higher education (HE) sector, and it appears to assume that the current funding model has to change. The basic idea from the report is that tuition fees would be uncapped and that students would be lent the money to cover the tuition fees, and to help cover the cost of living. It seems unlikely that fees will actually be uncapped, but will probably rise to about £6250 per year with an additional £3750 per year for living expenses. Students will therefore accrue debts of about £10000 per year. If this does end up being the case, Universities will supposedly…

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