Posts Tagged ‘Browne review’

Browne was wrong. A graduate tax is fair.

18/12/2010, 12:30:22 PM

by Dan Howells

I felt numb last week. As I did in 2005 when “top-up” fees were passed through Parliament under a Labour government. It felt then, as it did last week, that an ever-growing price tag on education presented a much larger barrier for pupils from the poorest backgrounds.

But there is a difference between last week’s reforms and those of 2005. Five years ago, record numbers of young people were attending university. This was coupled with record government investment in higher education institutions (HEIs). Under Tory-Lib Dem plans, record student fees are combined with massive cuts to the teaching budgets of our universities. Bowne says that his “proposals introduce more investment for higher education. HEIs must persuade students that they should ‘pay more’ in order to ‘get more’. The money will follow the student”. With record cuts to teaching budgets, I wonder how exactly will students get more?

I work in schools and have spoken to many pupils who are considering applying to university in the next few years. Not one has said to me that with these reforms they are more likely to go to university.

This begs the question: is there a better way? (more…)

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