Thursday, 30 December 2010

Discouraged from attending university?

I've been catching up with some articles on Critical Reaction. The one by Graham Stewart on 14 December is worth reading:
Remarkably, much of the electorate remains under the impression that increased student fees will put off applicants from deprived backgrounds. If this claim is made often enough then there is a danger it becomes self-fulfilling. Yet, how could it be true? The amount a graduate repays annually is dependent on how much he or she earns after graduation. No part of the burden of repaying fees falls upon the student’s parents. To repeat, it is how much a graduate earns that is the consideration, not how few savings there were in the house in which he or she grew up. So how is a deprived background relevant? If there is any perverse logic in the student loans scheme it is that because graduates earning low incomes do not have to repay any of their loan there is actually an incentive for them to remain in low paid employment.
Indeed. The scheme does little to discourage people from pursuing useless degrees.

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