Sunday, 28 November 2010

Nick Clegg, tuition fees and the maths that don't add up

On the subject of the university student tuition fees increase, Nick Clegg writes in today's Screws that 'one in four graduates will end up paying back less overall than they do at the moment.'

Well, I'll freely admit that maths has never been my strong point. But if one in four graduates will end up paying back less, doesn't that mean that three out of four will end up paying back MORE?

The point the Coalition is missing - although of course in some instances this is probably the point of the whole exercise - is that the idea of a long-term, expensive debt, frightens many people. It is only those from privileged backgrounds who will be able to shrug it off.

He is also, deliberately of course, missing the point that it is the prospect of fees of £9000 a year which has so incensed and concerned Britain's youth (and their parents).

What no one has explained to me properly so far is why it is only English and Northern Irish students who will have to pay the tuition fees increase. The Scots get off... pretty much Scot free, as do the Welsh; I'm not begruding them that for an instant, but what I don't understand is why students from other EU countries will be able to go to unis in Scotland and Wales and pay fees at the same rate, while students from England and Northern Ireland won't be able to.

It doesn't add up.

1 comment:

  1. I don't really know the answers to your questions but once factor that I can see in favour of increasing tuition fees is that many UK graduates move aboard to work. If the figure is a third as this article states then should the taxpayer pay for their education if they are going to take themselves elsewhere after graduation?