Friday, 29 October 2010

We can't afford the Browne review.

The final lie has been given to the idea that we need land students in ever larger mountains of debt because of the country's finances. The change will cost us more, not less. Not only is it unfair, it doesn't even make sense in the warped economic policy vision of the government.

Clegg's pledge, the one he abandoned in exchange for his ministerial car.
Some brilliant number crunching by Andrew Harding at 2me2you has shown that rather than us needing to increase tuition fees to save the country money, it will do the opposite. Implementing a doubling of the tuition fee cap will actually cost the taxpayer an extra £3bn a year, thus quashing the very last defence of all who support it.

We'd been led to believe that that Lib Dem's had been 'forced' into changing their policy due to the need to cut the deficit. As Alan Johnson neatly put it, "Somewhere between the ballot box closing and his ministerial car door opening, Nick Clegg changed his mind". Never mind that their arguments made no sense (for the bazillionth time, we are nothing like Greece! As confirmed by a Nobel laureate.), we had to raise fees because the country couldn't afford it.

I'd like to see if they change their minds now that it's come out that increasing fees will cost the taxpayer more in the short-term.

Because the government will have to cover the fees up front, and then be paid the money back in the long term, the cost of the Browne review per year in the short term is up £3 billion, and that's after you include the £6 billion cut to core funding that universities receive. In short, the whole things a bloody mess, pushed through by people who have taken no effort to listen to the people who actually frequent these universities, the students.


Annual government spend on HE funding

 

Current

Browne
Core funding£7,478,145,985.80£1,637,700,686
Fees maintenance£10,824,313,850.00£19,740,390,000.00
Total (core + fees)£18,302,459,835.80£21,378,090,686


Not only will we have this extra burden on the taxpayer, but you'll at the same time land student's with massive debts that will leave those on the middle incomes paying more than those on high incomes. And whilst they may claim to have made provision's to keep attracting poorer student's, the reality is that the insecurity about possibly being landed with a lifetime of debt will put off those from the poorest backgrounds. We should be attracting the best, not the ones with the best childhood.

I am glad to see the Lib Dems telling us there won't be a free market in the university fees, which would inevitably lead to a two-tier system, but it really is a tiny bit of silver lining on the edge of a hurricane. It's the equivalent of them telling someone they'll shoot them in the head, and then deciding they'll just kneecap them instead. It's better, but not exactly good.

Let's move on from this calamity, and actually have a serious discussion. And I don't mean the kind where people simply say, 'Oh, you want a pure graduate tax, how quaint, it won't work.' Nobodies arguing for a pure graduate tax, but there are other variations out there that we should be looking at. If the argument for not tweaking a graduate tax is that it doesn't work as it stands, then how is that different to the Browne review, which patently doesn't achieve any of its objectives.

Time for a serious debate, and this time round, let's include the students yeah?

1 comment:

Jazzie Casas said...

Hopefully this could be of any help to some student.

Theodore R. and Vivian M. Johnson Scholarship Program for Children Of UPS Employees or UPS Retirees

The children of United Parcel Service (UPS) employees or retirees who live in Florida are eligible for scholarship funding to attend a vocational institution or college in the state of Florida. The awards may only be used for undergraduate study and range in value from $1,000 to $10,000. Students attending a vocational institution or a community college are allowed to receive a maximum of $5,000 per school year.

Award: This award is for use during freshman year, and is renewable. Number: The number of scholarships awarded is 1 to 50. Amount: The amount of the scholarships awarded is $1,000 to $10,000.