Labour Manifesto Scraps Tuition Fees

(91 Posts)
bojorojo Thu 11-May-17 09:20:33

So the draft manifesto says Labour want to scrap tuition fees. Like thousands of other students, my DD2 has student debt of £40,000. Is this fair on existing students and how will university funding be affected? What are the likely consequences?

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ragged Thu 11-May-17 09:26:43

It's unfair because it benefits middle class, affluent & rich kids the most. They least need free university tuition & they are already doing well and likely to do well. Makes my blood simmer when anyone talks about free university tuition for all.

The odds are that your kid is also in the financially comfortable group, bojorojo, so already advantaged.

Preschool age is the time to help families & kids with social mobility measures that could truly help kids from socially deprived backgrounds. Bird has already flown by the time the kids are 17-18.

bojorojo Thu 11-May-17 09:41:27

Yes we do have a good income, thank you. However, my DD has the debt, not me. This is the case for all current and former students since the fees were introduced. Will these young voters not deeply resent the debt if the system is changed? Plenty of them will be poor, even with a degree, and from poor families. If this income stream is removed from universities, how will that affect university courses if the Government does not/cannot make up the difference?

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ImagineBeingThatPassionate Thu 11-May-17 09:46:23

I am on ESA, their Dad isn't involved even financially, this is just what my family need. I don't want a family with an annual income of £40,000 struggling with these debts either. Anyone earning over £80,000 after they completed their degree will pay it back, whilst lower earning graduates like Nurses, won't pay back so much.

bojorojo Thu 11-May-17 10:12:35

As a family, you do not pay tuition feees though, or struggle with the debts. It is the student who pays. Or indeed pays nothing or very little if they do not earn enough. It is favouring the richer parents who pay the fees up front if they are scrapped.

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GoatsFeet Thu 11-May-17 10:48:06

Preschool age is the time to help families & kids with social mobility measures that could truly help kids from socially deprived backgrounds. Bird has already flown by the time the kids are 17-18

This, times twenty. And I'm a university lecturer. The mapping of educational attainment onto socio-economic advantage starts at about the age of 3. And is given a leg up by paid-for schooling, which entrenches advantage.

That's why SureStart as developed. Of course, the Tories have set about dismantling that.

catslife Thu 11-May-17 11:03:16

But it was Labour under Blair who introduced these fees in the first place.
How would they fund the universities then - can't see how the government can afford £9k a year per student?
Or would this mean fewer students going to uni and some unis going out of business?


LordRothermereBlackshirtCunt Thu 11-May-17 11:09:27

The tuition fees were brought in to fund the expansion of higher education. Removing them will inevitably mean a significant reduction in the number of students going to university. There would be a quota, and universities would be penalised for exceeding it. Inevitably, courses, if not universities, if not universities would close, though course closures and redundancies are already happening because of the sharp drop in student numbers due to Brexit and demographic change.

bojorojo Thu 11-May-17 12:10:06

So why does Labour not think about the consequences? It seems to be a policy with no proper thought behind it but it is good for sound bites which is all that matters these days.

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GoatsFeet Thu 11-May-17 12:39:43

I think the removal of tuition fees cuts both ways. I'm sitting on the fence about it.

In an ideal world anyone with the appropriate skills aptitude and burning desire to attend university should go - free at the point of use - at whatever age. We want to train the best minds.

But the reality is that under the old no/low fees regime, taxpaper funding model, the binman paid taxes for naice little Ollie or Archie or Emma to attend university, while his/her children got a bog-standard comp education. Thus entrenching the educational and social capital of the socio-economically advantaged classes.

However, under a nearer to full-fee paying regime (although you have to look at non EU fees to see the real cost of tuition) without the consumer-friendly variety of community colleges to Ivy League of the US system, the idea of taking on debt is equally problematic for working class people, who are - according to sociologists - debt-averse.

bojorojo Thu 11-May-17 12:53:48

So would you advocate tuition fees are paid if "you" can afford them? Who is you? The parent or the student? How do you demonstate a parent can afford £9250 a year? Some working class people are quite well paid and skilled and binmen are not the lowest paid by any means! At the moment fees are a graduate tax, paid by the people who have "consumed" the education, and I think it is estimated about 50% of students will not pay them back. You could argue that poorer students will not get to university at all if university places are cut. At the moment, there is a good record of poorer students going and the expansionof university places has helped with widening participation.

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ragged Thu 11-May-17 13:52:35

"Good" record about poor kids going to Uni? I can't agree it's good record.

Even when Uni was free & there were full grants, social background was the main determinant who went to Uni. Expansion of places HAS probably helped wide participation, I can agree with that. The only way to expand places was a very different funding model from what there was in 1970s-80s-- the model that involved fees.

Wecks Thu 11-May-17 14:11:03

If I were 18 I'd vote for that - what prospective student wouldn't?
Just anecdotal I guess, but among DC peers who were able enough but chose not to go to uni the student debt was a deciding factor. In every case they are from families where the parents did not go into HE. Not necessarily deprived families but definitely similar social background.

I'll be interested to know what my DC think about this, they are on target for £50K worth of debt.

bojorojo Thu 11-May-17 15:25:36

No doubt DC with a vote would be delighted but DC who may find there is no university place for them in the future because the sector has decreased may not be so keen. There are more poor children going to university but not to RG universities. Mostly to lower ranking ones which would, presumably, be the vulnerable ones. It is also a fairly recent phenomenon that high level apprenticeships are available again. Ten years ago this route would not be an option. Those doing high level apprenticeships instead of university may well be making a good choice but they are highly competitive to get into so if university places reduce, the competition will be more fierce. The reports I have read also cite poor choice of A levels and careers advice at school and poorer disadvantaged pupils just do not find out what they need to do. Scrapping fees won't help with this.

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Chaotica Thu 11-May-17 16:41:35

As an academic, I would love to see them scrapped. They are a major factor in destroying social mobility in this country, making it very difficult to recruit students from certain socio-economic backgrounds, changing the nature of education (in favour of vocational courses) and prompting grade inflation (because universities need to recruit) which will lower the perceived value of education still further.

Free or nearly free education with fewer places available would be preferable.

GoatsFeet Thu 11-May-17 16:57:43

Chaotica I do agree with the ideas behind your post, but ....

Free or nearly free education with fewer places available would be preferable.

You know that this will just push us back into an even greater stratification between the educationally-advantaged who are also socio-economically advantaged, and those who are not.

I know that charging fees doesn't stop that happening. But until; we have a better way than parents buying educational advantage for their children in compulsory education years., we can't pretend that university entry is entirely on equitable merit, can we?

Sadik Thu 11-May-17 17:03:44

It's worth remembering that the cost of abolishing fees won't be the full amount charged. Best estimate at the moment (looking at IFS figures as well as govt estimates) is that only around 50% of the cost will actually be repaid.
A graduate tax would be a far more sensible and efficient way to recoup some of the cost of higher education from those benefitting the most IMO - don't understand why Labour don't go for it given that HMRC RTI reporting is able to cope with scottish income tax etc these days.

Two4One2017 Thu 11-May-17 17:13:05

Here's the Institute for Fiscal Studies analysis on removing tuition fees.
Also the cost would actually be more because of having to adjust the Barnett Formula to reflect the change in position in England.

The strap line is that graduates that earn the most in the future will benefit the most. Obvs really!

jeanne16 Thu 11-May-17 18:08:29

Not sure any of this is worth debating as I cannot imagine Labour will win the election.

bojorojo Thu 11-May-17 20:12:31

I think the manifesto of the Opposition is always worth debating.

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mersimian Thu 18-May-17 20:44:07

Bojoro, I am an academic and I can tell you that the fees have been the worst thing to have happened because instead of getting money through research funding via hefce we have to rely on student fees,and because of the massive hike in fees we are attracting fewer students. it has changed the whole structure of university.

I agree with Chaotic. Fewer student places and scrap the fees. Stop this ridiculous idea that the only way to be aspirational is to want higher education. What about being really successful at skilled work? Plumber, electrician. dressmaker, mechanic!.

Don't be fooled there are far too many young people in higher education who really shouldn't be there the levels of stress are rising and the standards are being dropped.

Get rid of tuition fees and start investing properly in trying and education for young people.


lconnolly1 Thu 18-May-17 20:51:22

I think university fees shouldn't be scrapped altogether and I'd disagree with anyone who says it attracts 'far' less students. I see someone already raised the issue of 'who's going to fund universities if not tuition fees?' The question really revolves around the marginal costs and benefits of a university education. If the fees prevent people being twits and drinking away a higher education then good. The mere fact that the fees don't have to be paid back until above a minimum income should be enough to persuade people that really university comes at little cost to your future income but with potentially a larger benefit. I find that people just want to many things for free in this country, sadly money doesn't just grow on our trees, university is a signal of someone who was willing to forgo income now and work hard for a degree in return for a potentially better lifetime return and I personally think albeit not everyone will agree, that the fees should be kept in place.

GoatsFeet Thu 18-May-17 22:06:47

So, today we hear that the Tories will raise University tuition fees, and require that universities use this money - not to educate undergraduates (and the fee isn't economically/financially sustainable in the long term for universities) - but to establish schools - academies or free schools.


twelly Thu 18-May-17 22:13:37

It would be better to decrease the number of under graduates and fund the smaller ones more

LadyinCement Fri 19-May-17 11:32:38

Wecks: * If I were 18 I'd vote for that *

I wouldn't!! The 18-year-olds would be paying tuition fees and would see those coming afterwards getting it free. Can you imagine being the schmuck stuck with a £50K tuition fee bill when someone coming a year later would be debt free?

Perhaps there will be zero university applications next year as everyone waits for the free fees the following year?!

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