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To think those against free university probably benefited from it?

133 replies

malificent7 · 10/06/2017 10:53

Im pro free university. Im nearly 40 and was good for me.
Many people on here have said society should not fund students.
I bet they either directly benefit from no fees as they went or indirectly benefited eg: their kids went for free or they use doctors, nurses, teachers who wete funded.

OP posts:
LedaP · 10/06/2017 14:03

I didnt benefit from free university and disagree that the fees should stop.

GetAHaircutCarl · 10/06/2017 14:03

University, whichever way you look at it, isn't free. Someone must pay.

woodhill · 10/06/2017 14:05

Exactly x boys keeps the unemployment figures down. It's a shame that the students have so much debt.

Oliversmumsarmy · 10/06/2017 14:12

Years ago only a handful of people went to university. Now it seems that it is the norm.

I didn't go to university. Dp didn't go to university. DD and ds wont be going.
DD will leave after year 12 to set up her own business and already has jobs lined up.
Ds is looking at learning a trade.

Does everyone know that unless you want to pursue a specific career you don't need to go to university so wont rack up a lot of debt.

Whileweareonthesubject · 10/06/2017 14:16

I understand that with the number of people going to university, there has to be a way of funding it and fees would seem to be the way to go. However, I strongly feel that graduates who commit to a minimum length of time in a public service career, ought to have some remission if loans. Possibly, even a sliding scale, so, for example, a teacher who remains in the state system for 5 years would get a 30% remission, whilst one who is still there after ten years service gets 100% remission. Similar arrangements for nurses, doctors. More difficult for lawyers, but maybe a certain number of legal aid cases within a set time period?
DC is a teacher in a shortage subject. Seems rather unfair that many of their university friends who've chosen the 'business' route, are earning way more and always will, just because dc has a talent, almost a need, to pass on the love of the subject to the next generation.

BarbarianMum · 10/06/2017 14:22

I benefitted from free tuition. I'm not keen on fees but i wouldnt want to go back to a time when only a small percentage of people could get a university place or to the state of chronic university underfunding that we used to "enjoy".

So although i don't like fees I'm not sure its as simple as just saying "scrap them".

andintothefire · 10/06/2017 14:26

I agree with LadyinCement. The fees and repayment structure brought in by Labour was more or less fair (though the threshold at which fees were repaid was quite low). I was happy to pay effectively an additional tax to repay the £3k fees and maintenance loan that I took out. I'll recoup that and much more over the course of my working life.

9k a year however is very high, as is the interest rate on recent loans. I would support reform but not complete abolition for all degrees, and certainly not writing off debt for recent graduates.

andintothefire · 10/06/2017 14:29

I also agree with a consultation on the selective writing off of loans for nurses, doctors and teachers if they stay in public sector jobs for a certain amount of time. I don't see why lawyers need fees to be written off - there is already a massive oversupply. In fact it would be slightly irresponsible to encourage more people to study law given how competitive (and expensive) it is to become a barrister or solicitor afterwards.

My issue with the labour policy proposal was that it was clearly rushed, badly thought through, and had inadequate consultation with universities, the public sector and other stakeholders.

Dawndonnaagain · 10/06/2017 14:33

I agree with no fees. I am very concerned by the folk here (and elsewhere) who deride arts degrees. It puzzles and worries me that you cannot (or will not) see that they too benefit society.

RoccoW14 · 10/06/2017 14:34

While society overall benefits the more educated it is, those who benefit most are the ones who receive that education. It is only right that they make a contribution towards the cost, in addition to the standard rates of tax once in the workforce.

That said, the current fee structure is too high and the debt shouldn't incur interest. It should just be indexed in line with inflation.

Additionally, fees for doctors / nurses could be written off or reimbursed after a decade of work in the NHS. Similarly for teachers in the state system.

TheLuminaries · 10/06/2017 14:42

I benefited from free University tuition and I am a higher rate tax payer who has not needed the benefit safety net and has reasonable pension provision for old age. So I feel society has benefited overall from the investment in my education. I would prefer to keep Uni free and tax progressively to fund it.

agnesf · 10/06/2017 14:43

When universities were "free" a) there were a lot less university students and b) effective tax rates were higher (e.g. 40% compared to

BackforGood · 10/06/2017 14:43

Not really an AIBU, as YANBU to think whatever you like.

I didn't pay fees. My dc are currently University age.
To me, it seems a lot fairer that the people that benefit from tertiary education are the only ones paying for it. Not like when I graduated, and tax was so much higher for everyone, whether they went to university or not. (Without looking up figures, you basically lost 1/3 of your gross pay then, around 30% tax on all salary, + NI, - not the 22% it is now, even after a HUGE personal allowance that means nobody pays ANY tax on the first £10 - £11K they earn)

How is it fairer for everyone to pay, when fewer than 1/2 the population benefit ?

IgnoreMeEveryOtherReindeerDoes · 10/06/2017 14:48

I wish it was free, I'm can't hide the fact my DD will accur a debt of 9.5k just for course fee alone in 1st year. She will not earn a big living unless she ends on the TV but what she will do will benefit a certain group of people in life.

MaudAndOtherPoems · 10/06/2017 14:49

I also went to university long before the era of fees. As a PP pointed out, it wasn't free - the general public were paying for me to be there. I don't much like the fees, but in some ways it does feel fairer that the graduates pay rather than all the tax-paying public, many of whom will be earning far less than the graduates.

IgnoreMeEveryOtherReindeerDoes · 10/06/2017 14:49

Hide as in a parent point of view I'm having kittens over it

HelenMcHelen · 10/06/2017 14:57

DD will graduate as a science teacher next year with a student loan debt of over £60000. That's for four years of study. She will never pay it back. The only good thing in the conservative manifesto was a pledge to let new teachers off loan repayment in order to retain them.

hmcAsWas · 10/06/2017 15:04

I had a free education - no tuition fees and a full maintenance grant (yep, I was the one working class person who went to university in 1986 Wink), and I remain pro free education now

LadyinCement · 10/06/2017 15:14

I don't see why only public sector people should be let off fees! Reminds me of another thread where someone proposed that public sector workers shouldn't pay tax at all!

Regarding repaying fees, a chief executive of a council may be earning £200K+ , yet I don't think their contribution to society is any more valuable than an engineer in a private company.

I also agree that saying that only STEM and medical-type degrees are worth funding is rather short-sighted. I don't even object to degrees like Equine Studies: at least that person will presumably be working in a horsey career. I object to degrees in "normal" subjects, but at crappy places. If you are studying English at Bedfordshire University (previously Luton College of Higher Education) then you really are not among the best English students in the country. I just looked at the course spec and it doesn't look like it would present much of a challenge for a year 6 kid. Free fees for someone doing this? What a waste of money.

BirdBandit · 10/06/2017 15:20

I don't think a lot of people fully understand the new situation, and how it has changed year on year.

I attended as a mature student in Scotland 10 years ago. I had to pay some fees, received no grant, got a loan and then had a graduate endowment slapped on top when I graduated. I have tried to explain this but I am met with incredulity and explanations as to why I have misunderstood this 🤔. I wish those who are so certain that I am wrong would explain this to the SAAS!

ErrolTheDragon · 10/06/2017 15:35

*I don't see why only public sector people should be let off fees! Reminds me of another thread where someone proposed that public sector workers shouldn't pay tax at all!

Regarding repaying fees, a chief executive of a council may be earning £200K+ , yet I don't think their contribution to society is any more valuable than an engineer in a private company. *

Yes... some people never seem to think about where money ultimately comes from. People who actually create value need incentivising. Simplistically, those who make stuff we can sell, internally or externally to rectify the trade balance - be that engineering, pharmaceuticals, films, fashion, education to overseas students ... yes, of course we need public services but they have to be paid for.

RunningHurts · 10/06/2017 15:42

It wasn't free for me and I don't think it should be free. The way it works is very fair and I'm tired of the way the media portrays how much "debt" students will be in. It worries people and puts them off uni for no good reason.

I have a student loan. I did pay some off (essentially as a bit extra tax) when I was earning plenty. Since maternity leave / part time working I haven't had to pay any off as I've not been earning enough. I get a statement so often showing how much I owe (including the interest added on, so it goes up all the time at the moment) and I don't care. Because I will only need to pay it back as and when I can afford to. I don't get the problem to be honest (other than perhaps a worry that the government will end up out of pocket with the numbers who never pay much back - although I presume that has been factored in somewhere)

BeyondThePage · 10/06/2017 15:46

Education needs to be paid for.

When I was at school (and Uni tuition was "free") only the exceptional students went to uni - 6 out of 52, last year at the same school 32 out of 54 went

how can funding at that increased level be sustained if not at source.

Personally funding (including through loans) makes students more invested in their own education - and in looking towards their own future employability prospects.

HelenMcHelen · 10/06/2017 15:53

It wasn't for all public sector, specifically teachers so long as they continue in the state sector, (and you could equally make a case for nurses) There is a huge shortage of STEM teachers. Most graduates with a decent physics degree are not going to look at teaching even with a training bursary - seems like it would be good for education to attract and retain good teachers.

noblegiraffe · 10/06/2017 15:58

I don't see why only public sector people should be let off fees!

In terms of the argument that teachers should have their fees paid back - there is a massive recruitment and retention crisis in teaching at the moment. It is far more profitable for someone with a maths, physics, computing degree (and many other shortage subjects, tbh) to go into the private sector. Teachers have had a pay freeze or below inflation pay rise for years now and pension contributions have increased massively, reducing net pay. The pension scheme is far less attractive than it used to be (although still pretty good). People don't want to go to uni for years, spend thousands on tuition, then take up a job which isn't particularly well-respected or renumerated. Massive bursary incentives to train to teach (£30k to train for one year as a physics teacher with no requirement to actually become a teacher) have failed as a recruitment measure. Paying off student loans would be a good incentive to become a teacher, and if it was done over several years would also be an incentive to remain in teaching, something which is missing at the moment.

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