The acid test:
Q: Would students prefer to return to the old system or stick with the new one? Under the present system there are more students from less well-off backgrounds than ever before. This is contrary to all the predictions that what is actually a, new, graduate tax would deter all but the more well-off.
OLD SYSTEM = Repayments commence when the graduate earns from £15,000.
NEW SYSTEM = Free tuition fees until the graduate earns from £21,000, rising to more than £21,000 with inflation.
Students taking three-year courses charged at £9,000, plus full maintenance loans, will leave university with about £43,000 of debt.
The government says the lowest-earning 25% of graduates will pay less in total than they currently do. But, according to analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, most others will pay more – the highest earners almost double what they currently pay. All loans cancelled if not repaid within 30 years. Many lower-earners will gain their degrees totally FREE under the new system. If this is brave social engineering, at the same time as safeguarding standards of degrees, it looks very like an enlightened way to institute equal opportunity. Today’s protesting students might try out their math.?!