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Do you think university tuition fees should be scrapped?

According to estimates by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), the average student can now leave university owing more than £50,000 and three-quarters will never pay it back.

Formally announcing a long-awaited review of post-18 education, the Prime Minister acknowledged that the level of tuition fees charged do not relate to the cost or quality of the course.

The review, which will be led by finance expert and author Philip Augar, will focus on four key questions, Mrs May said: ensuring education is accessible to all, the funding system, encouraging choice and competition and providing the skills the country needs.

Tuition fees in England were trebled in 2012, and the vast majority of courses now cost the maximum, £9,250 per year.

Mrs May insisted that it is right that students contribute to the cost of their education, but that the review, which is expected to take about a year, will look at how much they contribute, the terms of their contribution and the duration.

Shifting the burden of university tuition onto the taxpayer would mean tax increases for the majority of people who did not go to university, leave universities competing with schools and hospitals for funding and lead to the re-introduction of a cap on student numbers, Mrs May argued.

Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner said: “This long-winded review is an unnecessary waste of time. Labour will abolish tuition fees, bring back maintenance grants and provide free, lifelong education in further education colleges.”

Ahead of the formal launch, Mrs May admitted that tuition fees are among the most expensive in the world and acknowledged the concerns of students, parents and grandparents about the levels of debt faced by graduates.

Did you go to university? What are your views on tuition fees vs student debt?  Is 6% interest on student loans a reasonable rate to be chared? Do you have children or grandchildren with student debt? If you had your time again, would you pay to go to University?

 

Do you think university tuition fees should be scrapped?

131 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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viking
6th May 2018
1
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Getting some opinions from the front line, it now seems that the emphasis has changed a little bit as the biting question is about value for money now. Students do not want to have to pay for courses which are for a few hours per day perhaps 3 days per week, they feel they are being ripped off.
ruby tuesday
16th Apr 2018
1
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im from scotland our students dont pay but there not short of money either they have part time jobs every sat night they are pie eyed hardly have a leg to stand on

after the new year [ 2019 ] if you come from eu you can get your education for free .. my question is where is the money coming from

if you want to do further education pay for it if you have a loan and dont pay it back then there is something far wrong with the management team
viking
29th Mar 2018
0
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Things have now taken a backward step Jeanmark, it seems that there is now an admitted shortage of everyone in the NHS, since 3 days ago.
A week [or less !!] is a long time in politics.
jeanmark
29th Mar 2018
0
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I have to agree with that saying viking, but it has been predicted for many years that there was going to be a shortage of professional staff. Unfortunately the prediction was ignored until the crisis point was reached.
viking
26th Mar 2018
0
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Godt godhed mig Jeanmark it looks as if things are starting to improve now with midwives at least !!!
jeanmark
26th Mar 2018
0
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Well, first you have to encourage them to start training and now the NHS Bursary has been stopped, well maybe they won't want the debt. Jeremy Hunt has made it sound really promising but the promise relates to more university places being made available, but they haven't been able to fill the present ones fully.

I will try to look on the bright side viking and hope things will improve.
viking
23rd Mar 2018
0
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Well said Dot, most of our contributors [ with the exception of certain members of the mamby pamby brigade ] agree with you.

However it is quite interesting to watch the antics of government about these things. The latest utterances from MP's " we are listening to the electorate" oh yes ! closing the stable door etc.

In my part of the country a new build to train up, possibly 250 new doctors. Nice one, but very late in the day. Now comes the joined up thinking part which is not a Westminster strong point. Fill with who?? If the talented are not bothering with further education because of the debt problem, will the new build have to be closed, because of lack of suitable candidates and turned into flats for ???
jeanmark
24th Mar 2018
0
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The problem is Viking, it isn't just doctors that in are short supply. Shortages are hitting across the NHS in particular nurses, midwives and allied health professionals.
Dotden
23rd Mar 2018
0
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Children/ young adults going to uni are ...supposingly taking their academic ability as far as they can....and that to do so will make life time debts. ( doubled if they marry another academic person)
What about the “ less able academics “ who are now drawing salaries ....for say being a plumber house rental mogul... cheese maker!
They have been able to achieve their success from a free education...........FAIR!!?
Where is the logic......doctors teachers engineers etc with high end skills are arguably making the biggest impact on shaping the country’s future....by having a future burdened with personal debt
Yodama
22nd Mar 2018
1
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Should University education be free for the most promising and brightest minds regardless of their status in life?

Yes!

Fees at present are ridiculous.

Some of the brightest slip through the net because of financial constraints so all should be given an equal opportunity to become the great minds of the future.


But then... some of the obviously not so bright students should be given the opportunity too. Albert Einstein was a useless student according to his teachers, he was expelled and failed his University entrance exam. His dogged determination to enter University had him finally obtaining his doctorate at aged 26.

It is this kind of determination and genius that should be recognised and nurtured for the benefit of us all
jeanmark
22nd Mar 2018
0
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viking
14th Mar 2018
0
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Scrap the degrees that are questionable for their content, which are possibly specially made up for half wits who want a two/three year skive. Then make sure that degrees which remain are those which are useful and can enhance the industry of this country.
Stop the dumbing down of degrees now made so the diddums do not suffer from inferior complexes later in life !!
Darkstar
14th Mar 2018
0
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People choose to go to university to get better paid jobs. So they should be prepared to pay the fees.
jeanmark
17th Mar 2018
0
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Interesting thought Darkstar, but I haver never yet met a nurse or midwife who has gone to university to get a better job because without a degree they wouldn't get a job!
Catrina700
12th Mar 2018
1
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I noticed an article on the daily mail website yesterday 11 march 18, regarding a student who sues Anglia Ruskin university Cambridge for £60,000. This being the amount it cost for what she described as a mickey mouse degree. If she was anything like the students living next door to me, she would of been quite happy to lay in bed half the day while doing this mickey mouse degree

These days universities are keen to take tuition fees from anyone foolish enough to pay them. The days of only intelligent people going to university are long gone. Many have become expensive social clubs for the workshy and those not bright enough to be at university in the first place.

Living in a city with three universities and 48% of the houses occupied by students, it's not difficult for myself and other residents to notice not all are there to be educated. Many are there for the social life and the fact it's easier than working for a living. All the time students are queuing up to pay the tuition fees for the privilege of spending half the week in bed, universities will happily take their money. Just reducing tuition fees will only make the situation worse.

What is needed, are less universities, more stringent entry qualifications, and more intensive full time courses that lead to a degree that employers actually want. Those that are there for the easy ride and the social life would be unlikely to qualify. When I was at school it was only the top 10% of a grammar school that got anywhere near a university, the rest got off their back sides and got a job. If you wanted an additional education you went to night school after you'd done a days work, and that never did us any harm.
jeanmark
17th Mar 2018
0
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Well, from some one who lives in a city with 38 universities that appears a little cynical. I agree some students may appear to spend their time doing very little, but universities are not like schools, you do not attend nine to five. It all depends on whether, at the end, you want a 'good' degree that will actually count towards a sound career.

Yes, many have good social lives but in my experience so do many other young people. Surely, going to university shouldn't mean living like a monk and shunning society.
marpo2
10th Mar 2018
0
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Education used to be the favoured path of the rich &powerful, the gentry & the aristocracy, but even from those backgrounds, there is no guarantee of a graduates installation into big business. The fees themselves are laughable when one takes into account the eye watering wages enjoyed by the university staff.
With so much still being owed post-graduation, and often fees being written off, it’s either time for the uni’s to become commercial, or use some of them vast fortunes they sit on.
Rte de Cabans
9th Mar 2018
2
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Tax payers should not have to foot the bill for university education. However, I do think the interest being charged is exorbitant. I also think the level at which graduates pay back their loans should be increased to around £35k. Let those who come out of uni and get high paid jobs repay, they can afford it, but give a break to lower income earners such as nurses and teachers who get none of the perks of those working in private sector and next to no pay rises either.
walshsuzan
9th Mar 2018
0
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People should start thinking about University and/or college fees at an early stage in life a make provisions saving up very small amounts, into a dedicated fund/account, over the years - which would accumulate for the fees and the maintenance/rent/living expenses required.

If the fees were scrapped it would mean every single taxpayer would be paying and that's unfair to those without children and/or children who go on to employment which doesn't require a university degree
jeanmark
17th Mar 2018
0
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What age would you suggest? How are parents on low incomes expected to start saving for their children's education when they may be having difficulty in actually providing food.? I would hate to have to return to degrees only being available to the rich rather than the able.
jeaniembe
5th Mar 2018
0
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I would be happy for degrees in essential subjects to be free. However we must remember that they would not be free but would be paid for by us the taxpayers. Many are paid for by us anyway, as they are never paid back due to the graduate never earning enough. I disagree with subsidising degrees in Circus skills etc. We seem to have become a nation where everyone needs to go to University however thick!
jeanmark
17th Mar 2018
0
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Interestingly the government have abolished the NHS Bursary for nurse, midwives and allied health professionals.
jeaniembe
17th Mar 2018
0
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When I trained as a nurse in the late 70s we were paid on the job which was far better. The School of Nursing was based in the hospital. Most of the training was on the wards doing the job. In a way money was saved because people didn't go through 3yrs of university study to find they didn't like the sight of a bedpan when they hit the wards and leave. Also when student nurses had a wage it attracted more mature individuals with life experience.
jeanmark
22nd Mar 2018
0
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I know jeaniembe, I trained in the 1960's but todays health care system has changed dramatically and educational needs now have to move with that change. Student nurses still have practical placements, the sad thing is that there are fewer registered nurses to mentor them. I never met one student who was afraid of a bedpan.

I totally agree that with the abolishment of the NHS Bursary many mature students no longer feel they can afford to train and that is sad, as they have so many life skills to bring to the work.
BobWWII
3rd Mar 2018
1
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I would be quite happy for all academic degrees for uk citizens to be free and all non academic degrees require payment.
All non uk citizens should have to pay for all degrees.
Costezuela
10th Mar 2018
1
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Very succintly put - and exactly right.
Also, the university 'management' are overpaid and a careful study needs to be carried independently into their inflated and self awarded salaries and 'expenses'.

The above statement about excessive management salaries etc equally applies to the beleaguered NHS - the government needs to take a long and careful look at this area in particular and start cutting out some of the top layers of so called management - many of whom would not be able to justify their position if it were in a commercial environment!!
jeanmark
17th Mar 2018
0
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Non UK students do pay for their degrees and they are usually at a higher cost.
IreneNight
28th Feb 2018
2
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I think to many youngsters go to uni to have a good time.
Go to uni, get qualified , have a gap year and then look for something they are not sure of. Having got a degree they do not know how to use it.
viking
27th Feb 2018
1
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Watching the TV programme last night on remuneration and expenses of the chancellors and their vices ! made such sobering viewing, that the government ministers [ who should be involved ] just sit down and explain why this rip off has ever been allowed to happen.
Costezuela
26th Feb 2018
4
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In principle tuition fees should be scrapped but with certain conditions:-
Overseas students should still be liable for fees.
Careful thought should be paid to some of the more outlandish degrees available currently and many should be abolished or be fee paying.
Any student enrolling and then dropping out should be charged a fee for time wasting (unless there are genuine reasons).

On a related issue - why is there no real investigation ongoing into the self awarded and obscene remuneration packages paid to some senior university staff? By controlling these it would ease the burden elsewhere.
viking
23rd Feb 2018
1
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It would be very interesting to find out which of the major countries in the world actually give FREE education by that I mean entirely without strings attached to prospective students.
Looking at the past performances in days gone by, the richest in the land could afford to send their offspring to university, this meant they would be able to continue to make up the top layer of society.
Whereas the poor who could not afford the niceties of this sort of education were confined to the bottom rung of the ladder.This has made this country what it is now, a divided society wealth wise.
dementedgranma
23rd Feb 2018
2
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If the Universities took the money up front from foreign students and they were not given a loan, we might be able to subsidise our own. So many are going home leaving behind massive debts for the Universities and more importantly the British Tax Payer to pick up. Another scam that the foreigners in this country are being told about
jeanmark
23rd Feb 2018
0
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Is that accurate? I know my sister-in-law works for a large university where all overseas students have to pay up front each year and in addition their fees are usually quite a lot higher.
Pam1960
23rd Feb 2018
5
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I think the loan system should be scrapped and further education should be free. I am not in favour of means tested grants as this solely puts the responsibility of a child's education into the hands of the parents who may not be able to afford it. Just because you are just above the line for eligibility for receiving a grant does not mean you have the thousands of pounds spare. I think a University education is a wonderful thing but I'm not sure it is essential for all vocations. Of course medicine, law, science, engineering and teaching degrees should be available but many other courses could be taught at Further Education colleges or even at 6th Form. We should invest in our top professional prospects but provide better apprenticeship schemes with block release and day release options
jeanmark
23rd Feb 2018
0
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Well said Pam1960.
jeaniembe
5th Mar 2018
0
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I agree with your point about not necessarily being well off and the grant system. My in-laws saw their daughter through university and scrimped and saved. They are neither poor or rich. However she studied and lived within her means. It was the students on benefits etc who had the disposable income to go to the student bars.
viking
22nd Feb 2018
3
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Not wishing to denigrate getting a better education, but talking to some students, it seems they feel they are being "ripped off" times 3.

The three days per week of being talked to, rather than being taught, is poor value for money
The 6% interest on the loan does not reflect the current rate of interest on loans.
The university charges are too high for what is achieved at the end of courses.
MarilynHs
21st Feb 2018
1
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If our country is rich enough to spend billions on nuclear weaponry controlled by the USA, then we can afford to educate our citizens to the highest level they can succeed at. We're heading for a mega-rich elite, an increasingly impoverished middle class, and the forgotten poor. A hundred years ago the poor could access university education by scholarships and work their way to success. Now the poor can only work their way into debt.
NorfolkBroad
21st Feb 2018
7
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Going to university has never been free. If your parents were wealthy enough they paid; if you were poorer then State paid tuition fees and maintenance grants along with local authority sponsorship came into play . . . but was granted only for those academically clever enough to warrant a university place. Blair, in trying to cook the books to show fewer unemployed, got rid of technical colleges and called them universities for the majority - even if they had no intention of using what they learnt when they left. We have now had the rule of paying for university since 1998. Long enough for British families to do what other countries do - start a university fund savings plan from birth. Grandparents could pay into it each and every birthday and Christmas instead of buying yet more toys and gadgets. If, when the child reached university age, they had no interest or aptitude in going on for further education the money saved could go towards the deposit on a home or something similarly worthwhile. It's not rocket science. We all complain about council tax and what our hard earned taxes go on - and they include the current tuition 'loans' that in many cases will never be paid back.
SylviaJ7
21st Feb 2018
-4
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If you have two or more children and you're a single mother, how can they afford to send one child to university and if they manage to send one what about the others? Children are the future, think about that Teresa May.
jeanmark
22nd Feb 2018
2
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University is not the only option, there are other good educational opportunities. How did most of us survive successfully before all this obsession with a university eduction..
jeanmark
24th Feb 2018
1
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It isn't only single parents that struggle. There are many couples on low incomes that would also experience a problem. May be they recognise there are equally good ways of gaining an education with on the job training without the need for university. Many of our successful entrepreneur never went to university.
Pwilly
21st Feb 2018
-7
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I am at this moment a university student at 61. I'm studying science. No matter what I do when I've finished my degree .I'll never be able to pay back the student loans. I pity my cohorts who are mostly 18/20s and now have a lifetime of debt to look forward to.
jeaniembe
5th Mar 2018
0
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So I and others are paying for you to go to University at 61yrs. What for may I ask???
The Welshman
21st Feb 2018
4
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Tuition fees are NOT free. You the taxpayer will have to pay for them.
as you do now for our Scottish students. Are you now willing to pay extra taxes to pay for the well-off student? No matter what the course?
Poppyrose
21st Feb 2018
8
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Do not charge for the Math's, engineering, science based courses but charge for the art, drama, social type courses. There needs to be more investment in apprenticeships, kids do not need to go to university and for many it is because that's what everyone else is doing, but if there were more work based apprenticeships we would be training a more useful employable youth who would be getting paid while training.
jeanmark
22nd Feb 2018
0
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We need a balance of both. I agree there is too much emphasis on university education but they are still needed. However, they must be accessible to all regardless of an individuals background, and should be based on ability and be of benefit to society as a whole.

Many health care workers will never be in position to pay a loan back, their government funded bursaries have been stopped and many will never earn a high enough salary to pay back a loan. However, education to degree level is now necessary to keep up with progress.
Jabeen
21st Feb 2018
0
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Scotland is part of the UK and they do not have fees
Wilf
21st Feb 2018
-2
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I agree and if the Scots can make it free the English, Welsh and N Irish should as well.
Lionel
20th Feb 2018
6
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This issue presents itself as a once in a life time opportunity to get some control over a hitherto unregulated higher education system. A chance for the State to get value for that end of the education budget and value for students.

This nation is in dire need of mathematicians, engineers, chemists, physicists and much more. As Brexit nears that need is desperately urgent. But these are not popular degrees; the most favoured are the easier arts courses.

If the State were to manipulate the Higher Education system, and let's face it the State is well versed in manipulating most anything, and allow the most needed degree subjects be fully State funded. Vanity subjects such as football, the Beatles and 'mejia studies' for example, of which there is already an oversupply of degree holders without an appropriate job be a candidate paid course. That's paying everything!

Why do we fund acting degrees when there's no scrutiny of obvious talent before embarking on that degree? And how many graduates actually make a successful career in showbiz? Not many I think. What a nonsense!

In the coming days AI will remove so many sedentary jobs. The highest paid people will be plumbers and electricians and others with skills requiring good hand-eye co-ordination and manual dexterity. Car mechanics come to mind here.

Yes, a very good time to rein in Higher Education.
Bald123
20th Feb 2018
5
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Students should work at part time jobs while they are studying. I would hate to have debt over my head like the youngsters have today. Its tough as most young kids weem to have a degree and if they all have one what sorts out the wheat from the chaff. We need more skills based training thats what is lacking.
Margaret Hart
20th Feb 2018
4
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I don’t think,they should be scrapped but I think the living grants should be brought back and they should be reduced permanently. Also Stufemts such be encouraged to take part time jobs to cover any drinking and pleasure activities which would make them appreciate them more.
MrsPat
20th Feb 2018
2
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One of my children went to University and did a fashion degree which has helped her a lot in her job. She now has a large debt and is paying it off. It was a struggle and I do think they should lower the rates to what they used to be some years ago as the rates now are outrageous.
Wilf
20th Feb 2018
2
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Yes I think they should be. I see in the paper today the Germans do not pay for theirs. Why should our youngsters pay they never used to. As always its the less well off who suffer in society and the government bleats on about getting an equal society. they are the ones who bought in the current fee structure which then all universities starting charging the highest fees for all courses oh and by the way the chancellors and Vice Chancellors starting paying themselves astronomical salaries. Funny that! Many poor kids do not get the chance to go to University. I did an HND and my parents were poor and I got a non payback grant from the government to study. Most of my mates were the same. Society benefits-whats not to like?
The Welshman
21st Feb 2018
2
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Student fees were introduced in 1998 under the then Labour government.
Lionel
21st Feb 2018
0
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What did you get your HND in Wilf?

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