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57 minutes ago, Alf Bentley said:

 

This is the saddest post in the history of Foxes Talk. How soon we are all forgotten.... :nono:

 

Of course, @Toddybad could always come back. ;)

Missed this is my twitter exuberance. Don't worry Alf. I promise after you've left foxestalk (long time away hopefully) I will keep the legend of brexit supporting tory Alf Bentley alive for (hopefully) many years to come! :ph34r:

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Decent article arguing that Starmer should reverse his & Corbyn's commitment to abolish tuition fees:  https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/sep/22/keir-starmer-has-to-abandon-corbyns-promise-on-student-fees

 

Given all the other priorities, particularly post-Covid, hard to see abolishing tuition fees as a good use of taxpayer funds - especially as it's quite regressive, mainly benefiting people from better-off families.

 

Completely reversing the policy and maintaining existing fees could be a hard sell politically, though, both to the younger electorate and to Labour Party membership.

 

Maybe a policy to reduce but not abolish tuition fees, but to restore means-tested maintenance grants & increase spending in other youth-friendly areas (affordable housing, apprenticeships, employment/business start-ups)? 

 

I think there's also a case for Labour abandoning its commitment to the triple lock on pensions....while coming up with fairer, better uses of taxpayers' money.

Politics is all about priorities - and being prepared to take tough decisions also improves your electoral credibility (even if it disappoints some), as well as being economically essential if you get into power.

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2 hours ago, Alf Bentley said:

Decent article arguing that Starmer should reverse his & Corbyn's commitment to abolish tuition fees:  https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/sep/22/keir-starmer-has-to-abandon-corbyns-promise-on-student-fees

 

Given all the other priorities, particularly post-Covid, hard to see abolishing tuition fees as a good use of taxpayer funds - especially as it's quite regressive, mainly benefiting people from better-off families.

 

Completely reversing the policy and maintaining existing fees could be a hard sell politically, though, both to the younger electorate and to Labour Party membership.

 

Maybe a policy to reduce but not abolish tuition fees, but to restore means-tested maintenance grants & increase spending in other youth-friendly areas (affordable housing, apprenticeships, employment/business start-ups)? 

 

I think there's also a case for Labour abandoning its commitment to the triple lock on pensions....while coming up with fairer, better uses of taxpayers' money.

Politics is all about priorities - and being prepared to take tough decisions also improves your electoral credibility (even if it disappoints some), as well as being economically essential if you get into power.

I still cannot understand the fuss about tuition fees.  

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3 hours ago, Innovindil said:

 

This was the lefties tweet picked out by BBC for starmers conference. Some of the replies to this. Jesus. 

 

No wonder they got slapped at the last election. Starmer makes some decent points, trying to reach the voters he's lost, while dodging the problems of the day like he should, no point not letting the tories hang themselves after all and all he gets is "not muh Labour" from people who never should have been involved with the Labour Party in the first place. 

 

:nigel:

 

 

I do have some sympathy for those pushing back against this in that if you accept your opponents framing of things, use their language and repeat their messaging, it has the potential to strengthen your opponent. It's early days and Starmer's having to repair great reputational damage in this sphere so I get why he's doing it, but Ed Miliband fell into this trap with austerity in 2015 and it just didn't work. For a speech that was meant to be about a refresh, change, and looking forward, it did an awful lot of looking back. Maybe this time around having a message closer to the Conservatives whilst playing the competence card could work.

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33 minutes ago, Jon the Hat said:

I still cannot understand the fuss about tuition fees.  

 

I can understand a bit.....

- Although those who get megabucks jobs won't notice the repayments and those who end up in low-paid jobs won't pay at all, those who expect to end up earning £30k or so will notice them, given the cost of mortgages & the rest

- A lot of young people probably just think in terms of the gross debt (£30k or whatever), which will seem a lot when you're not used to earning....instead of thinking of likely repayment sums (or non-repayment if on low income)

- It's partly driven by parents, many of whom will have gone to uni themselves without paying fees and receiving a maintenance grant.....at a time when a much smaller proportion went to uni

 

I'm not even sure it's feasible to abolish tuition fees AND have mass-access Higher Education. It would certainly only be possible by either cutting other spending areas or significantly increasing tax revenues (probably by raising tax quite widely).

That would be a hard sell electorally - and if it mainly benefits young people from well-off families, there's a moral argument that spending should be focused more on young people who need it more.

 

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2 hours ago, Alf Bentley said:

 

I can understand a bit.....

- Although those who get megabucks jobs won't notice the repayments and those who end up in low-paid jobs won't pay at all, those who expect to end up earning £30k or so will notice them, given the cost of mortgages & the rest

- A lot of young people probably just think in terms of the gross debt (£30k or whatever), which will seem a lot when you're not used to earning....instead of thinking of likely repayment sums (or non-repayment if on low income)

- It's partly driven by parents, many of whom will have gone to uni themselves without paying fees and receiving a maintenance grant.....at a time when a much smaller proportion went to uni

 

I'm not even sure it's feasible to abolish tuition fees AND have mass-access Higher Education. It would certainly only be possible by either cutting other spending areas or significantly increasing tax revenues (probably by raising tax quite widely).

That would be a hard sell electorally - and if it mainly benefits young people from well-off families, there's a moral argument that spending should be focused more on young people who need it more.

 

Agreed and I would add that we don’t need everyone to go to university. Further work needs to be done in generating meaningful apprenticeships.

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On 22/09/2020 at 14:22, Alf Bentley said:

 

I can understand a bit.....

- Although those who get megabucks jobs won't notice the repayments and those who end up in low-paid jobs won't pay at all, those who expect to end up earning £30k or so will notice them, given the cost of mortgages & the rest

- A lot of young people probably just think in terms of the gross debt (£30k or whatever), which will seem a lot when you're not used to earning....instead of thinking of likely repayment sums (or non-repayment if on low income)

- It's partly driven by parents, many of whom will have gone to uni themselves without paying fees and receiving a maintenance grant.....at a time when a much smaller proportion went to uni

 

I'm not even sure it's feasible to abolish tuition fees AND have mass-access Higher Education. It would certainly only be possible by either cutting other spending areas or significantly increasing tax revenues (probably by raising tax quite widely).

That would be a hard sell electorally - and if it mainly benefits young people from well-off families, there's a moral argument that spending should be focused more on young people who need it more.

 

It's an "easy" solution for me. 

 

University should be free for everyone IF you meet the required academic grades.... my step brother went to Uni having achieved one Grade D in his A levels, funnily enough, failed his first year, went back again the 2nd year, to do his 1st year again and failed again.  So he left Uni without a degree and £20k of debt. 

 

I went to Uni, having got 1 A and 2B's at A level. 

 

If we stopped people going who just didn't get the level of grades required, rather then giving paid access to people who ultimately, shouldn't be going in the first place, it would reduce the numbers and allow free places. 

 

Those that didn't make the grade Could still access a uni course by resitting their exams or alternatively doing something else with an apprenticeship. 

 

For me, University should be something that people have to have a certain level of intelligence or ability to access. 

Edited by Greg2607
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I don't know anything about politics. I'd never heard of most of the people we've put our faith in up until 6 months ago. But I'm not really convinced Boris will be that bothered if he loses the next election, let labour handle the next crisis and recovery. Probably won't even be leader by then. 

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9 hours ago, Sampson said:

I've said it before and I'll say it again - the problem with tuition fees in the UK is they're marketed incorrectly.

 

If they were called what they are, which is a graduate tax, no one would care about them. Or they'd even consider them the opposite and a pretty progressive policy of taxing the mostly middle classes who end up going to university and getting a good job through it than taxing those who have to go into work at 16/18 to support their family.

 

The problem is it's been marketed at this idea that you're creating a lot of debt against a person. When it is not debt in any practical terms at all - it doesn't affect your credit score or any mortgage or loan applications at all and you don't have to pay it until you start earning a decent amount anyway (may be wrong, but I think once you earn £26,000 a year you start paying something like £4 a month in student loans).

 

It's horrible because I remember my own son getting stressed about his student debt when he was at uni and when you're that age and have probably only worked retail jobs part-time at college I don't think it really registers how it isn't debt at all.

The major issue for me regarding student loans is the amount of interest gained on them. In terms of actual fees I'm in around £40k of debt, however that's expanded up to £55k in interest alone. At the moment and given I work within STEM, it's unlikely that I'm going to be paying it back in large amounts anytime soon. I agree with everything you said. I'm lucky that I knew what I wanted to do however I think we should start encouraging uni entry a few years later, at 21/22 you have a much better understanding of your direction than at 18. 

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On 27/09/2020 at 11:26, Lionator said:

The major issue for me regarding student loans is the amount of interest gained on them. In terms of actual fees I'm in around £40k of debt, however that's expanded up to £55k in interest alone. At the moment and given I work within STEM, it's unlikely that I'm going to be paying it back in large amounts anytime soon. I agree with everything you said. I'm lucky that I knew what I wanted to do however I think we should start encouraging uni entry a few years later, at 21/22 you have a much better understanding of your direction than at 18. 

Yeah the interest is a joke, and it was never explained to me just how much it gains each year (not that I remember anyway, I was sure we were told it was interest free). Like others have said that you'll never pay it off fully unless you're earning silly money (85k + or something), so it is what it is. I definitely regret going, really wish I hadn't and I'd be a lot better off financially each month, plus I didn't enjoy the experience at all too.

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The university fees debate is such a complex one. On the one hand ultimately most people go to university to be able to get a better job to earn more. Therefore asking the general public to contribute towards that seems wrong. However, on the other hand there are so many negative aspects about the increased tuition fees:

- Young people from poorer backgrounds feeling like HE is not an option for them because of the amount of debt involved (I feel better education on how the system works could help here)

- The marketisation of HE - basically universities now competing to get bums on seats, which has led to outrageously extravagant spending on buildings and facilities to make the outside package look as shiny and inviting as possible, when inside systems are falling apart because not enough of those fees is spent on teaching and learning. The government really need to get a grip on this.

- Cut in the cap on student places at different institutions, meaning that higher ranked universities are overrecruiting, and less well rated ones are becoming less and less viable as they don't have sufficient numbers to stay afloat. On the one hand it might not sound like such an issue in terms of 'survival of the fittest' but these institutions tend to be the local ones which first-generation university students attend.

 

My biggest issue personally though is with the outrageous amount of money that some universities charge for their halls of residence. There's such a move to luxury accommodation costing a fortune each week, that it is really restricting choice for students who can't rely on parents to help them. I had to be completely self sufficient when I went to university at 18, and looking at the costs now and the amount of loan available for living costs I don't think know if I would have been able to go. 

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