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Welfare Reform on the Web (October 2010): Education - UK - higher

20 reasons why a graduate tax is a bad idea

M. Harris

Institute of Directors, 2010

This report argues that the introduction of a graduate tax to fund higher education would penalise the brightest students while rewarding dropouts and those who take easier courses. It would also create a brain drain by encouraging the brightest students to work overseas, and place new financial burdens on UK employers as graduates demanded higher salaries to compensate. It could also act as a dampener on career development and progression.


British universities suffer in overhaul of world rankings

G. Paton

Daily Telegraph, Sept. 16th 2010, p.8

The respected rankings published by the Times Higher Education magazine placed just five British universities among the top 50 in the world in 2010. It is suggested that previous global league tables had inflated Britain's performance as they placed more emphasis on reputation and heritage. Experts said that Britain could fall further in the rankings as a result of coalition government plans to cut investment in higher education by up to a third.

CBI chief warns that severity of cuts in public spending could force mergers of universities

R. Garner

The Independent, Sept. 6th 2010, p. 18

Business leaders have voiced their concern over the level of public spending cuts facing Britain's universities, warning that some universities will find it difficult to 'pull through' as a result of the scale of the cuts.

(See also The Guardian, Sept. 6th 2010, p. 4)

Crackdown on student visas as 130,000 migrants arrive with no university place

F. Gibb

The Times, Sept. 6th 2010, p.7

Research shows that more than 100,000 foreign students are gaining entry visas to the UK while not being registered at universities. Many of these students are taking places at private FE colleges and language schools, which have already been highlighted as gateways for immigration.

(See also The Guardian, Sept. 6th 2010, p.5)

English universities on course to become the most expensive in world

R. Garner

The Independent, Oct. 1st 2010, p. 23

Students in England will be paying more for a public university degree course than those anywhere else in the world if tuition fees are to raise to 5,000 a year, research published by the OECD has revealed. The inquiry into students' finances headed by Lord Browne is expected to recommend moving towards a market in tuition fees, which would mean doubling the current levy to 7,000 a year.

(See also The Independent, Oct. 4th 2010, p. 20)

Have bursaries influenced choices between universities?

M. Corver

Office for Fair Access, 2010

This report concludes that more than 300m spent on student bursaries is failing to attract teenagers from deprived backgrounds to leading universities. There has been an overall increase in the number of poor students entering higher education, but not at the elite universities which offer the largest bursaries. In the mid-1990s, some 3.3% of poor students were admitted to such institutions, but this fell to 3.2% in 2009 despite the introduction of bursaries. It is recommended that universities divert some of the cash spent on bursaries to outreach projects.


New universities to be privately run

H. Watt

Daily Telegraph, Sept. 20th 2010, p. 2

The coalition government plans a new wave of privately run universities in an attempt to cut costs and put pressure on traditional higher education institutions to improve the quality of their teaching. Several American companies are in talks with ministers about offering degrees.

Scientists quit Britain in new brain drain

J. Vasagar

The Guardiam, Oct. 1st 2010, p. 1

Britain is facing a brain drain according to a Guardian investigation, as scientists abandon the country to take better funded jobs abroad. Meanwhile the heads of several top universities warn that proposed government cuts to Britain science budget threaten 'an insidious grinding down of the UK research community'.

(See also The Guardian, Oct. 1st 2010, p. 14)

Tuition fees must rise, says Willetts

G. Paton

Daily Telegraph, Sept. 10th 2010, p. 8

David Willetts, the universities minister, has announced that the coalition government has ruled out the imposition of a graduate tax that could drive top students to work abroad. Instead, the government is investigating a 'progressive' loans system, under which the highest earning graduates would pay the most back. Under this system tuition fees would rise and graduates with the highest salaries could face higher charges on loan repayments than those on lower incomes.

(See also The Independent, Sept. 10th 2010, p. 25; The Times, Sept.10th 2010, p.18; The Guardian, Sept. 10th 2010, p. 1)

University students may see fees rise to 7,000

G. Hurst

The Times, Sept. 7th 2010, p. 6 & 7

The review of student funding by Lord Browne of Madingley is expected to favour an increase in tuition fees above a system of graduate taxes. The graduate tax system proposed by Vince Cable included measures to ensure that better paid graduates would contribute more after university than those earning less. Vice-chancellors say that they will need to raise fees to 6,000 or 7,000 to deliver competition.

US universities target British students

G. Paton

Daily Telegraph, Sept. 22nd 2010, p. 1

Almost 130 American universities are preparing to market their courses in Britain amid rising demand for places in the economic downturn. Students are said to be considering studying in the US because of concerns that there will be intense competition for places at UK universities in 2011. In some cases they are being tempted by generous bursaries and scholarships not available in the UK.

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