Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Few Words on Browne

I thought I'd say a few words on the Browne review out today. One of the first things to say is that educating people to the degree we do is not necessarily useful for the economy. Employers look for a level education when recruiting, the increased number of graduates has simply meant that degree education has replaced A-Level education and Masters/PHD has replaced the degree requirement. This is not to say that we shouldn't educate the numbers of students we do, it's just that we should be clear that the economic benefits of doing so are limited.

The previous argument is important because the Browne review proposes an increase in tutition fees paid for by a loan. The big problem here is that since a university education is no longer a guarantee of a good job, those not lucky enough to get well paid jobs will still have the debt obligation hanging over their heads.

It's the unfairness of this system that I object to, the idea that whether you end up at an investment bank or a call centre you still have the same debt and it's for this reason that I don't support the idea of tuition fees funded by a system of loans and prefer a graduate tax, we'll need to iron out some of the problems, but ultimately it's the fairer option.