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 Grayling's university 
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anaconda wrote:
Tetenterre wrote:
Fia wrote:
In the days when far fewer, but more academically inclined were supported by the state, from whatever background if one was good enough one could study. It wasn't perfect, but the principle was far fairer.


{snip} When fewer people were at university but were being funded entirely via taxation, the actuality was that poorer people were effectively subsidising (via taxation) wealthier people to go to university. In my book, that stinks!
{snip}


That a twisted argument


No, it is a statement of fact, as was my statement that I'd bite off the hand (etc.). You may not like the fact that the education of the wealthy was paid for by the poor, but it doesn't stop it being a fact and it doesn't somehow make it a "twisted argument".

Quote:
- poorer people wouldnt have been taxed in the way you suggest if they'de had the chance to themselves attend university.


I prefer to work with the world that actually exists, not the world that I wish existed. In the real world, poorer people did not generally have that opportunity.

Quote:
The solution to the fact that fewer poor people attending university MEANT that the poor where funding the wealthy should be to try to make an equitable system.


Please explain what is inequitable about asking people to make a less-than-50% contribution to something that benefits them.

I note that you don't offer a costed alternative for funding H.E. -- so tell us, who do you think should pay for it?

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June 8th, 2011, 10:55 am
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Apologies about this form of reply, I couldnt get the quote mechanism to accept my replies to your individual points. I now seem to be quoting myself!!


It is indeed a fact that 'non uni classes pay for others', and is unfair but the key point is what lies beneath. The more significant issue is smart kids from poor backgrounds not getting the same chances. You seem to ignore this. The private funding policy of this new institution does nothing to redress this.

Quote:
- poorer people wouldnt have been taxed in the way you suggest if they'de had the chance to themselves attend university.


I prefer to work with the world that actually exists, not the world that I wish existed. In the real world, poorer people did not generally have that opportunity.


But why should this persist!! Are you suggesting we should stick (or go back to) higher education solely for the middle and upper classes? The problem isnt who pays the taxes but who gets the education. The only reasonable response to the working class paying for others higher education is to provide a decent education and higher entrance rates for smart kids from these backgrounds.

Quote:
The solution to the fact that fewer poor people attending university MEANT that the poor where funding the wealthy should be to try to make an equitable system.


Please explain what is inequitable about asking people to make a less-than-50% contribution to something that benefits them.

The inequality I refer to is the traditional failure to take students from poorer backgrounds, I agree with some form of self financing

I note that you don't offer a costed alternative for funding H.E. -- so tell us, who do you think should pay for it?[/quote][/quote]

We can agree on the point of self financing, but its rotten at the moment due to multitudes of students with poor quality degrees, without jobs whose debt just grows and grows. There was a broad assumtion amongst many that this debt would freeze if a student didnt have the means to pay. It doesnt and this hits young people when they can least afford it.

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June 8th, 2011, 1:32 pm
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I'm finding it very difficult to see the wood from the trees here: it was covered a lot in the press and I'm not sure what Grayling has actually claimed and what has subsequently been invented by journos as a headline-grabbing distortion/assumption/speculation. We all love to knock down the famous, but what has Grayling actually said and what are the facts?

There seems to be several (distinct?) issues:

the £18,000 fees
who the day-to-day lecturers are?
how many hours the big names will be lecturing?
was the syllabus plagiarised?
what's the relationship with the UoL?
what do the students get out of it?

Have I missed anything?

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June 8th, 2011, 2:17 pm
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Lots to say, but having to have a think first.

In the meantime anaconda wrote:
Quote:
but its rotten at the moment due to multitudes of students with poor quality degrees, without jobs whose debt just grows and grows. There was a broad assumtion amongst many that this debt would freeze if a student didnt have the means to pay. It doesnt and this hits young people when they can least afford it.


Agree about poor degrees and too few jobs.

But under the new provisions the student does not pay a bean until s/he is earning over £21,000 pa, and then it is on a sliding scale. Any debt not repaid by age 50 is written off. So it is completely wrong to say it hits young people when they can least afford it. In fact, it is precisely the reverse. :)

X-posted with AlanH


June 8th, 2011, 2:25 pm
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Another aspect of the current situation affects the mature student.

I got a place at age 60 in the last year of free courses. I did ask what the situation would be after the freebie deadline - I was told that there would be a maximum age chosen (can't remember what) after which no loans would be given. Basically because they would never be paid back.

So, the age of the geriatric undergrad is, unless they have their own funding, if effectively over. One of the profs said that this was actually a bad things because a smattering of more mature attitude and thought, the spreading of personal experience, was beneficial to the younger course members.

This only worked for me when we did "Bleak House" and I could describe just what a London "pea-souper" was like, having experienced them. Or what it was to have to bathe in a tin bath in front of an open fire.

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June 8th, 2011, 4:15 pm
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anaconda wrote:
Apologies about this form of reply, I couldnt get the quote mechanism to accept my replies to your individual points. I now seem to be quoting myself!!


I'll tidy it up in this post if it needs it.

Quote:
It is indeed a fact that 'non uni classes pay for others', and is unfair but the key point is what lies beneath. The more significant issue is smart kids from poor backgrounds not getting the same chances. You seem to ignore this. The private funding policy of this new institution does nothing to redress this.


So many ruddy proto-kippers! That may well be a "more significant issue", but it was not one that I was addressing. I was addressing only the assertion made by Fia that the previous funding model was fairer. I'm surprised that this wasn't obvious by my trimming of quoted material when I made my initial comment on this!

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
- poorer people wouldnt have been taxed in the way you suggest if they'de had the chance to themselves attend university.

I prefer to work with the world that actually exists, not the world that I wish existed. In the real world, poorer people did not generally have that opportunity.

But why should this persist!!


I did not assert that it should persist. Again, I was addressing Fia's point that the previous funding model was fairer (to the poor).

Quote:
Are you suggesting we should stick (or go back to) higher education solely for the middle and upper classes?


No, I did not suggest that.

Quote:
The problem isnt who pays the taxes but who gets the education.


I disagree. They are both significant issues.

Quote:
The only reasonable response to the working class paying for others higher education is to provide a decent education and higher entrance rates for smart kids from these backgrounds.


False dichotomy alert: it may be a reasonable response (I don't think it is), but it is certainly not the only reasonable response. The provision of decent education for kids from a poor background should in no way be related to disproportionate tax burdens for higher education; it is an entirely distinct issue. Another reasonable response would be to shift the burden of payment from the poor to the wealthy; yet another would be to shift the burden of payment from the poor to those who benefit, when they can afford it. In fact, both of these are what is happening now; the first is happening because the bulk of HE funding still comes from taxation; the second is the fees system.

I was once a 'smart kid from "these" (you can say poor if you want!) backgrounds', so I have a bit of a clue what I'm talking about. I had to wait until my late 20s before I could afford to put myself through higher education, and I had to keep earning while I was studying. My two younger children did (actually, the youngest is still doing) the same.

Quote:
Quote:
I note that you don't offer a costed alternative for funding H.E. -- so tell us, who do you think should pay for it?

We can agree on the point of self financing, but its rotten at the moment due to multitudes of students with poor quality degrees, without jobs whose debt just grows and grows. There was a broad assumtion amongst many that this debt would freeze if a student didnt have the means to pay. It doesnt and this hits young people when they can least afford it.


Your latter point has already been adequately addressed by Nick, but I would just add that, had this fees system been around when I went to university, because I have always chosen to work in poorly-paid "socially useful" (in my opinion, of course) jobs, assuming reverse index-linking of the repayment threshold,I would never have earned sufficient to have had to pay anything back. Now, in my 60s, I'd be student-debt-free.

The poor quality degrees is a different issue. I confess that I don't have a lot of sympathy for people who choose to do "nothing" degrees.

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June 8th, 2011, 4:29 pm
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Alan H wrote:
I'm finding it very difficult to see the wood from the trees here: it was covered a lot in the press and I'm not sure what Grayling has actually claimed and what has subsequently been invented by journos as a headline-grabbing distortion/assumption/speculation.
Yes. I've been trying to find the original press release announcing the college, but failing.
Alan H wrote:
We all love to knock down the famous ...
Do we? Is that what's going on here? Surely not, not when the main famous person concerned is A.C. Grayling, who is someone I think a lot of us have (or at least had) a lot of respect for.
Alan H wrote:
... but what has Grayling actually said and what are the facts?
Just on the one issue I was focusing on, my understanding is that the use of the term "university" is down entirely to journalists and other commentators, but the use of the term "university college" is at least partly down to the college. Not necessarily Grayling himself, though; it might have been Charles Watson, the NCH Chairman, who was responsible for that. According to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the college has not yet applied for university college status. A statement from the college (quoted by the BBC) said: "We have been advised that we may legally describe ourselves as a new independent university college, and will be working with the department to ensure that we comply with their particular guidelines on this before next autumn." I haven't managed to find out what these guidelines are yet, and I'm afraid I'd just got my information from Wikipedia, which says:
Quote:
In the United Kingdom, the term university college is used to denote an institution that teaches degree programmes normally within a specialist field, and may carry out research but is normally teaching-focused. All university colleges must have independent taught degree awarding powers (though some still choose to have their degrees awarded by other institutions). Like "University", the title "University" used in conjunction with "College" is legally protected, and its use requires government approval. Many university colleges became universities in September 2005 with others seeking to gain the status within the following years. The UK's first private proprietary University College is BPP University College of Professional Studies."
(Incidentally, BPP's BSc degree courses in business studies cost £9,675 for home students, and a whopping £19,500 for international students. But presumably they don't offer one-to-one tuition, which is the most significant thing in NCH's favour, I think.)
Alan H wrote:
Have I missed anything?
Have you been following the comments on the Richard Dawkins Foundation website?
Richard Dawkins wrote:
This is the brainchild of A C Grayling, NOT me. I have no idea why the BBC chose to use my face. Professor Grayling invited me to join the professoriate and give some lectures. I accepted the invitation, partly because I liked the idea of lecturing to non-scientists after reaching Oxford's compulsory retiring age, partly out of respect for A C Grayling, and partly out of respect for the other professors from around the world who had already agreed to lecture, and whom I felt honoured to be invited to join.
Richard Dawkins wrote:
I would be grateful if people would stop crediting me with the invention of this college, simply because, for reasons that are incomprehensible to me, the BBC chose to use my picture. I am merely one of 13 other professors who have accepted his invitation to take part.
Richard Dawkins wrote:
I agreed to do this because

I admire AC Grayling and what he stands for
I admire many of the other professors who had agreed to join
As an undergraduate, I believe the Oxford 1:1 tutorial system was the making of me, and I love the idea of others benefiting from it, at a time when even at Oxford and Cambridge there is talk of watering it down.
I love the idea of teaching science to students whose degree is not in science.
The financial inducement was attractive, and I saw it, like all my lecturing fees nowadays, as a good way to make money for my charitable foundation.
The 'elitism' charge simply never occurred to me. If it had, I probably would still have gone ahead and signed up, because I had not been impressed with the Blairite vision of university education. I want to lecture to students who are there because they really really want to hear what I have to say, not students who are there simply because university is what you do after you leave school. I want to inspire students to love my subject, not shovel in whatever they need to pass an exam.

I have been upset by the way news media have used my name as though I was playing some sort of leadership role, whereas I simply responded favourably to an invitation from my friend Anthony Grayling. The Guardian web article was actually headed, Richard Dawkins heads line-up at private £18,000-a-year university, which is an outrage. In no sense whatsoever do I head any line-up. As usual, the headline bears no relation to the article itself, and probably annoys the author as much as it annoys me.
Art Vandelay wrote:
To be fair Richard, The college website does have you down as one of the college founders, which does seem to imply some sort of leadership role. If the press is wrong, then the website is surely misleading.
Richard Dawkins wrote:
It took me a while, but I eventually found the college website, here (I have now added it at the top of the page). I cannot find where it says I am one of the founders. I am listed as one of 14 professors. Am I looking in the wrong place?
mmurray wrote:
Richard on the top right hand corner of the home page is a little spiel saying
Quote:
New College of the Humanities is a new concept in university education. It offers education in excellence and an outstanding academic environment in the heart of London. The College was founded by 14 of the world's top academics
That last sentence is a link going to the people page.
Dawkins hasn't yet responded to this, and the sentence in question is still there on the website (at 5pm on Wednesday).

Emma


June 8th, 2011, 5:07 pm
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Tetenterre

You seem to split my comments, then reply to points which are thus presented out of context. I cant really deal with that as it distorts the debate. eg of course they are both important points (ref above) but your reply suggest a misunderstanding (poss poor explanation on my part). I dont know why you feel an emphasis on improving educational standards in disadvantagfes areas is not a reasobable response to low HE entrance rates from working class areas, its certainly better than lumping in a load of dodgy degrees which was the easy option for the govt. Also my comments on this did not relate directly to taxation so im not sure where you are with that.

Noone here has adequately 'dealt with' the poor self funding process. Particularly in dealing with loading more debt on the poorest irrsepective of whether they get a job or not - and I've used the word 'poor several timjes, so dont need further invitation.


I like your alternatives regarding taxation, my point was again to hightlight the need to address inequality in HE rather than to ignore the tax burden question.

If youve earned under 15k per annum (??I think thats the repayment starting point)all your adult life then you wouldnt have paid a thing back. However if you were a more recent graduate earning more after a period of low income/unemployment you would be penalised. This (ironically I suppose) is putting off many people from entering higher education.

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June 8th, 2011, 5:50 pm
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Emma Woolgatherer wrote:
Alan H wrote:
We all love to knock down the famous ...
Do we? Is that what's going on here? Surely not, not when the main famous person concerned is A.C. Grayling, who is someone I think a lot of us have (or at least had) a lot of respect for.
Tongue in cheek, referring to the media...

Quote:
Alan H wrote:
... but what has Grayling actually said and what are the facts?
Just on the one issue I was focusing on, my understanding is that the use of the term "university" is down entirely to journalists and other commentators, but the use of the term "university college" is at least partly down to the college. Not necessarily Grayling himself, though; it might have been Charles Watson, the NCH Chairman, who was responsible for that. According to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the college has not yet applied for university college status. A statement from the college (quoted by the BBC) said: "We have been advised that we may legally describe ourselves as a new independent university college, and will be working with the department to ensure that we comply with their particular guidelines on this before next autumn." I haven't managed to find out what these guidelines are yet, and I'm afraid I'd just got my information from Wikipedia, which says:
Quote:
In the United Kingdom, the term university college is used to denote an institution that teaches degree programmes normally within a specialist field, and may carry out research but is normally teaching-focused. All university colleges must have independent taught degree awarding powers (though some still choose to have their degrees awarded by other institutions). Like "University", the title "University" used in conjunction with "College" is legally protected, and its use requires government approval. Many university colleges became universities in September 2005 with others seeking to gain the status within the following years. The UK's first private proprietary University College is BPP University College of Professional Studies."
I'm sure in the public's eye, it is a University and they will not see the distinction.

Quote:
(Incidentally, BPP's BSc degree courses in business studies cost £9,675 for home students, and a whopping £19,500 for international students. But presumably they don't offer one-to-one tuition, which is the most significant thing in NCH's favour, I think.)

As an aside, BPP also own and run the McTimoney College of Chiropractic.

Quote:
Alan H wrote:
Have I missed anything?
Have you been following the comments on the Richard Dawkins Foundation website?
No, I hadn't been aware of it - I'll try to read later.

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June 8th, 2011, 6:11 pm
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anaconda wrote:
Tetenterre

You seem to split my comments, then reply to points which are thus presented out of context.


I split them so that it's clear to which I am responding. I am not doing anything out of context as I am not doing anything to your posts, which are here exactly as you wrote them.

Quote:
I dont know why you feel an emphasis on improving educational standards in disadvantagfes areas is not a reasobable response to low HE entrance rates from working class areas,


I did not assert that. Look, I am essentially a simple person -- if I want to say something, I will normally say it directly, so please don't attribute things to me unless I have stated them.

Quote:
its certainly better than lumping in a load of dodgy degrees which was the easy option for the govt.


If you read and understand what I have written, you will see that I have nowhere supported the introduction of"dodgy degrees" -- quite the opposite, in fact.

Quote:
Also my comments on this did not relate directly to taxation so im not sure where you are with that.


{SIGH} Your second post in this thread was in response to one of mine, and you quoted what I had written about taxation. Why quote it if it is not what you are discussing? Do you actually read what you reply to?

Quote:
However if you were a more recent graduate earning more after a period of low income/unemployment you would be penalised.


You are required to honour your agreement to repay a small proportion of the cost of the education that enabled you to be "earning more"; exactly how is that a penalty?

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June 8th, 2011, 6:29 pm
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Tetenterre wrote:
anaconda wrote:
Tetenterre


Quote:
I dont know why you feel an emphasis on improving educational standards in disadvantagfes areas is not a reasobable response to low HE entrance rates from working class areas,


I did not assert that. Look, I am essentially a simple person -- if I want to say something, I will normally say it directly, so please don't attribute things to me unless I have stated them.



You said above 'i dont think it is' ref my suggestion to this being a reasonable response. You perhaps should re read your own statements.




Quote:
its certainly better than lumping in a load of dodgy degrees which was the easy option for the govt.


If you read and understand what I have written, you will see that I have nowhere supported the introduction of"dodgy degrees" -- quite the opposite, in fact.


I didnt say you did, which is why I referred to govt!



Quote:
Also my comments on this did not relate directly to taxation so im not sure where you are with that.


{SIGH} Your second post in this thread was in response to one of mine, and you quoted what I had written about taxation. Why quote it if it is not what you are discussing? Do you actually read what you reply to?



I do which is why, again, I told you you had related taxation to HR in a way I didnt refer to. Your silly comment here doesnt help





Quote:
However if you were a more recent graduate earning more after a period of low income/unemployment you would be penalised.


You are required to honour your agreement to repay a small proportion of the cost of the education that enabled you to be "earning more"; exactly how is that a penalty?



Again you misunderstand, or chose to ignore the point. Given that noone has ever paid for the entire cost of their education your point here is disengenuous. Ive repeatedly said that if you finish with debt (often 15K or more) then this grows regardlesss of whether or not you get a job. Thats the point im making, tha tsituation many find themselves in which has never happened before. It has nothing to do with the overall cost, a proportion of which which has always been paid by govt.

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June 8th, 2011, 7:04 pm
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Nick wrote:
Lots to say, but having to have a think first.

In the meantime anaconda wrote:
Quote:
but its rotten at the moment due to multitudes of students with poor quality degrees, without jobs whose debt just grows and grows. There was a broad assumtion amongst many that this debt would freeze if a student didnt have the means to pay. It doesnt and this hits young people when they can least afford it.


Agree about poor degrees and too few jobs.

But under the new provisions the student does not pay a bean until s/he is earning over £21,000 pa, and then it is on a sliding scale. Any debt not repaid by age 50 is written off. So it is completely wrong to say it hits young people when they can least afford it. In fact, it is precisely the reverse. :)

X-posted with AlanH


Im aware of this (although didnt know the threshold had changed) which is why I tried to be specific. The debt actually grows even when students cant/dont pay for it, which is often in the period following graduation. That puts extra financial pressure on students. As far as im concerned (and my middle daughter who finds herself in this situation!) that represents an extra burden on those less able to deal with it.

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June 8th, 2011, 7:24 pm
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anaconda wrote:
Nick wrote:
But under the new provisions the student does not pay a bean until s/he is earning over £21,000 pa, and then it is on a sliding scale. Any debt not repaid by age 50 is written off. So it is completely wrong to say it hits young people when they can least afford it. In fact, it is precisely the reverse. :)


Im aware of this (although didnt know the threshold had changed) which is why I tried to be specific. The debt actually grows even when students cant/dont pay for it, which is often in the period following graduation. That puts extra financial pressure on students. As far as im concerned (and my middle daughter who finds herself in this situation!) that represents an extra burden on those less able to deal with it.
The threshold was changed from £15,000 to £21,000 by the Coalition. Thus freeing the poorest students from payuing anything. Didn't hear that on the demo's though...

Sorry, anaconda, but you continue to be wrong. It is pretty ridiculous to think of it as a debt at all, as repayments depend on post- graduation income. No income, no repayment. Income rises, repayment rises. The problem with debt is when your income is interrupted. In this case, if that happens, your repayments stop. Your daughter will only have to deal with the amount her income allows her to deal with. The alternative? They just take the money off your daughter as tax. Or alternatively off those you haven't got a degree. There's no such thing as a free lunch, let alone free degrees. (There's a joke there, somewhere.... :wink: )

If this measure stop useless degrees, it will be an extra benefit.


June 8th, 2011, 11:11 pm
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Nick wrote:
It is pretty ridiculous to think of it as a debt at all, as repayments depend on post- graduation income.
Is there some special meaning of the word 'debt' that eludes the general public? Surely a debt is money owed, regardless of the repayment terms? And the student loan is money owed, isn't it? I did hear a Tory minister many months ago try to claim that this wasn't a debt because it wouldn't count against you in your credit rating. However, just like any other kind of debt, it is money that has to be paid back.

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June 8th, 2011, 11:34 pm
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Alan H wrote:
Nick wrote:
It is pretty ridiculous to think of it as a debt at all, as repayments depend on post- graduation income.
Is there some special meaning of the word 'debt' that eludes the general public? Surely a debt is money owed, regardless of the repayment terms? And the student loan is money owed, isn't it? I did hear a Tory minister many months ago try to claim that this wasn't a debt because it wouldn't count against you in your credit rating. However, just like any other kind of debt, it is money that has to be paid back.
Except that the so called "debt" is not an amount of money owed, but a scale to determine a future monthly deduction dependent on your income. The Tory minister is quite right. When assessing mortgage eligibility, it will be the monthly payments which will be deducted from your income when assessing your ability to pay, not the size of the student "debt". And as there is zero interest in real terms, you'd be bonkers to pay it off. And I was wrong about the balance being written off at 50. It's actually after 25 years or 50 if earlier- better still. If the likelihood is that a proportion of the "debt" will never be repaid, it's not exactly a "debt" is it? This includes low income, career break, sickness, death. Nah. Not like any debt I've ever heard of.

I'll try to dig out some figures if I can find them....

Not that this is the important part of this thread...


June 9th, 2011, 12:07 am
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Nick wrote:
Except that the so called "debt" is not an amount of money owed, but a scale to determine a future monthly deduction dependent on your income.
Student debt is an amount of money owed and I understand that the Government do expect the majority to be able to repay the complete debt. There certainly are some conditions where you can stop payments if your income is below £21,000 and I think any outstanding balance is written off after age 50, but why should the repayment terms make it not a debt?

Quote:
The Tory minister is quite right. When assessing mortgage eligibility, it will be the monthly payments which will be deducted from your income when assessing your ability to pay, not the size of the student "debt". If the likelihood is that a proportion of the "debt" will never be repaid, it's not exactly a "debt" is it?
If I am obliged to pay monthly instalments up to an amount related to the initial size of the loan, why on earth is that not a debt exactly like any other debt, whether a bank loan or a mortgage?

ETA: An interesting article: Graduates 'could pay back double their student loans with numbers!

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June 9th, 2011, 12:27 am
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Alan H wrote:
Nick wrote:
Except that the so called "debt" is not an amount of money owed, but a scale to determine a future monthly deduction dependent on your income.
Student debt is an amount of money owed and I understand that the Government do expect the majority to be able to repay the complete debt. There certainly are some conditions where you can stop payments if your income is below £21,000 and I think any outstanding balance is written off after age 50, but why should the repayment terms make it not a debt?
As I've tried to explain, it's more like a tax. Which is a thought..... Given that the taxpayer is still contributing to the cost of the degree. Hmmm...Maybe it's not actually worth the money.... The trouble with leftie solutions, is that, sooner or later, you start to run out of other people's money.

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The Tory minister is quite right. When assessing mortgage eligibility, it will be the monthly payments which will be deducted from your income when assessing your ability to pay, not the size of the student "debt". If the likelihood is that a proportion of the "debt" will never be repaid, it's not exactly a "debt" is it?
If I am obliged to pay monthly instalments up to an amount related to the initial size of the loan, why on earth is that not a debt exactly like any other debt, whether a bank loan or a mortgage?
What bank loan or mortgage do you know that is that cheap, and which they wont ask you to repay if you can't afford it?

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ETA: An interesting article: Graduates 'could pay back double their student loans with numbers!
I should think so too! Inflation over 30 years? Salaries are roughly ten times what they were 30 years ago! The true cost is roughly the same as the cost of a Costa coffee and a copy of the Guardian per day.


But as I say, there are more interesting things to discuss in this thread...


June 9th, 2011, 1:00 am
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I'll try to respond to some of the points made here today. First this one:

anaconda wrote:
It will indeed be the brightest with deepest pockets who gain entry. That alone is enough to get me irritated by this. Whether or not this provides more places in 'proper unis' is a separate issue. To get into this institution you need to pay a higher rate. That, irrrespective of anything else, on its own, is a problem because it will deter poorer students and reduce their choice. Im not suggesting its wrong, I just dont like it.

Given that Grayling’s ostensible mission is the creation of more university places, it is not a separate issue – it is THE issue whereas, the supposed reduction of choice for poorer students (and your dislike of and irritation at same), is not an issue at all, unless you can explain how creating a new university that poorer students can’t afford to go to and which will exist in addition to (not instead of) ones that they can go to, reduces their choice. I argued that creaming off some of the richest students into a private uni should free up some places at the rest of them. It follows that there will therefore be more choice for poorer students than there would otherwise have been. What is your reasoning for suggesting the opposite will happen?

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As mentioned above there are surely ways to charge this higher rate and in doing so not exclude sections of society.

You think so? Coming up with a way of charging a higher rate without excluding those who can’t afford to pay it doesn’t sound like the easiest of tasks. Much easier just to criticise them for not doing it – unless you have a better idea than having the scholarships and free places that Grayling promises?

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If I thought for a second that this was about easing strain on the public purse Id applaud it....Yes I agree re dumbing down , but equally given that there is nil evidence to suggest that middle classes are intrinsically brainier/more able than working classes it is criminal that so much potential academic talent has been wasted. The more significant issue is smart kids from poor backgrounds not getting the same chances. You seem to ignore this. The private funding policy of this new institution does nothing to redress this.

But you don’t applaud it because the students who will benefit will be mostly those with rich parents? It is indeed criminal when academic talent is wasted but Grayling is not the criminal here – he’s trying to do something positive about it. You seem to think he can do more than what he’s already doing but haven’t offered a single suggestion as to how he might achieve that utopian goal of making his product available to anyone who wants it.

The bottom line is, is it better to have this initiative than not have it because it can't be everything we'd like it to be? I'm still not convinced that it's a misguided initiative.


June 9th, 2011, 8:22 am
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@anaconda: Please can you stop mangling the quoting -- it makes it exceptionally difficult to follow your posts. Thank you.

anaconda wrote:
I do which is why, again, I told you you had related taxation to HR in a way I didnt refer to. Your silly comment here doesnt help


1. Please stop making things up! Nowhere have I related taxation to HR; please stop pretending that I have.
2. The only silly comment here is your one on Human Resources.

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However if you were a more recent graduate earning more after a period of low income/unemployment you would be penalised.


You are required to honour your agreement to repay a small proportion of the cost of the education that enabled you to be "earning more"; exactly how is that a penalty?


Again you misunderstand, or chose to ignore the point.


No, I do not misunderstand and I am not ignoring it. However, you still have not justified your use of "penalised".

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Given that noone has ever paid for the entire cost of their education your point here is disengenuous
.

1. Please stop misrepresenting something as "disengenuous" (sic) merely because you don't like it. It might be more fruitful if you tried addressing the question instead.
2. Your statement that "noone has ever paid for the entire cost of their education" is inane, given that most people start formal education when they are children with no income and, if it is paid for, the payment is usually made by their parents. If you meant "tertiary education", your assertion is blatantly false -- how many counter-examples do you need?
3. Even if it were true, it is irrelevant: just because something has never happened before, that is no reason (logical or moral or...) that it must never happen. If human beings behaved in that way, we'd still be living in caves, wearing pelts and communicating by going "Ug" or belting each other over the heads with asses' jawbones.

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Ive repeatedly said that if you finish with debt (often 15K or more) then this grows regardlesss of whether or not you get a job. Thats the point im making, tha tsituation many find themselves in which has never happened before.


Just because it hasn't happened before, that doesn't make it a penalty. See also the asses' jawbones point.

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It has nothing to do with the overall cost, a proportion of which which has always been paid by govt.


It has everything to do with the overall cost -- it is not paid for by government, it is paid by all of us who pay taxes. Where did you think government gets its money from?

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June 9th, 2011, 8:52 am
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Athena wrote:
I'll try to respond to some of the points made here today. First this one:

anaconda wrote:
It will indeed be the brightest with deepest pockets who gain entry. That alone is enough to get me irritated by this. Whether or not this provides more places in 'proper unis' is a separate issue. To get into this institution you need to pay a higher rate. That, irrrespective of anything else, on its own, is a problem because it will deter poorer students and reduce their choice. Im not suggesting its wrong, I just dont like it.

Given that Grayling’s ostensible mission is the creation of more university places, it is not a separate issue – it is THE issue whereas, the supposed reduction of choice for poorer students (and your dislike of and irritation at same), is not an issue at all, unless you can explain how creating a new university that poorer students can’t afford to go to and which will exist in addition to (not instead of) ones that they can go to, reduces their choice. I argued that creaming off some of the richest students into a private uni should free up some places at the rest of them. It follows that there will therefore be more choice for poorer students than there would otherwise have been. What is your reasoning for suggesting the opposite will happen?


Quote:
If I thought for a second that this was about easing strain on the public purse Id applaud it....Yes I agree re dumbing down , but equally given that there is nil evidence to suggest that middle classes are intrinsically brainier/more able than working classes it is criminal that so much potential academic talent has been wasted. The more significant issue is smart kids from poor backgrounds not getting the same chances. You seem to ignore this. The private funding policy of this new institution does nothing to redress this.


But you don’t applaud it because the students who will benefit will be mostly those with rich parents? It is indeed criminal when academic talent is wasted but Grayling is not the criminal here – he’s trying to do something positive about it. You seem to think he can do more than what he’s already doing but haven’t offered a single suggestion as to how he might achieve that utopian goal of making his product available to anyone who wants it.



Literally speaking you are right - there will be more places elsewhere simply because there is a new HE institution. However this is the thin end of a potentially very divisive wedge. If we extend your point and say more of these institutions opened, we create a tier of colleges only accessible to the rich (no applause here!). I feel uncomfortable about that and it doesnt seem to me to be an acceptable way of dealing with the financial problems experienced by HE. I strongly support private sector involvement, and why not have closer ties with sponsorships, advertising etc, but again this tier of colleges over time would naturally be very attractive to potential sponsors etc , probably to the detriment of other institutions

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June 9th, 2011, 10:25 am
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