Daily Archives: October 12, 2010

Ian Mulheirn at the Social Market Foundation has done the maths on the distributional impact of the Browne review proposals. The startling graph is shown below — note that those in the middle of the income scale pay more than those at the high end. This is Browne’s Middle Class Hump.

The two stand out points are: Read more

One big test for any reform to higher education funding is whether students should be allowed to pay fees upfront. It exposes the political divide over how progressive the system should be. Here are the pros and cons:

Reasons for a ban: Allowing students to pay fees upfront is a rich kids charter. Those from wealthy families will be able to sidestep the burden of repayments placed on those from poor or middle income households. It will give the lucky a leg-up while giving the middle classes a sack of debt to carry. It will give a free pass to those without credit constraints while placing a tax on those who do. For all these reasons, it does not pass the political fairness test. Those who pay upfront will pay less in total than those who are forced to repay over 30 years. A duke will pay less than his university contemporary who turns to teaching in a primary school. Read more

A dispatch from Chris Cook, our education correspondent:

Most of the responses to Browne have been very equivocal (a large share of UK universities, even ones who are pleased with the recommendations, have issued statements to say “we would like more money, but we do worry about poor children”). Read more

Interesting piece of research by YouGov this morning that shows that only 33 per cent of the population have heard of AV and have a broad understanding of how it works.

No doubt both sides of the argument will take this as evidence that the public can still be convinced either way. But I suspect that this high level of apathy does not augur well for the “yes” campaign. Read more

Coalition should not lose sight of fairness - Philip Stephens, FT
Tuition fees issue will stretch the coalition marriage of convenience - Michael White, Guardian
Why my suggestions should be implemented - Lord Browne, FT
Sir Philip Green’s review; haven’t we been here before? – Nick Timmins, FT
The shadow chancellor does not need a PhD in economics – Guido