So, all this new student loan bollocks (the Browne review, aka last week's news - but I was busy in Germany so yeah)...
- higher fees. probably £7k a year (so, er, nearly 7 times what it was when I was an undergrad, ouch)
- raise the earning threshold for paying the money back
- charge a 'real' interest rate
I see obvious problems with this:
- more debt overall. I left uni with 11k of loan debt. That'll now just be one year's worth.
- paying back less each month
- it'll take much longer to pay back
So, what happens when people get to 65 (68, 70, whatever it'll be by then), retire and still have massive amounts of unpaid student loan debt that'll get wiped out? Mmm, black hole money pits. That's good for the economy, right? oh wait...
I'm also vaguely curious as to whether the increase in earnings threshold will apply to existing loans too. I doubt it, and to be honest I hope it doesn't, because I'd like to think that one day I might actually pay mine off, rather than make a pathetic attempt at not even covering the interest added each month.
Mind you, I'm not fully convinced on the whole "everyone should go to university" thing anyway, so if people don't rack up massive debt doing pointless degrees (yet still manage to spend all their spare time travelling around the world), and instead do something more useful and productive, then good. (ooh, controversial...)
Not that I can think of any better suggestions for anything. University is expensive, and I don't think you can expect it for free/mega cheap. But it would be a massive step backwards to end up with an elitist 'two tier' system where cost is a prohibitive factor. Surely there's a better "happy medium" somewhere.