Feeds

Cable lays plan for graduate tax

You want fries and extra income tax payments with that?

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Vince Cable today laid out the ground rules for debate on funding higher education and strongly hinted he favours a graduate tax. But he stressed this was the start, not the end, of the debate.

Cable, an ex-lecturer at the University of Glasgow, said that after 50 years of expanding universities the UK now had to accept that a period of shrinkage was unavoidable.

He said that whatever future system was chosen it was all but inevitable that students would pay more.

Cable said he accepted the economic contribution of universities. He said:

They do this directly in the case of science, maths, engineering, computer science, medicine, modern languages, and professional services like business studies and accounting.  Even much maligned ‘media studies’ helps to feed one of Britain’s most rapidly growing and successful industries.  And what my father used to describe as ‘arty farty’ subjects feed into the rapidly growing and successful industries like creative design, publishing and music. 

Cable pointed out that when he was in sixth form there were barely two dozen universities to go to, compared to 160 today.

The Business Minister said that in reality almost all students already pay a form of 'graduate tax' in the form of student loan repayments. The problem is that this is like a poll tax - it's the same for everyone regardless of their expected income.

Graduates with medical degrees for instance can expect a higher lifetime income than male arts graduates.

He said: "Payments should be variable and tied to earnings... By looking at the periods of time over which contributions are made, the level of thresholds that trigger the contribution, the rate at which contributions are paid, and the other key variables, it may be possible to levy graduate contributions so that low graduate earners pay no more (or less) and high earners pay more."

He accepted that universities wanted security around funding, but warned they would also have to think creatively about bringing in extra funding. He suggested a greater range of courses and qualifications could be one way to do this like two-year courses or allowing students to transfer between colleges more easily.

The full text of the speech is here. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.