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Graduate fee to be abolished

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There's been no final decision, but what do we think is the likelyhood of it happening?

It would mean that higher education is free, and although I believe everyone is entitled to a basic level of free education, if people make the choice to go to Uni or college I believe they should be charged for it.

I have a feeling that if the graduate fee is abolished then the student bursary will be too (which blows because it saved my skin more than once).

Umm...this is very badly written, I shall amend it when I am more sober.

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The Lib Dems are supporting it so that on top of the SNP & Greens should be able to push it through I reckon.

On one hand I'm thinking "great, I'll only need to pay back my loan", on the other I did see the point of the graduate endowment in terms of putting money back into tuition and bursaries, so I'm not entirely sure what I think of this decision.

And as Dave points out it will be the tax-payer (i.e. not the students) who foots the 15m bill...

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Fucking great!!! So not only did i have the misfortune of having to pay both Uni term fees and a graduation fee but now i've got to pay for everyone elses through my hard earned cash. Brilliant.

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i think it's a great move and people should never have had to pay in the first place.

as for that age old argument from thatcherites and the like about your taxes paying for students to go to uni, it's ridiculous.

taxes pay for services to the benefit of the country and the economy as a whole. your taxes help subsidise loads of things you yourself don't benefit from that's the whole point of taxes. on the whole university graduates earn more than those less qualified and as such pay more taxes when they leave university so they do pay for their own education in the long run.

it's ridiculous how much of a stigma there is about paying taxes in this country. try living in scandanavia. higher taxes should mean better services and a much higher standard of living yet we're all so determined to look after ourselves that we miss the bigger picture. scotland having one of the worst live expectancies in the developed world and some incredible levels of poverty. if this means that we can get more people into university and keep them in scotland(declining population remember) then that can only benefit everyone, including you stingy tax whingers.

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I'm with Mr Officer on this one. Despite so many historic and geographical similarities between Scotland and the Nordic states it's insane how different our lifestyles are in terms of quality. Since their economic recession in the mid-90's the tax isn't even that much higher than the EU average, but they still manage to attain significantly higher standards in pretty much everything (although for reasons of competitiveness the scope of their 'nanny state' has been slowly decreasing).

The only catch I learnt about their free educational system was the phenomenon of the 'Eternal Student', i.e. people that are still studying at the age of 30+, doing degree after degree. If this was addressed I don't see why the abolition of fees wouldn't benefit everyone.

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i think it's a great move and people should never have had to pay in the first place.

as for that age old argument from thatcherites and the like about your taxes paying for students to go to uni, it's ridiculous.

taxes pay for services to the benefit of the country and the economy as a whole. your taxes help subsidise loads of things you yourself don't benefit from that's the whole point of taxes. on the whole university graduates earn more than those less qualified and as such pay more taxes when they leave university so they do pay for their own education in the long run.

it's ridiculous how much of a stigma there is about paying taxes in this country. try living in scandanavia. higher taxes should mean better services and a much higher standard of living yet we're all so determined to look after ourselves that we miss the bigger picture. scotland having one of the worst live expectancies in the developed world and some incredible levels of poverty. if this means that we can get more people into university and keep them in scotland(declining population remember) then that can only benefit everyone, including you stingy tax whingers.

No.

I don't have a problem with paying taxes, i have a problem with allocation of my tax money. I don't see why i should help subsidise a person whose family earns in excess of 50000 a year through university. If their parents can afford to send them to university then they should pay. If they can't then they shouldn't have to pay. It should be a lot fairer than it is. My parents couldn't afford to put me through university so i had to pay for it myself taking out ridiculous loans to pay tuition fees and then stump up a graduation fee at the end (they had more than 5000 off me in the end). I have to pay those loans back eventually, why should i suffer further so more rich kids can have it easier?

I don't give a rats ass what happens in fucking Norway, i don't live there.

Do the math Dave, do the math.

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Guest Tam o' Shantie

Let's face it, only people who studied at uni are capable of earning decent money and in turn contributing their taxes to society...how could an ignorant, obviously stupid and unmotivated bum like the type of people who don't bother with university even get a job scrubbing toilets in a gambling shop? It's these people that are sucking all the money out of society, so we need to encourage as many people to get degrees to redress the balance. And if this means making life a little easier for them (it's a pretty tough environment to be in) then put it on my tab!

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meh its a give and take thing. you pay your taxes and pay for students etc but then other people pay taxes to subsidise for say......the repairs to the road in your street, yet they never use your street. etc do you resent paying taxes for the nhs last year even though you or your family didnt go to hospital?

we all had to take out big loans (nearly 20k) and pay tuition fees if we overstepped the four year mark. and it is merely a set up cost for your career.

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Education should be free for all regardless of social background. If we carry on the road of increasing the charges for education, then we will end up loosing people studding subjects with no perceived employment benefit at the end. I'm sure some subjects are already dwindling as a result. Not all qualifications put you in a position to gain employment with enough earning power to pay back the vast sums that are owed. I found that although I had studied something that I thought would gain me good employment at the end, there were no real jobs that I could go for. I then found I was over qualified for what I saw as starter jobs. All this time the huge debt hanging over my head turned me off further educations in an area that would be more beneficial. I began Medicine, but within a year it dawned on me that I would be shackled by my debt possibly into my 40's.

No wonder there is a decreasing population; people can barely buy a house let alone raise children and pay off their huge student loans.

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Guest Tam o' Shantie

Maybe they should consider some other avenues before blindly following the uni route just because Secondary school gives barely any information on alternative career routes. When I told my school careers advisor that I wanted to become a professional musician, she said

"Alright then, and what if you DON'T make it onto Top Of The Pops? What's your fallback?"

With morons like this in charge of giving people advice on what to do with their lives, it's no wonder that most people go for the 'go to uni' route, which about 80% of 6th year focuses on without ever discussing anything else, leaving most students to get on with 4 years of excessive drinking and skipping lectures, qualifying with a degree that they can't use and thousands of pounds in debt. The system works!

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Maybe they should consider some other avenues before blindly following the uni route just because Secondary school gives barely any information on alternative career routes. When I told my school careers advisor that I wanted to become a professional musician, she said

"Alright then, and what if you DON'T make it onto Top Of The Pops? What's your fallback?"

With morons like this in charge of giving people advice on what to do with their lives, it's no wonder that most people go for the 'go to uni' route, which about 80% of 6th year focuses on without ever discussing anything else, leaving most students to get on with 4 years of excessive drinking and skipping lectures, qualifying with a degree that they can't use and thousands of pounds in debt. The system works!

I remember that.

Ironically I actually earn more than the majority of people I know with degrees that are a few years my senior... considering you earn the same as me, Tom, I'd assume you're in the same position. You don't need a degree to have a good earning capacity all you need a level of intelligence and also the drive to actually work at it. Not going to uni has done me no harm at all in regards to my career.

On the flip side I sometimes regret that I didn't go and do a degree, education is a wonderful thing and I do at times feel I missed out in regards to expending my knowledge on certain subjects. If someone wishes to do a degree then it shouldn't be put out of reach. I also disagree with this whole, "you're parents can afford it so they should pay" crap. My parents could easily have afforded to send me through uni/college but flat out refused. It left me incapable of being able to afford to do the course I was doing (Mech Engineering something there is a huge shortage of in industry) and was a large contributing factor to my dropping out. I think the system should really have rules across the board making education truly accessible to all. Personally, I dont mind paying taxes to subsidise the cost of people going to university, I think its a good thing for people to do and it has a positive impact on a lot of peoples lives. I think scrapping the graduation fee would be a step too far though. People should pay something towards the cost of their courses.

In regards to Toms quote above I think a lot of problems stem from the complete lack of information on any other options after school. We got uni, uni, uni rammed down our throats at school. If it wasnt for you then you got no help in getting information to do anything else. Its no surprise that so many people drop out after the first year of uni when they are led in like cattle.

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maybe you guys just had a crap school in that respect. that wasn't the case with my careers advisors, guidance teachers, whatever... the people in my year that went to uni, even those that stayed on until 6th was probably a minority. actually that makes my school sound a bit shit o_O

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I see no problem with this proposal. Many people already just go to uni simply becuase they can, other's are scared away because of the large costs involved.

People who go to uni are (on average) going to earn more money at the end of it. Which should (in theory) mean they will pay more tax and subsidise the next generation of people who go to university.

I do however think that many people are going to work up large debts reguardless of the costs involved of going to university. Some people need to learn to spend and borrow less money, the increased student debt is also a result of the change in culture as well as the change in student funding.

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Guest DustyDeviada
Do the math Dave, do the math.

Maths. It's short for mathematics ie plural, so should be shortened to maths. I'll let you off if you're American, otherwise you should be shot. ;)

As for the "If they can afford to pay for it, they should." ie mean testing argument, then surely if you accept this for higher education then you should accept it for everything else taxes are spent on that are free to the user at point of delivery?

Healthcare? ("If you earn 50,000 then you can afford to pay for it.")

Schools? ("If you earn 50,000 then you can afford to pay for it.")

Access to roads? ("If you earn 50,000 then you can afford to pay for it.")

Why bother having taxes at all?

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That's the problem, though. Instead of graduates paying for their education in the "long run", why not just charge them for the service up front? Take the administration costs of the Inland Revenue, the Treasury and the other government departments tax money flows through before it re-enters the education system out of the equation and everyone's happy; taxes are lower because the government's role in spending our money has been decreased, and education is cheaper and more readily available to those who are willing to pay for it.

pay for a university education up front? that's madness. it would only lead to those in society who are well off attending university and people from a poorer background being left behind.

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No.

I don't have a problem with paying taxes, i have a problem with allocation of my tax money. I don't see why i should help subsidise a person whose family earns in excess of 50000 a year through university. If their parents can afford to send them to university then they should pay. If they can't then they shouldn't have to pay. It should be a lot fairer than it is. My parents couldn't afford to put me through university so i had to pay for it myself taking out ridiculous loans to pay tuition fees and then stump up a graduation fee at the end (they had more than 5000 off me in the end). I have to pay those loans back eventually, why should i suffer further so more rich kids can have it easier?

I don't give a rats ass what happens in fucking Norway, i don't live there.

Do the math Dave, do the math.

what maths? you've not shown any working out in your answer there, merely a couple of figures plucked out of thin air. you have no choice over how your taxes are allocated and that is how it should remain. there is an elected parliament to represent your views on this, if you feel so strongly about it i assume you've contacted your msp so they can represent your views accurately in parliament.

also, just cause you had to pay the graduation fee doesn't mean others should have to. it's a stupid argument. you got a raw deal so others should suffer. if we have the means to provide a free university education for all then we should regardless of background.

and of course you should care what happens in norway as it is a country comparable in size and demographic to scotland yet is more successful in almost every respect. it's this shor tsightedness which is holding scotland back.

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what maths? you've not shown any working out in your answer there, merely a couple of figures plucked out of thin air. you have no choice over how your taxes are allocated and that is how it should remain. there is an elected parliament to represent your views on this, if you feel so strongly about it i assume you've contacted your msp so they can represent your views accurately in parliament.

also, just cause you had to pay the graduation fee doesn't mean others should have to. it's a stupid argument. you got a raw deal so others should suffer. if we have the means to provide a free university education for all then we should regardless of background.

and of course you should care what happens in norway as it is a country comparable in size and demographic to scotland yet is more successful in almost every respect. it's this shor tsightedness which is holding scotland back.

Christ Dave, you're such an uppity little wanker these days, chill out. ;)

The math(s) bit was more a rhetorical statement, though i will indulge you on that: i don't see why if i've already been stiffed out of 5000+ i should have to pay more money for someone else's higher education when most likely their parents can afford to. Means testing on Higher Education is fair as it also means that people who's parents can't afford the fees can get them paid for out of my money (which i don't mind, i'd rather see clever people who can't afford to be at uni be there than rich kids who also get bursaries and just spend them on getting pissed and waste their own time).

The other bit about taxes etc Dave is just pure stupidity on your part. I know all that (funnily enough i've been paying taxes and voting for the same amount of time as you).

I object more to them chopping and changing their stance on fees. I don't see why i (and many other people who were at university at the same time as me) should suffer long-term financially because of this and have it made worse by having to pay for it twice over subsidising everyone else. Hardly fair really is it? They changed the rules on fee paying twice while i was at University incidentally.

And no, you're the one being short sighted. Scotland isn't Norway, we have no real connection with Norway and viewing Scotland as equivalent to Norway is narrow minded. It's people like you who are always comparing Scotland with other countries that are contributing to the stifling of Scotland's own identity. Why would we want to be a carbon copy of Norway? I'd rather forge a new Scotland where we've proved in our own right that we can get on with it ourselves rather than constantly referring to the copy of 'The Norwegian Guide on Successfully Running a Small Country' that you and your ilk seem to have sitting next to your bedside.

And Dusty, i'll means test you if you're not careful :p

Seriously though, not everything should and can be means tested but Higher Education is an area that should be, in my opinion, so that proper financial aid is distributed to people who actually need it rather that people who don't. And i don't just mean fees, i mean loans/bursaries/accommodation costs as well.

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Guest DustyDeviada
I object more to them chopping and changing their stance on fees.

But who is "them"?

The Labour government introduced tuition fees.

The Labour/Lib Dem Executive in Scotland abolished fees but introduced the graduate endowment.

The SNP abolished the graduate endowment.

It's not like it was the same government or even the same party just changing their mind for the hell of it. It's part of the democratic process, of course new governments will do things differently to their predecessors.

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i don't see why if i've already been stiffed out of 5000+ i should have to pay more money for someone else's higher education when most likely their parents can afford to.

see, i dont see the problem

we are contributing to the future of our country, who collectively contribute to the stable economy and standing of our country. well, 50% of them probably.

i believe its worth paying for

plus, why should those who earn 50k be taxed more than the rest? many of them went to uni/worked hard to get where they got.

inheritance tax should be increased though

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Christ Dave, you're such an uppity little wanker these days, chill out. ;)

The math(s) bit was more a rhetorical statement, though i will indulge you on that: i don't see why if i've already been stiffed out of 5000+ i should have to pay more money for someone else's higher education when most likely their parents can afford to. Means testing on Higher Education is fair as it also means that people who's parents can't afford the fees can get them paid for out of my money (which i don't mind, i'd rather see clever people who can't afford to be at uni be there than rich kids who also get bursaries and just spend them on getting pissed and waste their own time).

The other bit about taxes etc Dave is just pure stupidity on your part. I know all that (funnily enough i've been paying taxes and voting for the same amount of time as you).

I object more to them chopping and changing their stance on fees. I don't see why i (and many other people who were at university at the same time as me) should suffer long-term financially because of this and have it made worse by having to pay for it twice over subsidising everyone else. Hardly fair really is it? They changed the rules on fee paying twice while i was at University incidentally.

And no, you're the one being short sighted. Scotland isn't Norway, we have no real connection with Norway and viewing Scotland as equivalent to Norway is narrow minded. It's people like you who are always comparing Scotland with other countries that are contributing to the stifling of Scotland's own identity. Why would we want to be a carbon copy of Norway? I'd rather forge a new Scotland where we've proved in our own right that we can get on with it ourselves rather than constantly referring to the copy of 'The Norwegian Guide on Successfully Running a Small Country' that you and your ilk seem to have sitting next to your bedside.

And Dusty, i'll means test you if you're not careful :p

Seriously though, not everything should and can be means tested but Higher Education is an area that should be, in my opinion, so that proper financial aid is distributed to people who actually need it rather that people who don't. And i don't just mean fees, i mean loans/bursaries/accommodation costs as well.

i'm not saying we should be a carbon copy of norway, that's a ridiculous way to take my statement. and just cause you put a smiley on the end of a childish personal insult doesn't make it alright phil.

by comparing us to norway, iceland and ireland i and others who do so are not stifling scotland's identity, we're urging people to see that scotland can have it's own identity and has more potential as a nation than coming bottom of a league table of the developed worlds small nations.

as for your reasoning behind your tuition fees argument, it is sour grapes. it's shit that you had to pay fees. i agree. but that's no argument for keeping them.

means testing for university could be viable so long as the principle of a university education available to all regardless of background is upheld.

by constantly referring to 'rich kids' in such a derogatory context it's obvious you've got a chip on your shoulder about people who are better off than you, that's your problem and you need to deal with that.

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Well, it would be up to the individual institution how they charged their students. Some could charge quarterly or yearly. Those from a poorer background could be helped by their future employer, or by a company that sponsored their school. As universities are freed from having central government control their finances, they will be able to compete in the marketplace more effectively and price their courses according to demand.

Universities should, in future, be run as businesses that provide a service, not as social projects pandering to a small percentage of low-income students. There's no way to put everyone on an equal footing, but I do feel that those who contribute the most financially get a very raw deal.

wow, that couldn't be further from what i believe. guess we'll have to agree to disagree on this one.

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to be honest i don't care either way. I doubt i'll ever pay off my loan so another 2,000 on the bundle won't make a difference.

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Universities should, in future, be run as businesses that provide a service, not as social projects pandering to a small percentage of low-income students. There's no way to put everyone on an equal footing, but I do feel that those who contribute the most financially get a very raw deal.

As soon as you start trying to run Universities as businesses then you just watch the quality of higher education suffer, have more lecturers striking and the variety of courses available decrease. Because when making money becomes the #1 objective then everything else is sacrificed.

Not everything should be run as a business. When it comes to people's education, health or safety then making money should never come into it. Education in any civilised and developed country should be a right and so the less anyone has to pay in order to get access to that education is a good thing in my opinion.

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and just cause you put a smiley on the end of a childish personal insult doesn't make it alright phil.

i was thinking that too

i actually agree with dave officer on this one.

i am more interested in what universities contribute to our economy, i.e. developing new industry and stimulating knowledge transfer activity between academia and innovators/industry. its pushing our country forward in the right direction.

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