I expect the Coalition will win the vote this afternoon on tuition fees. I have been asked for my thoughts on the policy.
Dr Cable’s package is not the policy I would have designed myself, but I think it preferable to Labour’s alternative of a graduate tax. A graduate tax would drive more able people away from the UK, leaving those higher paid who stay paying a higher Income Tax rate than the 50% already imposed. It would truly be a tax on knowledge, and would not help the universities or encourage better choices by students in the way the Cable scheme will do.
I have pressed for more University independence, and for better access funds and scholarships. I wish to see more scholarships for able students of whatever financial background, as well as access funds for those from lower income families. I will vote for the proposals reluctantly, as I dislike the main alternative more.