Young students eager to better themselves as people are facing crippling debts after they leave university unless they are born of a very wealthy family. This ensures that the wealth stays with the families who have always had it. Worse still is the number of young people denied the chance of university due to their disadvantaged background. Free education is vital if we are to have a country that utilises the most talented and hard-working rather than the most financially fortunate. Free higher education is necessary for equality.
All the Yes points:
- No debt
- University education helps society
- education should be for everyone and not based on social background
- It is to expensisive for a student to pay tution fee plus books, living and other costs
- Scrapping tuition fees would increase social mobility
- Scrapping tuition fees could mean moving to a graduate tax where students do not need to pay anything up front.
- Balanced society.
All the No points:
- University education is an investment.
- financial stress is part of university life
- debt unites students
- Somebody has to pay
- Paying for their education gives students sovereignty and responsibility for it
- Tuition fees will improve education recieved.
- Universities will lack funding which will severely limit the number of places that can be offered.
- Student’s have to think how they study.
- There are already more than enough people going to university.
- University is not important in the same way that a basic education is.
- It is well known that a university education leads to great benefits in later life.
- It is well known that the ‘education’ is often only a small part of the university experience.
- It’s free to 18 … how much more do you want!?
- If everyone has a degree, then what is it worth? The answer – nothing
Its a sad case especially when one sees many talented students who have the POTENCY to pursue tertiary studies ending up in the streets selling drugs or getting involved in gang life. Many do it because they feel they dont see an end to their misery and financial burden and would rather steal from the rich to feed themselves even if it means ending someone life in return for her/his salvation.
Much as i am a supporter of free education, i do not subscribe to the escapist concept of making university education free. If we must attain the height that we have set for ourselves as a people and a nation then free education should be compulsory at the nursery to secondary school level, then everyone should be allowed to foot the university or tertiary institution bills. Because i am yet to understand how university education which is poorly funded and bedeviled by always striking lecturers will be operationable if the education is made free.
So i am not an advocate or such education that is not improving our industry or bettering our socio-economic fabric.
University should be free for all. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, for the 2007-2008 year, the average student loan debt of graduating college seniors was about $23,000. This means that when a person graduates from college, instead of working to make money for their future, they are working to make money to pay back their past. True, an education allows for a better future, but so many students are stuck paying back loans for years after their graduation that they can’t do things that, such as travel, that students in other countries, where education is free can do. It is unfair that if one does not come from a wealthy family, they are stuck paying back loans for x number of years. While their friends who had their education paid have the opportunity to go doing things such as traveling, those who owe money are forced to find a job right away that they may not necessarily love, because they have to pay back their loans.
Student Finance loans that are used to fund students during their university education should not be viewed as ‘debt’ in the conventional sense. Since 2010 in the United Kingdom tuition fees rose to £9,000 per academic year, equalling a grand total for your typical undergraduate degree £27,000 for tuition alone. This is not counting accommodation and living expenses which should increase your overall borrowing up to £40,000 or more.
Those are some rough figures, which if you are applying for university make for some very difficult reading, however, there is a misunderstanding amongst the public and that in 30 years time, all the money you borrowed will be wiped clean. If you borrowed £40,000 from your nearest bank, then they would certainly slap interest on it and it would not certainly be cleared after an extended period of time.
You also only start paying the loan back in small instalments if you start earning £21,000 per year, with monthly payments of about £20. If you are lucky enough to be earning £21,000 a year, even £20 a week wouldn’t be much loss considering you probably used your degree to get the high paying job in the first place. If you are not so fortunate and you are in a low paying job paying you under £21,000 a year then you pay back nothing. That is right folks, you pay back nothing. Zero.
The notion that you will be forever paying off your ‘debt’ is a weak argument once faced with the actual facts. This enables students to find say part time work during their three years of study to save up for a gap year of travelling, fun and adventures. You wont be followed by ‘men in black’ driving white vans with a Student Finance recovery logo on the side…
University education helps society
Free education enables everyone to have the opportunity to study. This means there would be more people going to universities. The outcome of this would be that in our society, more people will have higher degrees which means would be more people who are doctors, lawyers, nonprofit workers, teachers, business leaders etc. This has positive benefits. More doctors means more people who treat those who are sick. More teachers means, better quality of education for students. More nonprofit workers means more people who are trying to help and raise money for those who need it. When the number of people who get an education rises, the number of people who benefit from that persons education also rises. Therefore, free education will benefit our society because there will be more highly educated individuals who have the education and ability to help others.
I’ll begin by saying that not everybody wants a university degree, therefore not everybody needs a university degree. Granted that if the state did not educate its people then we would have some serious problems, however with education up to college level being free, it isn’t unreasonable to suggest that someone over the age of 18 should have to pay for an extension on their education.
In order for a society to function properly, you need more than every man, woman and child being trained to be the next Tony Blair, the next hot shot lawyer or the next ‘Topgun’ doctor. You need people with vocational qualifications and trade skills, of which someone would not attain at a university or learn in a university course.
It is also important to note that by making university free, you increase the amount of people attending university devaluing the worth of the actual degree.
In order for a state to fund free degrees for all would be to rise tax, because free education is never free, and someone needs to foot the bill. Countries like Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland etc have very high taxation at around 40-50% per year per income. Raising taxes in the UK during a time of recession would be damaging and counter-productive and ultimately would not help society.
education should be for everyone and not based on social background
In the United States higher education is so expensive that only people with wealthy families or scholarships can afford going to school. If you do not have money to pay you have to borrow money from the government which will give you a huge loan which you have to pay back after university is done. It is also important to remember the cost outside the school with housing and books. This is unfair for the people who do not have the family money or the wealth that other people have. This will lead to poverty in generations because your parents will not earn enough money to go to school, therefore you will not get education and have to say yes to a lower paid job and cannot pay for your children education again. If education is free everyone can go to school if they want to and that can help form the next generation too. If will strengthen families and the society. In the countries in Europe where education is free social background does not matter. If you have money and want to spend them on education you can choose to study at private universities that cost a lot of money. We live in a society where everyone should have equal rights, therefore education should be free.
It is to expensisive for a student to pay tution fee plus books, living and other costs
Even though tuition fee is scrapped you will still have problems with paying for books, housing and food. When people talk about free education they forget such elements as housing and books. It is normal for a student from countries with free education in Europe to leave the university with a big loan. Education is indeed an investment and paying pack government the money you loaned to live while studying is reasonable. But if tuition fee is not scrapped a student will leave university with a double loan. It is also important to remember that people that do not study will work full time jobs and earn money, while students only have time to work part time jobs if even possible. Therefore people who do not study will earn a bigger amount of money the first years while people who choose to study do not earn so much money the first years. They also have to spend the paychecks paying books and housing and not before later on get the investment they spend years on getting. Tuition should be free and the students can pay for their books and housing themselves.
Scrapping tuition fees would increase social mobility
At the moment social mobility in the UK is declining According to a report by former health secretary Alan Milburn “Social mobility has slowed down in our country. Birth, not worth, has become more and more a determinant of people’s life chances.” This starts in universities and as a result goes on to apply through the rest of life. As a percentage of Cambridge university’s undergraduate population, there are fewer state-school students today than there were in 1980. The rest of the top universities are doing little better. Privately educated entrants into university should account for 7% of each universities intake but in the top universities it is often more than four times that. At Bristol it was 38.5 per cent, Nottingham 30.5 per cent, and Newcastle 28.9 per cent.[[Jeff Randall, How the class war backfired and put social mobility into retreat, The Telegraph, 30/7/09, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/jeffrandall/5941721/How-the-class-war-backfired-and-put-social-mobility-into-retreat.html%5D%5D Unfortunately these top universities are often the only ones considered by the biggest companies when looking for new employees. Tuition fees are of course by no means the only reason for this decline in social mobility but it is a factor; make the poorest able to afford top universities again and they may well actually go to those universities.
Scrapping tuition fees could mean moving to a graduate tax where students do not need to pay anything up front.
A graduate tax would be a good way to potentially give universities more than they get from the current fees while getting rid of tuition fees. The contribution would depend directly on a person’s salary rather than just being a flat rate fare for services rendered over a short time. This would help to make the cost fairer as it would depend on what you got out of their degree. For example a person earning £40,000 would pay £125 per month. Over 20 years that could amount to £30,000.[[Shepard Jessica “Student leaders call for graduate tax to replace tuition fees: Graduates would contribute to a national tax out of their monthly salary over a twenty year period” Guardian Unlimited http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2009/jun/10/nus-tuition-fees-graduate-tax Accessed 10.06.09]]. Although that sum is high even over the course of 20 years but show the possibilities of the tax and how it could bring in more money instead of universities rising their fares. The graduate tax would change as a person’s salary rises or falls over a twenty year so if a graduate finds him or herself out of work or in a low paid job they would not need to pay.
The current system is surrounded by misunderstanding. This is because the debt as we know it isn’t “a massive cheque” but rather a repayment of a debt as part of a persons salary over time. In effect this is something vary similar to a graduate tax.[[Nicholas Barr on why loans are better than a graduate tax.http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2009/mar/24/nicholas-barr-graduate-tax%5D%5D
The rich should have to pay because it is the money they get, in large part, from the poor that allows them such a priveleged position. Where else would the money come from? Let us also not forget that the poor also pay taxes.
If it was not so a very definite elite class would emerge, becoming virtually impenetrable for all without. The facilitation of a path to higher education for lower income students is vital to maintaining, or even creating, a more balanced society.
Students from families on low incomes are eligable for a grant and are able to recieve EMA (Eduaction Maintenance Allowance) – a fixed sum of money given to poorer students to help pay for books etc.
The government has made it so the poor can go but the rich have to pay.
Student loans available to richer students are much less than those given to poorer families and although poorer students will have to repay more at the end of their degree, middle class parents are expected to provide the extra money needed by their student children – not always possible.
The parents of students who come from richer backgrounds undeniably pay higher tax rates than those from poorer backgrounds which goes towards the less wealthy students grants and bursaries but not towards their own children. why should they have to pay twice?
University education is an investment.
Education of this higher level should be seen as investment, not just of time but also of money. A person who gets a University education can expect to earn more in their life time than someone with just A levels. If we stopped making excuses and put the effort in, we could all afford to go to university, even if we did have to take out personal loans and credit cards. We just have to acknowledge that the three years of living on the breadline is worth it for the future profits that the degree shall reap. Such an investment is not one that the government should have to make on our behalf. It is for our benefit, therefore we should stump the costs.
The amount of students leaving university and struggling to get a graduate level job is increasing, therefore why should the government fund free university education when the amount of jobs for graduates are running low?
But the government does benefit from people going to University. People who go to University will earn more and therefore they will pay more tax. It is in the government’s interests to pay for people to go to university. They should see it as their investment, not ours. Regardless of whether the loans are available or not, people do see the finances as a hindrance to their education. Many will think that their family cannot support themselves and so they need to earn money to keep their family afloat. If the Government made education free, then these people would be enabled to go to university and they will be able to get educated. Surely an educated nation is in the government’s benefit as well? Therefore, the investment yields a greater return for them on their capital.
And quite aside from the national benefits of an educated population, there are absolutely no guarantees of future profits comparable to the outrageous tuition costs of some universities (particularly in the US). President Obama paid back his student loans only after becoming a US Senator and publishing a best-selling book [[http://www.foxnews.com/politics/elections/2008/04/09/michelle-obama-baracks-book-sales-paid-off-our-student-loans/]]. How many far less successful and wealthy alumni are saddled with a comparable debt?
Income is never guaranteed, while interest on student loans is guaranteed to accumulate.
financial stress is part of university life
As much as students may moan about the mounting costs of education, what being a paying student provides is a sense of pleasure. Students will often congregate to talk about their financial worries. Some may form protest groups. However, as much as they complain about it,they find a certain satisfaction in being in such a predicament. It is almost a form of pleasure to see the loan accumulate. What it provides them with ultimately is a sense of self sufficiency which they would not6 get if University education was free.
The argument opposite seems to centre around two principal points, the first being that it is fun to be in debt. I don’t think anyone except a masochist would agree with that.
The second point they seem to be making is that debt teaches self-sufficiency. Which is fair enough, only university fees are so large that they cripple students financially for much of the early part of their working life. There is a difference between undergoing minor hardship to teach carefulness with money and being saddled with crippling debt for years.
debt unites students
Like the weather across Britain, financial burden on students is a unifying conversation topic. Most students will be able to automatically have a connection with another student by moaning about tuition fees. Just like the weather, it is something that Britain loves to moan about. Just as we would not want to lose the weather as a conversational tool, nor would students really like to lose the value of moaning about their financial situation.
There is also a point to be made that if most, if not all students are in the same boat, I.e. applying for loans to be there in the first place it would decrease discrimination on a financial level. No more “My Dad is richer than your Dad” bullying.
So you’re saying that it’s worth being in debt just so that you can have an extra conversational topic?
People have conversations about natural disasters, homelessness and terrorist attacks that they see on the news, but that doesn’t mean we want these things to continue.
Somebody has to pay
Somebody has to pay for free education. If students in this country get a free education than taxes must go up. As a country, we cannot afford to give away education. If we do, this would mean that people who do not have kids, do not have kids in college, or do not have kids who want to go to college must pay for other families who have kids in the college system. In Denmark, education is free, but along with education comes a total income tax of 35.66% of a persons wage. In the United States, where 1 in 7 people live in poverty, this system will not work. When people are struggling just to survive, they should not be put into a situation where they must pay for a great opportunity for someone else. People cannot afford to pay higher taxes, even if it means a free education.
Paying for their education gives students sovereignty and responsibility for it
If students are made to pay for the tertiary education they choose to undertake it gives them a greater responsibility over their studies. This means that they will be more likely to perform academically and are less likely to do anything that will jeopardize the substantial investment they would have made into their education. In the long run this will also teach university graduates to be more responsible over things like their families and jobs.
In summary, making students pay for their tuition fees will encourage academic performance, and therefore increase both the long term and short term benefits of undertaking a graduate degree
Tuition fees will improve education recieved.
Universities are facing testing times at the moment. The recession has left public finances in a mess and universities are facing cuts in their funding from the government. Lecturers are losing their jobs, spending on research is being frozen, and with a record amounts of applications to universities, there are fears that many could miss out. [[http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/8491729.stm]].
Tuition fees are needed by universities to pump money into their institutions to provide a consistently high level of education for their students. It is clear that public money cannot wholly sustain universities in the future.
The argument that tuition fees are good because they improve the level of education received completely neglects those people who are unable to attend university at all because they cannot afford it. The selection process must be merit-based in order to keep standards up. It is simply wrong to allow students whose parents have money to spare on a college education to continue to receive have such an advantage. The problem should be solved by the government making higher education a bigger priority when deciding what to spend the budget on, not by expecting poor students to pay.
Universities will lack funding which will severely limit the number of places that can be offered.
Universities will lose a substantial amount of their funding and will be forced to reduce staff and resources. As a result, they will not be able to support as many students each year which will make Universities elitist and competitive.
The government would have to fund them more and they would have to because how many less trained workers can we have.
Student’s have to think how they study.
Making students think about the cost of their education would make them think harder about what and how they study. Many students would wait until they were ready for university, rather than join straight after school because they have no better plans. This is why so many students drop out of university quickly (often wasting taxpayers’ money). It would also mean that students chose to study subjects that were actually profitable for them, and useful for society (e.g. Medicine or Engineering) – rather than just interesting or fun for them (e.g. Art History, or Film Making) but of no practical use to society when they graduate.
Attending university is probably the biggest decision most young people make for themselves, and most think very deeply about it. Students drop out of university for many reasons – often personal or emotional. If anything, adding a huge fee to the process of starting university would just increase the pressure on students and make any problems worse. Also, it is not clear that what makes money is necessarily the same as what is ‘good for society’. Nursing is very important for example, but very poorly paid compared to ‘marketing’. Do we really want to direct people away from such important jobs? And many subjects such as art may not be profitable, but still possess great cultural value which is important in other ways.
There are already more than enough people going to university.
There are already more than enough people going to university. You admitted as much yourself when you said that many graduates could not find jobs. Many people are better off learning a practical or ‘vocational’ trade. It would fit their skills better and would help fill the frequent shortages of plumbers, electricians and other types of service provider. We should not waste time and money promoting the idea that everyone can or should go to university. Charging people the real cost of a degree course would make them think twice about the best option for them was.
It is not clear that ‘too many people’ go to universities. The problem of unemployment is as much to do with businesses and the economy as education. Also, using fees to put people off applying to university is a clumsy and unfair method. Rather than help to decide who ‘should’ go to university, it means that particular types of people – normally those from low-income or poor backgrounds – are less able or likely to go. At the same time more well-off students who can afford to study can continue to apply regardless. This takes us back to the bad old days where your wealth decided your chance of success in life. Individuals should be the ones who decide if they go to university – not the Government, and not how much money their parents earn.
University is not important in the same way that a basic education is.
University is not important in the same way that a basic education is, and so it does not have to be equally open to everyone like normal schooling. It is hard to succeed with no education but very many people are successful in life without going to university. Also, there has to be a limit to how much education a state will provide, otherwise people could just keep on studying forever and never give anything back to society. Once the state has given everyone the same basic skills it is the responsibility of individuals to care for their education, just as they do when learning to drive or speak another language etc.
University might not be as essential as say learning to write – but it is increasingly important in the modern world. Jobs in developed nations are becoming much more specialised and service based. You cannot (for example) just turn up at a computer software company and ‘learn the trade’ like you could at a coal mine in years past. Skills needed today are more complex and depend on scientific and mathematical knowledge, and/or an ability to think about abstract concepts. Such understanding can only be taught in higher education institutions. The point of education is to allow opportunity. As opportunities change, so must our education systems.
It is well known that a university education leads to great benefits in later life.
It is well known that a university education leads to great benefits in later life. University graduates are more likely to have better jobs and higher wages than people with only a high school education. Seeing as university graduates receive all of these benefits, and will be able to afford it – it is only fair that they pay for the education they receive. This is the basis of all taxation.
University graduates might be more succesful in general – but that does not mean everyone who attends university becomes wealthy and well-employed. Many thousands of graduates cannot find jobs when they leave university and many more do not ever find the dream career they hoped for. A higher education does not guarantee of success and so it is unfair that those who do not succeed are still left with a huge fee or debt when they leave university. The basis of taxation is the income you actually have, not what you ‘should’ have. As high-earning graduates already pay big sums in income tax, the system is very fair already.
It is well known that the ‘education’ is often only a small part of the university experience.
It is well known that the ‘education’ is often only a small part of the university experience. Students spend far too much time and money drinking, partying and wasting time. Even if there is an argument for funding higher education itself (which we doubt) then it is very hard to justify why low income workers should pay taxes to support the ‘student lifesyle’ of people who attend universities. As long as students don’t pay, or understand, the full cost of their tuition, they are more likely to take it for granted and be wasteful as they currently do.
Universities have only limited control over how their students spend their spare time. Provided that they give their students a high quality education, and only award degrees to those who deserve it then they are doing their job properly. Also, the idea that the taxpayer is generously funding students is misleading. Most students receive most of their income from loans (which have to be paid back), and many students live in situations of quite serious poverty. Those that are lucky enough to have spare money often earn this by having a part-time job whilst studying. If they choose to spend their own money on fun and socialising, that is none of our business.
It’s free to 18 … how much more do you want!?
Education is free in the UK up to the age of 18 and students receive top of the class education up to this age which is considerably costly for the government. More government money would be a drain on the treasury, where money could be better spent elsewhere. those with the skill and ability to go to university can do so at their own cost as they will be the ones reap in in the rewards later in their life.
The fact is that the cost of funding everyone’s university tutelage would be too much.
Ultimately, if indeed these students ‘reap the rewards’ with better jobs they will be paying considerably more taxes and usually claiming less benefits. Furthermore they will probably be helping the economy in less direct ways – providing better health services, helping businesses become more successful or perhaps even going into teaching themselves.
The government needs people with degrees and will end up benefiting from their hard work – they just don’t want to help them on their way. Funnily enough, the nation wasn’t bankrupted when the current generation of politicians were greasing their way through Oxbridge, and if they’d left the door open behind them I think it’s pretty unlikely we’d have collapsed into anarchy now. There may be more students these days, but ultimately that will mean more taxes for the government as many of those the students end up getting better paying jobs.
If everyone has a degree, then what is it worth? The answer – nothing
Even now, pretty much everyone can get into a university in England with their 3 D’s and an E. So just think how many more of these people would attend uni if it was free. The numbers would be ridiculous.
If everyone in the future can go to university for free and come out with some sort of degree in something whether it be origami or the science of superheroes. It’s the age old question of if everyone has one, what is it worth?
Not every University is taking students with 3 D’s and an E. Especially if a student wants to study a difficult subject. But many students, who have the ability to learn, willing to learn and gain everything, just can’t afford it. Wouldn’t the Government benefit from having more successful people, who pay taxes?
I think that uni should be free, but the “taking in” rules should be harder.
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