The National Union of Students has published a Blueprint for funding Higher Education that puts an end to top-up fees.
This come in the context of Higher Education institutions looking for more funds, perhaps by raising the current cap on tuition fees.
However, recent figures from HESA may suggest that such fees could be putting off students from lower income households going to University.
The Blueprint summary and full report offer detailed information on their scheme, which aims to provide more money to the sector, a mechanism to encourage contributions from businesses and a fairer payment system for low earners and part-time students.
Key proposals from the NUS include:
Progressive graduate contributions – not a simple graduate tax, but variable contributions over a maximum of 20 years, related to ability to pay as measured by earnings and with a threshold below which nothing is paid.
People’s Trust for Higher Education – where the contributions would be paid in and paid out, which would be built up over time and would mean less direct Government support being needed in the long term.
The report includes economic models provided by the Centre for Economics and Business Research alongside various case studies of what it would mean for different types of graduates.