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Graduate tax dead in the water

Lord Browne is expected to release his long-awaited review of tuition fees in the UK and possibly kill stone dead the idea of a graduate tax which had been championed by business secretary Vince Cable. Instead it is believed that Lord Browne will recommend that tuition fees are increased, possibly trebled, and universities should be allowed to keep fees of up to £10,000 a year. So what does this mean for UK students?

The fact that tuition fees could be trebled in the short to medium term increases the risk of students leaving university with debts which could be in excess of £50,000. To have this kind of debt around their necks before even moving into the employment market is not perfect by any stretch of imagination but the ever-growing cost of further education in the UK is beginning to impact upon the level of assistance offered by universities.

It will be interesting to see whether the UK government takes on board the recommendations of Lord Browne's report or whether the idea of a graduate tax is reintroduced and Lord Browne's recommendations effectively assigned to the rubbish bin. Whatever happens, there will need to be significant change in the UK further education system because income is falling well short of the cost of delivering this particular service.

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