Someone finally starts to understand – even if they’re not saying it out loud, only implying it – what the point of moving to student loans was.
To freeze out, on the grounds of cost, those doing degrees that aren’t worth being done.
No, really, this is the point. We want people to do degrees where the education adds value. We do not want to piss away money on degrees that do not add value. The way to do this is to force degree takers to see the prices relevant to their choice.
Increasing the amount that graduates in England repay on their student loans could save the government close to £4bn each year and avoid universities having their income slashed, according to a report by the architect of the current system of student finance.
Nick Hillman, who was special adviser to the universities minister in 2012 when tuition fees in England were raised to £9,000, said lowering the income levels at which students made loan repayments was the fairest and most effective way to keep higher education funded at current levels.
Using modelling done for the Higher Education Policy Institute (Hepi), Hillman found that cutting the graduate repayment threshold from £26,000 to £19,000 would result in many more graduates making higher contributions over the 30 years before their loans are written off.
If doing a degree doesn’t get you over £26,000 a year – still less than median income – then you really shouldn’t have been doing the degree. So, lower that repayment limit and get the repayments to bite those lower incomes to further dissuade people from doing degrees that don’t add value.
Of course, this logic then leads to a truly interesting proposition. Anyone who does a degree and makes less than median income – say – should have to pay back all of their loans without any discount, while those who go on to make fortunes should not have to pay anything back at all. Of course, that’s not going to happen but it’s fun to contemplate…..