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The Effects of Raising The Cost of Higher Education.


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#21
Ring_World
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The long term affects would be a shortage of [cabbage]ty degrees (by that I mean entirely based on pay) and less people going to universities as not everyone wants a major degree.

The universities could either lower prices at that point to encourage more people to come (for smaller degrees, like arts,music or other lower paying ones) or keep it small and elite so to speak,

on the converse more people could choose to go to school for major degrees and create an oversupply of engineers, doctors and other professionals which can either bring down their pay or create an environment where not everyone who gets a degree has a great chance at a job from it (which would lead back to less people seeking post high school education).

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#22
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Assassin, I completely disagree with your assertion that degrees in "History" shouldn't be subsidized. Going to school is not just about learning things for a job. It's somewhere for people to learn maturity, to find out who they are; in some ways, an education outside of school. The populace as a whole needs to be educated, and not everyone has the ability to handle the hard sciences, math and engineering. So even if they just go for English, they are still contributing far more than if they weren't educated at all. With an educated populace, people learn how to handle money better, they can be more responsible, etc; ie, you subsidize their education, they make better life choices, which essentially reduces government spending in the long run. There's a reason why more education increases a country's GDP, regardless of the degree they're getting. Now I don't think the government should subsidize private university, as this leads to inflating tuition costs (they usually just raise the tuition prices without any need, and pocket the government money). If they want to compete with the public universities and colleges, they'll lower their tuition. I also don't think we should subsidize diploma mills or those "ITT Institute" scams. Also, the US should have more options for their higher education (apprenticeships and such). I think there can be diploma inflation, where cashiers have degrees in English or Philosophy etc.


It's nice that people can learn maturity and find themselves whilst studying history, but that benefit to society is not as direct as learning applicable skills and you haven't convinced me that with a massive deficit taxpayers should still be paying for people to learn more about themselves. I don't doubt that people do learn skills studying arts and humanities, but the benefit is hard to quantify and the link between GDP and education levels could be correlation not causation.

Even if they don't go to university they'll still have had many years of education and will be still adults. People can learn all the essential life skills that uni might teach them in a job that might be better suited to them in the first place. I don't buy the link between subsidising arts and humanities and government paying less in the long run. I'm not saying all funding to universities should be cut, that's a separate argument. I think the government should subsidise these kind of courses whenever possible for their own sake, but in the current economic argument it's pretty hard to justify. The argument about tuition fees however is separate.


You're looking at what I said from a purely economical model yet still, and seeing college as a place where you learn how to be a good worker. That's not its only purpose. So you more or less missed my point, or don't think it's very important; the mere environment gives college a solid advantage over any real life experience. Perhaps I didn't articulate it well enough, implying that you learn how to balance a checkbook or something.

Here's a start on the correlation thing, where the correlation strongly suggests causation:

http://economix.blog...d-to-argentina/

In addition, for the theoretical basis, we have a bunch of endogenous growth models that describe the role education and R&D have in growth.

http://econ.la.psu.e...es/endogrow.pdf

How can you even think it might be only a correlation and not necessarily a causation? It seems so intuitive - why would your parents want you to go to school if it didn't improve your income?


"Why would your parents want you to go to school if it didn't improve your income?" doesn't justify what you said, because there are so many factors to why people want to go to school or College, that income or projected income isn't necessarily one of them.

Personally, I think the economy and society itself would change around the price rise on tuition fees. Currently, people without degrees face almost no chance of a job, and those with a degree can't find a job if their degree isn't a good one.

Perhaps, in future, those without a degree can then find a job quite easily. People would then be given a choice of getting a good Major, or go straight into work after A levels; because people will no longer be able to afford getting a degree that isn't worthwhile (Philosophy and History, for example).

Hmmmmmmm

#23
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I wouldn't go. I already think it's [cabbage]. Tripling the price of a pretty good but cheap college would be putting me out $30k a year. An expensive one would be $150k. If you can afford that then there's no reason for you to go to college.

I guess community college wouldn't be too terrible, but from what I hear that's more or less like going to high school for a few more years.

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#24
Ring_World
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I wouldn't go. I already think it's [cabbage]. Tripling the price of a pretty good but cheap college would be putting me out $30k a year. An expensive one would be $150k. If you can afford that then there's no reason for you to go to college.

I guess community college wouldn't be too terrible, but from what I hear that's more or less like going to high school for a few more years.


its university just a fraction of the price, lol. There only real downside of community college is that you still need to apply to a Uni 2 years later which can be a hassle

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#25
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You're looking at what I said from a purely economical model yet still, and seeing college as a place where you learn how to be a good worker. That's not its only purpose. So you more or less missed my point, or don't think it's very important; the mere environment gives college a solid advantage over any real life experience. Perhaps I didn't articulate it well enough, implying that you learn how to balance a checkbook or something.

Here's a start on the correlation thing, where the correlation strongly suggests causation:

http://economix.blog...d-to-argentina/

In addition, for the theoretical basis, we have a bunch of endogenous growth models that describe the role education and R&D have in growth.

http://econ.la.psu.e...es/endogrow.pdf

How can you even think it might be only a correlation and not necessarily a causation? It seems so intuitive - why would your parents want you to go to school if it didn't improve your income?


No I perfectly get your point, I just don't think the university environment is as important as you make out for personal development. The "solid advantage" you mention for me is represented by the higher than average salaries of university graduates compared to other earners. If they're getting an advantage like this in terms of skill-set or personal development then I just can't see the argument why people who don't have that advantage should pay towards that. I get that they add value to society and hence economic growth so there's an argument why the government should subsidise, but I haven't seen any arguments that the increase in tuition fees will see a decline in the number of people graduating with solid degrees that will add value to society.

And again, I'm not denying that there might be a causal link between education and growth (although solid causal links in macroeconomic trends are essentially bunk) but that link will probably be geared a lot more towards STEM subjects which are still going to be subsidised in the current proposals (and the science budget has been frozen in real terms instead of cut which is a massive testament to the importance of science in driving growth).

My argument is primarily that the economic benefits of someone studying English literature for three years, learning some life skills and a certain academic skill set does not outweigh the economic cost of the government paying for that kind of degree. I mean, essentially they are because of the loan system so there's no barrier to entry and the cost of the degree is only repaid by the graduate once they are earning over a certain amount. This just seems fair to me, since everyone still has the chance of going to university regardless of current financial status.
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#26
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Universities in America, just by googling it cost around $10,000 and upwards just for the tuition fees. So I would say that it's a similar situation.

I do not agree with the rise of tuition fees, and I was at the first protest, but thinking about it recently, It's actually a good idea. With fees starting from £9000, people will actually choose courses at university because they want to do them - it will make people think about what they want to do more. I know a few people who joined a course because they thought it would be fun, not because they thought they would get a career out of it, and this is the kind of thing the tuition fee increase will obliterate.


Depends on the school you go to. Unlike the UK, schools in the US charge tuition rates anywhere from free to ~$60,000 per year, with everything in between. Less expensive large instate public universities run about 6-8000 dollars per year, which is charged to essentially everyone, whereas famous private universities commonly charge $50,000 per year (though they give out massive need-based grants, Harvard distribuited some $300,000,000 in aid to their undergraduate student body of 8000 last year)

#27
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Funnily enough I think it would have been better for the country if I had done something like History. I did a chemistry degree (more expensive course of a university to run than history) and subsequently moved into an area not related to chemistry and have forgotten most of the chemistry I learnt.
The personal growth I got from attending university was extremely valuable to me though so it was worth me going. (though this is going to vary from person to person and some people may find that going into straight into the workplace is more character building)

Saying that I don't think the higher fees are the deterent to attending university in the UK that some people are making them out to be. You do not need to be paying them back unless you are earning enough that you should be easily to afford to anyway.

People talk about students being forced into massive debt - but student loans are a very different sort of debt to bank loans, Overdrafts, credit card debts or consolodation loans (all of which can cause people real problems)
People worried about student loans as a debt will likely deliberatly put themselves in a much much bigger soft debt in the future when they take out a mortgage.

#28
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Lots of stuff here that I strongly disagree with.


Saying that I don't think the higher fees are the deterent to attending university in the UK that some people are making them out to be. You do not need to be paying them back unless you are earning enough that you should be easily to afford to anyway.

People talk about students being forced into massive debt - but student loans are a very different sort of debt to bank loans, Overdrafts, credit card debts or consolodation loans (all of which can cause people real problems)
People worried about student loans as a debt will likely deliberatly put themselves in a much much bigger soft debt in the future when they take out a mortgage.


I am told that banks take a student loan into account when they decide whether to give you a mortgage or not. Obviously, they know that everything you earn over £15k (in future £21k) will be reduced by 9%. So, £30,000 really means £28.65k. So, pretending that a student loan won't affect your finances isn't true.

Also, personal finances are all about the edges. Most people have essentially fixed costs that they can't easily avoid, like rent and council taxes, and bills like electricity and gas. Once you work out what people have left over after these are paid, there's only a few hundred pounds here or there each month. Therefore, an extra 9% tax through a student loan does make a substantial difference and could make the difference between, for example, being able to afford to have children or not.


It's hard to say what the effect will be but if it improves the quality of courses and cuts out all the mickey mouse degrees then that will be a good thing. If it cuts down the number of students taking degrees then that's probably a good thing too, since a lot are essentially unnecessary for their future jobs. I haven't seen any good arguments as to why it will decrease uni access.

People often say that there will be fewer mickey mouse degrees and people should go and learn a trade. Normally though, the assumption is that it will be someone else learning a trade, because we all think we're smart enough (or our kids are smart enough, or we're rich enough) that this won't actually affect us.

Anyway, teaching a narrow skill set isn't the way to get an adaptable workforce. There's no point someone learning a skill that later becomes obselete and then they can't or don't want to re-skill. That's the problem the UK had in the 1970s and 1980s. Instead, get someone to learn some fundamentals so that they can later pick up whatever job the economy requires. That means that all those history graduates, who know how to critique information, how to bring lots of disparate contradictory information together into a coherent whole, how to spend time on their own doing a long project, how to find and store information methodically, how to write clearly and concisely (etc.) - they will be able to change with the times because those fundamental skills will always be needed. But the man who knows how to fix a CRT television is out of a job. The fact is, we'll never know what the future will bring, so there's no way we can predict what skills we'll require next decade or even next year. There are often news articles about shortages of teachers, and then 2 years later there are news articles about gluts of teachers. This is because the government doesn't even know how many teachers it will need in 2 years time so it trains too few or too many.


This is the only argument that makes any sense. The UK is looking at huge economic problems within a few years - this is a smart and proactive move by the government.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-11989773

"Changes made by the government to university tuition fees in England are as likely to cost public money as save it, experts say.

The Higher Education Policy Institute (Hepi) re-evaluated the plans in light of concessions made shortly before MPs voted in favour of raising annual fees to up to £9,000.

It concluded that if any savings were made, they would be marginal."


The poor still remain protected, with up to 2 years free education for anyone who could receive free school meals (weird Conservative logic).

From the government's perspective, it would solve the Higher Education funding problem, and could also encourage people to make more informed choices of what to study. Courses that could encourage economic growth would be one of the government's objectives, such as Economics, Science and Maths.

Whereas courses like History, Sociology, and Philosophy are quite useless, and is considered a 'waste', for the government. Maybe it isn't such a bad thing..


You say that economics will encourage economic growth, it's a shame they're not funding economics then, since it's a social science.........

The other aspect of this that commenters seem to miss is that science, technology, engineering and maths degrees will still cost the same as other degrees. Tuition fees for them are still being tripled. Sure, they are being subsidised, but because they cost more the price is still £9k. So, it's not as if the government is encouraging anyone to do these degrees - relative to the cost of other degrees nothing has changed.

An interesting addendum to this is that the university will be liable for the costs of providing free education to students from poor backgrounds. This is actually a disincentive for universities to try and widen participation. I read an article saying that under this scheme, Cambridge University would have to pay £150k/year towards these poor students' education, but some ex-polytechnics would be paying £750k/year.


It's nice that people can learn maturity and find themselves whilst studying history, but that benefit to society is not as direct as learning applicable skills and you haven't convinced me that with a massive deficit taxpayers should still be paying for people to learn more about themselves. I don't doubt that people do learn skills studying arts and humanities, but the benefit is hard to quantify and the link between GDP and education levels could be correlation not causation.

Even if they don't go to university they'll still have had many years of education and will be still adults. People can learn all the essential life skills that uni might teach them in a job that might be better suited to them in the first place. I don't buy the link between subsidising arts and humanities and government paying less in the long run. I'm not saying all funding to universities should be cut, that's a separate argument. I think the government should subsidise these kind of courses whenever possible for their own sake, but in the current economic argument it's pretty hard to justify. The argument about tuition fees however is separate.


Two points here:

1) Why should I fund someone to do A-Level history or AS-Level politics then? What about GCSE geography? In fact, I don't care if other people's kids can read or not - why do I have to fund school literacy? Why don't we get kids doing properly useful things, like cleaning chimneys and making shoes?

2) The 'current economic climate' argument is lies to hide ideological changes. The UK government already spends less on university education than most governments in the OECD. If they can afford to increase university spending then why are we cutting?
For it is the greyness of dusk that reigns.
The time when the living and the dead exist as one.




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