Posted by: Gillian | July 15, 2010

Graduate tax and social concern

While Lord Browne still has to deliberate about how to fund UK higher education, there are much wider social elements to take into account. Vince Cable has been given the role of floating a ‘graduate tax’. If that comes up as an equitable and practical idea, I’ll eat my hat.

  1. Socially ‘esteemed’ graduate jobs pay very differently (nuclear engineers or librarians or physics teachers)
  2. If we want nuclear engineers and simultaneously do not want librarians and physics teachers, the equation is simple – but what kind of a society is that?
  3. People are not geo-fixed no matter what the Googlemap says. International businesses (the companies that provide investment in the UK) are global.  They are not tied to UK standards even when they recognise that the vast majority of UK courses are to be admired for what they deliver.
  4. Degrees have known pricetags – unless the uni is utterly incompetent.
  5. Figures showing improvement over non-grad earnings should show current non-degree equivs such as plumbers, PR consultants…+
  6. All ‘lifetime’ grad earnings are history. Increasing the grad pool may have increased current grad individual income but can/should this sustain 10 years from now? Is that difference taxable, socially or economically?
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