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Students call for tax not fees

Published: Wednesday, 10 June 2009   Category: Life after graduation

Students are calling for tuition fees to be scrapped and replaced with a tax which would benefit people who go on to graduate jobs in low-paid sectors.

The suggestion was made in a proposal from the National Union of Students (NUS) as the body continues to push the government to act on the issue of student debt.

It states that rather than paying top-up fees, graduates would make contributions to a trust for a fixed period of 20 years after leaving university.

These payments would vary depending on what type of graduate job people do, with contribution rates varying from 0.3 per cent to 2.5 per cent for workers in different wage brackets.

NUS president Wes Streeting is quoted by 24 Dash as saying: "We hope that the higher education sector and MPs from all political parties will engage with us in a proper debate on this issue, rather than simply kicking it into the long grass and hoping that it will go away."

A recent study by Kent and Lancaster universities highlighted that having a degree still impacts on people's salaries upon graduation, suggesting that male graduates could still expect to gain an 18 per cent higher salary than those without degrees.

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