» Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Asked if the Business Secretary was considering a graduate tax, the PMS said that there was a review underway, conducted by Lord Browne, which was looking at the issue of how to fund higher education and the balance between taxpayers, students, graduates and employers. The review was due to report its findings in the autumn.

Asked if two-year degrees were being considered, the PMS said that we were looking at the funding of universities and university places. What we wanted to do was make sure that we supported people from all backgrounds who wanted to go to university. The coalition document made the point that we needed to increase social mobility, ensure that we had a properly funded university sector and make sure that people from all backgrounds had the chance to go into higher education.

Asked if the Business Secretary would announce something tomorrow in his speech, the PMS said that reporters should wait for the speech.

Asked if it was likely that the Business Secretary would ask Lord Browne to look specifically at the idea of a graduate tax, the PMS said that the terms of reference for Lord Browne’s review stated that he would examine the balanced contributions to higher education funding by taxpayers, students, graduates and employers. It would take into account the affordability for students and their families during their studies and afterwards, and the impact on the public finances including affordability, sustainability and value for money for the taxpayer.

Put that the assumption was that shorter degrees would allow more people to go to university, the PMS said that there were already full and part time courses at university and the Browne review covered all courses, but the focus of the review was funding.

Put that the coalition document referred to social mobility and asked how that fit in with plans for universities, the PMS said the coalition document said the government would consider the outcome of the Browne review and would judge its proposals against the need to increase social mobility, the impact on student debt, as well as other criteria.

original source.

Briefing took place at 10:00 | Search for related news

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