The English student income-contingent university loan and fee system is unfair, inefficient and unsustainable.
It is unfair because the most affluent students pay the least when their families pay their fees up front for them. It is inefficient because it rewards universities that do a good job of marketing their products rather than teaching well. It is unsustainable because it is based on a model of very high future income inequalities where graduates are all paid very highly and everyone else is paid very low.
English fees and loans will at some point be abolished or reduced to very low levels. Immediate abolition is already the manifesto promise of the Labour Party.
That then raises the question of compensation for those who were 17-year-old children between early 2012 and, say, 2022 and were enticed to apply as a child to have these loans.
Reducing their debt to pre-2012 levels is one possibility. Private companies who buy part of student loan books should be aware that following the publication of the Labour 2017 election manifesto they clearly now risk a future government not recompensing them for them taking the risk that they can profit from the plight of this generation of children. The decision to go to university in England is mostly made at age 17.
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