CGHE Seminar 82

Jubilee 2022: the case for the write-off of UK historic student debt

  • Friday, 15 Jun 2018 12:30 - 14:00
  • Committee Room 1, UCL Institute of Education
  • Danny Dorling, University of Oxford

Professor Dorling will argue that 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.

View the presentation

Event podcast

Listen to a podcast of this seminar:

Danny Dorling

Danny Dorling

Danny Dorling is a Professor of Human Geography at the University of Oxford. He has also worked in Sheffield, Newcastle, Bristol, Leeds and New Zealand, went to university in Newcastle upon Tyne, and grew up in Oxford. He has published over 40 books including many atlases and Population Ten Billion in 2013; All That is Solid in 2014; Injustice: Why Social Inequalities Still Persist in 2015; A Better Politics: How Government Can Make Us Happier in 2016; The Equality Effect in 2017; and Do We Need Economic Inequality? in 2018.

Other upcoming events