Students should pay for a university education, according to the majority of people who voted in Moneywise.co.uk’s recent poll, although most believe the current high fees and interest rates are “unfair and should be reformed”.
Of the 1,403 people who voted, two thirds (66%) said student loans are fair. This is broken down as follows:
- Just over a quarter (26%) think people should pay for further education but the high fees and interest rates are unfair and should be reformed.
- Nearly two in 10 (16%) think students should pay for university but vocational degrees (such as engineering or medicine) should be prioritised and made more affordable than others.
- 15% think people should pay for university, but it should be paid for through extra tax (i.e. a graduate tax) rather than a loan system.
- And nearly one in 10 (9%) simply think people should pay for a university education.
In contrast, nearly a third of those who voted (31%) said a university education should be free for everyone. An additional 2% selected ‘Other’.
The findings follow the announcement of a major review of student loans by the government in February 2018.
At present, most universities simply charge the maximum annual fee – currently £9,250. Meanwhile, graduates are charged different rates of interest depending on when and where in the UK they studied, with some paying as much as 6.1%.
Students loans were criticised by the Treasury Committee earlier this year, with the cross-party group of MPs asking the Prime Minister to look at the “questionable” current system. In December 2017, the National Audit Office (NAO) slammed universities for ‘mis-selling’ poor value courses.
See the pie chart below for the full poll results.