THE – Uncapped numbers: it’s a different story Down Under

Source: Dale Edwin Murray

Source: Dale Edwin Murray

The experience of uncapping numbers in the UK will be different from that in Australia, says Libby Hackett Chief Executive of University Alliance.

“When you step off the plane in Australia, after you adjust your eyes to the bright golden orb in the sky, you can’t help but notice that most people have a spring in their step and a smile on their face.

“Maybe it is just the sunshine, but it might also have something to do with the mining boom that has protected the Australian economy from the impact of global recession. Everything seems new and shiny in a flourishing economy. Jobs are plentiful, wages are high, quality of life is on an upward trajectory, the number of students in higher education is growing – and no matter how hard you press anyone in the government or the Treasury, you cannot get them to worry about the number of student loans flying out the door.

“Here in the UK in deepest, darkest January, when our universities minister has just had to mount yet another defence of the ever-growing resource accounting and budgeting (RAB) charge (the proportion of student loans that will never be repaid) to a select committee of MPs, I am keenly aware of the contrasts as well as the similarities that we share with our cousins Down Under.”

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