Independent: Vince Cable supports 'Graduate Contribution Scheme'
Vince Cable is a much-loved politician because he tells it like it is, he seems to know what he is talking about and he doesn’t pander to people. Youngsters like him because he has a cool name that brings to mind an action movie star; oldies are keen because, well, because he’s one of them.
But the university world is fast falling out of love with the Business Secretary, who has responsibility for higher education. That’s because of his use of the “T” word – in other words, his mention of a graduate tax to replace top-up fees.
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Financial Times: Cable considers earnings-based college fee plan
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The Independent: Vince Cable announces 'graduate tax' plan
Graduates will have to pay more for their university education in the future, Vince Cable said today, under sweeping reforms being considered by the Government.
Higher graduate contributions are the “only possible way forward” to make the higher education system fairer and sustainable for the future, the Business Secretary said.
Mr Cable was setting out a more “progressive” system of funding that includes proposals for a so-called “graduate tax”.
And he admitted that as the university sector becomes more competitive, it is inevitable that some institutions will struggle and should be left to fail.
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21st Century universities: engines of an innovation-driven economy
There is a question that is currently being asked across the UK as we face the biggest deficit since the end of World War II. The question was recently summed up by Vince Cable in his Denning Lecture; “can we reduce the deficit while still investing in helping the economy?”
While government has recognised the important role of universities as part of this critical question, the full role of these institutions within our economy has often been overshadowed in the UK. Indeed, despite severe spending cuts in many countries, it is a remarkable fact that the UK and Romania are the only two OECD countries that are not increasing their investment in higher education, research and science.
This paper highlights a weight of evidence to demonstrate that universities are not just part of a growth strategy, they are central to it. The quality and scale of our higher education (delivering highly skilled graduates), science and research will determine the future pattern of economic growth in any innovation-driven economy. This puts universities right at the heart of the original question.
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