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Toff-up fees

Mortgaging graduates' future earnings to the tune of pound;21,000 or more seems a funny way to encourage more working-class children to stay on for further and higher education. In families where financial horizons rarely stretch beyond the weekly pay packet or giro, such sums are unimaginable.

By deferring even further the payback from studying the Government is making a university education seem even more unattainable to the poor.

Even middle-class children will now think twice. Who can say what the income advantages of a degree will be when half the population has one?

If elite universities need more money to compete as world-class research institutes, presumably we all stand to gain and should be ready to pay through general taxation. Why should their students be made to pay for it?

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