Thought I would start up a thread on this as it's in the news a lot and there are always plenty of students, graduates and students-to-be on these forums. Is graduate tax fairer than paying back a loan? I suppose it depends on how you define fair. I started uni just after the loans came in. I was gutted because the grants which I missed out on were perfect from a student's point of view - free money that you don't have to pay back. Well technically income tax paid for it and graduates earn more on average, so it got paid back - hang on... so why introduce graduate tax? So graduate tax is just a tax increase... I have now come to terms with the fact that I have to keep paying back my huge loan slowly for the privilege of going to university - it is a loan and you pay it back. The big argument is always about poorer families and alienating them from a a good education. The loans were ok in a way - poorer students had to borrow bigger loans, but in theory they should get well-paid jobs just like the wealthier students. A bit unfair due to coming from different circumstances, but the opportunities are there. Of course, with graduate tax, bigger earners are going to feel annoyed that they are funding students more than graduates who have low paid jobs. This gets even more contentious when you look at certain uni courses - there are plenty of courses which will not help someone get a career and they are just there for personal interest more than anything. Boy, this post is getting big! I personally think the loan works ok on balance because you don't have to pay anything back if you earn less than £15k. You never have to pay more than a certain percentage of what you earn (like tax), BUT, at least you are likely to pay it off before you retire, unlike a graduate tax. Also, it means that whatever background you are from, you decide whether or not you want to take a loan and if it is worth it to give you better job prospects. My parents were both doing mature degrees when I went to uni, so I was considered very poor in terms of funding so got the biggest loan properly and it is still huge! Worth it though! To be honest, tuition fees are possibly a bigger problem if they increase to £7k... And breathe.