Graduate Tax

Discussion in 'Topical Discussion' started by Samsonite, Jul 15, 2010.

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  1. Fat Jez

    Fat Jez Master of the High Five!

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    I was lucky enough to come out of university ahead, but then I graduated in 1998. I also worked part time in Tesco throughout and had a bursary for £500 from the Engineering Council each year, which I saved.

    Mortgage companies never used to pay attention to student loans, but there are signs that this is changing as people come out with more and more debt.

    http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/mortgages-and-homes/article.html?in_article_id=429701&in_page_id=8

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11549907
     
  2. sf37

    sf37 Super Kustomer

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    Yeah, I can confirm that student loans do make a difference to mortgages. My wife and I are currently buying our first house and they have somehow calculated her potential income after tax as £2k less than expected due to her loan repayments (which equate to about £50 p/m). It's a little odd really as, aside from the maths not working out, I earn a fair bit more than her, and as a consequence pay over double the amount that she repays per month - and yet they had no issue with my repayments.

    Going back to the original point of this thread, it's only an issue if you do a pointless degree at uni. My wife and I went on to do PhDs, which we would never have done without undergrad qualifications. After that it doesn't really matter what course you have studied, statistically you gain transferable skills for many careers from a PhD which increase your earning potential.

    It is interesting to see how the situation is changing. I studied microbiology at uni, which is becoming very uncommon as a straight academic qualification nowadays. Instead it is being replaced by more career-orientated courses, such as biomedical science or pharmacy, which are tailor-made for jobs that are out there and waiting for graduates (mostly within the NHS). In principle this system sounds great, except:

    - the original jobs never needed graduate-level staff; the older generation of staff in this sector never needed or got them, and have proven that on-the-job training was just as effective

    - the major factor that determines course subscription is cost, not quality of university/ course (because the degree qualification is a requirement, not the standard of the qualification itself, and companies are footing the bill for most students).

    - there are far more graduates than jobs at this point, and unis keep churning out more and more each year

    Sort of misses the point really....
     
  3. Koolpc

    Koolpc Not From Earth

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    Its all about the amount they wont be able to p.i.s.s up against the wall!!
     
  4. nicky munchkin

    nicky munchkin Nick is not responding...

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    Depends.

    A lot of Universities offer HND courses, which after the completion of the 2 year course allow you to do a top up year and receive your degree. These courses, depending on the Uni, will let you on with something ridiculous like 40-80 UCAS points (I remember to get on my HND Computing course, which is an identical course to the BSc students, I needed 40 UCAS points, which COULD theoretically be achieved with one AS Level!!).

    Now, in my opinion this is good and bad. I achieved pretty poor A-Levels (C and a D), yet I'm doing well at University (should be looking at about a 2:1 once I've done the top up BSc year next year). I know some others on this forum and on my course that are in a similar boat. This is especially important for Computing, because I've noticed a trend amongst geeks in that they tend to be highly unacademic, yet get them into University with a copy of Visual Studio and they will absolutely cane everyone else.

    Obviously there are downsides, there are quite a few oxygen thieves on my course, who walk in to lectures half an hour late every single day, do no work, and generally make the Uni look crap.

    But if you take away our right to get into a bottom league University on pi55 poor grades, and get a degree, then... well I'd just be on the dole right about now, wasting tax payers money in a less productive way ;)

    Edit: Feel I should point out my HND and degree will be computer science, not some MS Office degree.
     
  5. jacobzcoool

    jacobzcoool Chav Hunter

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    Definitely not fair. I'll finish university next year, but I have ZERO interest in some 'career' doing a job I hate just for more money, there's no point to money when you can't enjoy life. I'm entitled to do that because I am PAYING for university and I want to be happy, not rich, so that's my right, I don't have some obligation to contribute more because I went to university.
    The tax burden is already ridiculous (and the money mostly completely wasted), why don't the government look to eliminate things like the £10 billion terrorist magnet that is the olympics, instead of endangering our future to save a bit of short term money?
    Paying a load MORE tax for the rest of my life just because I PAID TO go to university is ridiculous, if this ever gets implemented then I will be asking my university if I can give my degree back to avoid getting shafted by this tax as in the end, I won't earn any more from having a degree, I'll probably be earning less than if I had gone and got a job as I missed out on 3 years.
     
  6. Fat Jez

    Fat Jez Master of the High Five!

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    Any university that offers a degree that an employer will take seriously doesn't offer an HND course. The problem is too many colleges suddenly became universities, but are still colleges at heart and the quality shows in their rankings.

    When I got my degree from Strathclyde, We had students coming in from Bell College in Hamilton to study for a BTech. The good ones were invited back for a final year and a BEng (Hons) degree. If you don't have the grades to get into a good university, then go to college and get your HNC/HND and then go onto university, it' still a valid route.
     
  7. phil2715

    phil2715 Registered + Sale

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    No, you're paying a very small amount towards the cost of your university education. You are in no way paying for the entire course by yourself.

    This.

    Also, whilst I appreciate your point about people not necessarily being academically gifted, but still being good at computer science, in my experience 'good' is very subjective.

    I've dealt with a number of programmers over the years for various contract work with the company, and whilst they may have been technically able, their mathematical skills and general approach to problem solving was atrocious.

    Good programming requires a lot more than being a whizz with Visual Studio, and this is why decent CS degrees place such an importance on analytical skills (e.g. high level maths), and won't let you in without a decent grounding in those subjects at A-level.

    I'd rather employ a CS grad who has no specific experience with the language in question, but has a solid degree and A-levels, than a CS grad with a CV full of Ds at A-level, yet a course syllabus that covers all possible languages.
     
  8. Cosmo_1847

    Cosmo_1847 Kiss of death

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    If I remember this correctly, For every £3,250 a student pays per year the government pays about £8,000. So if the students pay more the government should pay less.

    With regards to grades, my A-levels all suck but I am doing very well at university and should get at least a 2:1. I am of course aiming for a first :) Universities are the only form of education where you have the freedom of choice as to what you study.
     
  9. nicky munchkin

    nicky munchkin Nick is not responding...

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    Well as I mentioned I'm doing a Computer Science HND. Identical course to the BSc students (just a year shorter, minus the top up BSc year I'll be doing).

    Current modules are:
    Software Engineering (C# in Visual Studio)
    Operating Systems (Mainly Unix and Linux)
    Modern Networks (Java programming over networks)
    Database Technology (MySQL)
    Internet Programming (PHP, MySQL, JavaScript)
    Group Project
     
  10. jacobzcoool

    jacobzcoool Chav Hunter

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    Looks kind of like my dedicated BSc except with the group project, I'm glad I don't have to do that :)
     
  11. nicky munchkin

    nicky munchkin Nick is not responding...

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    It is just a BSc course. If I leave after 2 years, I get a HND, if I leave after 3, I get a degree :) Same modules and assignments as the degree students, and the course is over £1000 cheaper per year :p

    I know many students on my course (including myself actually) who had enough UCAS points for the degree course but chose the HND route followed by the top up year to save £2000.

    Plus if something bad happens and I fail the third year, I've still got my HND. If I'd done the degree course from the start and failed the third year I would have got a piece of paper that said "congratz lol".
     
  12. jacobzcoool

    jacobzcoool Chav Hunter

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    hmm, that's a sensible idea... guess a lot more people will be doing that soon in terms of value for money.
     
  13. Cosmo_1847

    Cosmo_1847 Kiss of death

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    At my uni a HND is the same price as a full Degree, just a year shorter. Also at my uni the points that go towards your HND can't go towards your degree.
     
  14. Archaon

    Archaon Eats, Drinks, Sleeps Kustom

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    I did an FdA for two years then 'topped-up' to a BSc in year 3. The same was available for HND students.

    The courses were virtually the same. Main difference was that the FdA and HND cost £1200 per year at the time, whereas the BA and BSc tracks cost ~£3000. In other words I paid under £6k for my degree instead of £9k, and got an extra qualification out of it.


    And you may scoff, thinking that a degree supercedes the HND and FdA and nobody will care but I know one person who got his current job because he had an HND, not because he had a degree. They valued the HND more as a more technical, hands on course.
     
  15. nicky munchkin

    nicky munchkin Nick is not responding...

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    True in theory, HND's are marketed as being more vocational. I can't see anyone passing a degree up for a HND in reality though.

    £5 says the employer Googled "differences between a HND and a Degree", found out they are attributed as vocational, hands on qualifications and employed him on that basis without realising what it actually is.
     
  16. Trog

    Trog PW Engineer.

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    How about keeping the idea of loans paid back out of earnings over a certain level.
    But with an interest rate that depends on the usefulness of the degree obtained.
    Perhaps with an adjustment for how good a degree was obtained at the end of the course, as a reward for hard work put in and making the best of the contribution made from general taxation.

    Medical and engineering degrees having a low or very low rate of interest.

    Kylie Minogue and media studies *, History of Art Etc. having a high rate of interest.


    * I made this one up, but I suspect you know what I am getting at
     
  17. Wulf

    Wulf Regular Kustomer

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    Looks at poster- "PW Engineer."
    Sneaky sneaky... ;)
    But, I agree with the gist of what you're saying: Important degrees have less interest.
     
  18. Kermit98

    Kermit98 Regular Kustomer

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    I agree that probably is the case. I also suspect that making University courses appear more expensive will hit the mickey mouse degrees more than the traditional ones.

    They did do something along those lines if you were becoming a teacher. Science teachers would get a "Golden Hello" of something like £3K while drama and IT got nothing.


    * I am not associating Drama and IT as the same quality band in usefulness, they obviously are very different.... I am yet to hear of anyone I knew at University getting a job because of a Drama degree, or in most cases get a real job at all. They both are just popular and from memory didn't get the Golden Hello.
     
  19. Trog

    Trog PW Engineer.

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    Old joke but what the hell...


    A science graduate asks "How does that work?"

    An engineering graduate asks "How is that made?"

    A media studies graduate asks "Do you want fries with that?"
     
  20. Trog

    Trog PW Engineer.

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    It would be if I was qualified beyond HNC, and that was so long ago that even if I had been given a loan it would have been paid back decades ago.