More is more

May 23, 2003

Damian Green's proposal (Opinion, THES , May 16) to turn back the clock to an era of tax funding for a more elite system of higher education is wrong. We need more graduates, not fewer, to promote growth. Tax funding has failed to sustain quality and has failed the poor: the fraction of students from poor backgrounds has barely changed in 40 years.

The article also misrepresents the proposals in arguing that higher fees will leave families worse off. The core of the white paper is that no parent has to pay for fees. Students get their education free. It is graduates who make repayments and only if their earnings warrant.

Nicholas Barr
London School of Economics

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