You report renewed interest in charging variable tuition fees depending on an assessment of the value of the subject being studied (“Would students swallow fees varying by subject?”, Analysis, 23 July). In a system where higher education is exposed to the bracing mechanisms of the market, however, more can surely be done. Why not give students a smart card that they can charge with credit? They can then decide which lectures and tutorials are worth paying for and which are not. Payment by results was a core idea of Gradgrindian education whose time has come again.