A 'right' or wrong

September 8, 2000

Sarah Fitzpatrick (Opinion, THES, September 1) reminds us of the claim that graduates earn on average Pounds 400,000 more than non-graduates over their lifetime. That means Pounds 88,000 to Pounds 160,000 additional income tax per student.

Full funding seems a good investment if her argument is followed. However, my idealism has long gone and I appreciate the need for this generation to squeeze tomorrow's as much as we can get away with. But why loans, parental savings and a sprinkling of scholarships?

I have yet to hear a convincing argument against full fees and maintenance being financed through a permanent extra 2 per cent or so income tax on the beneficiaries. No debts, no stigma, greatly reduced administration.

Rob Henderson Department of mathematics and statistics, Lancaster University

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