Readers' reactions

April 14, 2000

Last month in The THES... Labour MP Bill Rammell argued the government should not allow universities to charge top-up fees.

Jonathan Pincus. George Gollin professor. of economicsUniversity of Adelaide, Australia.

In alluding to the Australian experience, Bill Rammell got his facts wrong. The Australian government does not permit public universities to charge top-up fees. From 1996, the government did allow public universities to offer full-fee places to a limited quota of Australians. No voucher system meant few gave up the advantages of a subsidised place at a less-favoured university in favour of paying full fees at one they prefer. Whatever caused a drop in applications, it was not top-up fees.

* The winner of the Student Supplement draw (THES, March 31) is Ruth Webb, a postgraduate student at Goldsmiths College, University of London. She wins a Pounds 100 Blackwell's voucher.

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