Yesterday the Guardian published the following excellent letter from Sally Hunt, General Secretary of the University and College Union:
A graduate tax is not the only alternative to higher student fees (A graduate tax won't happen but tuition fees can be fairer, 11 October). There are benefits to us all from public investment in our universities. For every £1 spent on higher education, the economy gets £2.50 back.
Our economic future depends on the quality of education our citizens have, yet politicians paint potential students as middle-class scroungers rather than as future higher-rate taxpayers. Even before the latest cuts, state investment in the UK was 10% below that of the US.
For the third time in a decade, it seems the main parties are misjudging the public mood on university funding – whether Vince Cable and Nick Clegg call the system a fee, a loan or a tax is immaterial to students and families, who already face a mountain of debt. A very modest increase in the UK's corporation tax rates to the G7 average would raise enough revenue to abolish tuition fees. Big business benefits massively from the plentiful supply of graduates, as does our economy, and should make a contribution.
Education is a right, not a privilege, and our country's future needs the talents of all, not just those with the deepest pockets and sharpest elbows.