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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Eesha
    • By MSE Eesha 11th Nov 16, 1:13 PM
    • 81Posts
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    MSE Eesha
    Uni Minister Jo Johnson says NO to my letter asking 'please be honest & ...
    • #1
    • 11th Nov 16, 1:13 PM
    Uni Minister Jo Johnson says NO to my letter asking 'please be honest & ... 11th Nov 16 at 1:13 PM
    This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.

    Last edited by MSE Luke; 24-11-2016 at 2:49 PM.
Page 1
    • Paul_Herring
    • By Paul_Herring 11th Nov 16, 5:49 PM
    • 6,108 Posts
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    Paul_Herring
    • #2
    • 11th Nov 16, 5:49 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Nov 16, 5:49 PM
    Once again (http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5531030#4) the point is missed about transparency about how much those of us without children are contributing to these students, most of whom won't actually be repaying loans. (Grants, by their nature, won't be repaid at all.)

    Perhaps if the apparent target of getting 50% of post-secondary students into university to study such esoteric subjects such as Women's Studies, Underwater Basket Weaving and The Politics of Harry Potter Through the Medium of Interpretive Dance was lowered, them more money would be available for the students of more worthwhile subjects (sciences e.g.) that result in real jobs based on the resultant degrees, and stuff like means-testing parent's income for the purposes of determining grants and loans wouldn't actually be necessary, since the 'pot' wouldn't be being spread so thinly.
    Conjugating the verb 'to be":
    o I am humble
    o You are attention seeking
    o She is Nadine Dorries
    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 11th Nov 16, 5:57 PM
    • 8,107 Posts
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    MSE Martin
    • #3
    • 11th Nov 16, 5:57 PM
    • #3
    • 11th Nov 16, 5:57 PM
    I understand your point. And indeed I agree in tax transparency, I think we need people to understand that nothing is "free" its just a question of who pays the individual or the taxpayer.

    Yet I think that is a very differnet point to the direct transparency of telling people how much they need to give their children. Mine is an issue of communication of policy, yours is one of policy itself.
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.

    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
    • Paul_Herring
    • By Paul_Herring 11th Nov 16, 7:22 PM
    • 6,108 Posts
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    Paul_Herring
    • #4
    • 11th Nov 16, 7:22 PM
    • #4
    • 11th Nov 16, 7:22 PM
    I understand your point.
    Originally posted by MSE Martin
    And I yours.

    You're attempting to fix the symptoms inherent in the problem that's been created.

    I'm proposing to fix the underlying problem so the symptoms aren't there to begin with.

    I do, however, appreciate the fact that you directly replied to my post. Thank you.
    Last edited by Paul_Herring; 11-11-2016 at 7:47 PM.
    Conjugating the verb 'to be":
    o I am humble
    o You are attention seeking
    o She is Nadine Dorries
    • Lingua
    • By Lingua 11th Nov 16, 10:40 PM
    • 159 Posts
    • 166 Thanks
    Lingua
    • #5
    • 11th Nov 16, 10:40 PM
    • #5
    • 11th Nov 16, 10:40 PM
    Once again (http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5531030#4) the point is missed about transparency about how much those of us without children are contributing to these students, most of whom won't actually be repaying loans. (Grants, by their nature, won't be repaid at all.)

    Perhaps if the apparent target of getting 50% of post-secondary students into university to study such esoteric subjects such as Women's Studies, Underwater Basket Weaving and The Politics of Harry Potter Through the Medium of Interpretive Dance was lowered, them more money would be available for the students of more worthwhile subjects (sciences e.g.) that result in real jobs based on the resultant degrees, and stuff like means-testing parent's income for the purposes of determining grants and loans wouldn't actually be necessary, since the 'pot' wouldn't be being spread so thinly.
    Originally posted by Paul_Herring
    Or how much healthy folk contribute to the NHS, or how much childless people contribute to a state education system, etc. etc. ad nauseam.

    University-educated graduates should contribute more to the state and the overall economy than non-graduates due to the extra income they should, theoretically, gain over their working life. Of course, an increasing number of graduates means this 'graduate premium' is possibly being eroded.

    Nonetheless, student loans (and, for those who were lucky enough, grants) are/were a vital means for intelligent and able students from poorer backgrounds to better themselves and break out of what could well be a socio-economic cycle of family poverty / low income.

    My family is generous enough to contribute towards my university education but not every family wants to or can afford to. At least providing this information would create the chance for discussion and to promote awareness amongst parents who may not understand how much their children are losing because of their income.

    Lingua
    Long-Term Goal: 9'000 / 40'000 mortgage downpayment (2020
    • VT82
    • By VT82 14th Nov 16, 9:26 AM
    • 914 Posts
    • 727 Thanks
    VT82
    • #6
    • 14th Nov 16, 9:26 AM
    • #6
    • 14th Nov 16, 9:26 AM
    Disappointing how rubbish the response is. Deliberately talking 'around' the subject at hand instead of actually addressing it on lots of occasions.

    Your suggestion makes sense and doesn't disadvantage anyone - why don't they just implement it instead of fighting it for no apparent gain? I guess they're hoping the pile of paperwork needed to constantly rebuff your argument will be slightly smaller than the pile of paperwork needed to just get on and do it?
    • EllsBells93
    • By EllsBells93 15th Nov 16, 10:55 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    EllsBells93
    • #7
    • 15th Nov 16, 10:55 PM
    Not a good enough response!
    • #7
    • 15th Nov 16, 10:55 PM
    Completely agree with everything you raised in your open letter. I am a 23yo student, with my own house and job and totally independent from my parents. Yet I am still entitled to minimum loan and assessed on my parents' income, as I can't be classed as an independent student unless I am married or have a baby?!
    • Senseicads
    • By Senseicads 16th Nov 16, 1:33 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 20 Thanks
    Senseicads
    • #8
    • 16th Nov 16, 1:33 PM
    • #8
    • 16th Nov 16, 1:33 PM
    Surely you aren't going to let it go at that are you Martin? What are your next steps?
    • Tony Normal Bloke
    • By Tony Normal Bloke 16th Nov 16, 3:57 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Tony Normal Bloke
    • #9
    • 16th Nov 16, 3:57 PM
    • #9
    • 16th Nov 16, 3:57 PM
    My wife died suddenly not long before our daughter started Uni. So, I am now a single parent on a single income. What saddens me is when I hear of divorced parents playing the system. The parent on the lesser income (say 15k pa) does the 'Means Test' whilst the partner on stacks of cash (say 50k pa) is deliberately kept out of the equation - although more than able to finance the student.


    On a completely different tack, the other irritating fact surrounds the number of lectures cancelled by the lecturer - often with little notice. My daughter also reported that no one in the class could understand the foreign lecturer's strong accent! In what other service area would the consumer/customer go without the goods and not complain? It seems that the parent is not able to do anything about this - as the Student is the customer? In an ideal world, the Student would possess the nous, assertiveness and wherewithal to take on the Faculty Head in a bid to do something about it. Of course - the reality is that many don't.


    Compared with Local Govt or the NHS, the Universities are awash with cash. The snaffling up of city centre real estate reflects that. I just want the service provided to match the price paid for it.
    • Lingua
    • By Lingua 16th Nov 16, 6:09 PM
    • 159 Posts
    • 166 Thanks
    Lingua
    The quality of teaching can be hit and miss too. Not only that, but the number of contact hours can be tiny. A friend of mine doing English Literature only has 4/5 hours a week, and some of those hours are seminars led by postgrad students who don't know what they're talking about!

    It's crazy.


    Lingua
    Long-Term Goal: 9'000 / 40'000 mortgage downpayment (2020
    • Chris649
    • By Chris649 17th Nov 16, 9:03 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Chris649
    Such a poor response from Jo Johnson.

    University is anything but cheap and the funding gap that parents are expected to make up is substantial.

    The reality is that just because someone earns x it does not mean they can or will fund such a substantial expense. There's zero regard for major expenses like mortgages, commuting, pensions, child care, parents in care homes. Even already having a child at university is not considered! How on earth can you test someone's means by only considering income?

    For a policy that's supposed to enable equal opportunity it's incredibly damaging. Students will pay the price for decades.
    Last edited by Chris649; 17-11-2016 at 9:12 AM.
    • RABFC
    • By RABFC 17th Nov 16, 9:53 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    RABFC
    The OP (Paul) makes an excellent point, and I agree totaly being a taxpayer with no kids. The government should perhaps publish a table that states what % of the max a student will get for each band of income the parents fall in and it should be the joint income of both parents , divorced or not, that is taken into account. This table should also have a % increase for the most needed subjects such as the sciences or engineering which can be reviewed on a yearly basis to encourage people not to do the useless subjects that seem to be rife at the moment. On a slightly different note I would like to know why the UK taxpayer funds free Uni places in Scotland, this should be stopped with immidiate effect.
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 22nd Nov 16, 9:39 AM
    • 422 Posts
    • 391 Thanks
    badmemory
    Well Jo is obviously a better politician than his brother. He has managed to produce a very long letter without actually saying anything. I, and I am sure most people, can see no reason why students and their parents cannot be told the expected parental contribution. Well except, of course, for the fact that some might look at the figure and say something along the lines of you have to be kidding - go out & get a job. Nothing quite like a touch of transparency is there! He probably also knows that their contribution will in fact need to be much higher.
    • phillw
    • By phillw 28th Nov 16, 6:12 PM
    • 494 Posts
    • 209 Thanks
    phillw
    I, and I am sure most people, can see no reason why students and their parents cannot be told the expected parental contribution.
    Originally posted by badmemory
    There is no expected parental contribution, only a fine for having rich parents. If you don't make a big deal about the fine then everyone is happy.

    We live in a post truth world, I wouldn't expect them to offer up some actual truth when there is no real demand for it as it might shock people into expecting it in the future.
    • BobbinAlong
    • By BobbinAlong 1st Dec 16, 7:50 AM
    • 147 Posts
    • 143 Thanks
    BobbinAlong
    My daughter lived with my high earning ex and so only received the minimum allowance in the first year. Instead of finding out how the system worked (doing that would be beneath him as he thinks he knows everything!) and giving her the additional money she desperately needed, he paid her tuition fees for the year. Despite part time jobs she ended the year owing much of her accommodation fee and has only managed to pay off that debt two years after finishing uni.
    Her brother started uni around the same time but was living with me as a single parent, very average wage earner and got the full allowance and managed well from day 1. Both went to smaller town universities well away from London.
    I have always said that students should be given the full allowance and the difference recouped in taxation, either on both parents or as a graduate tax or just added to the normal student loan repayments though many will never pay especially if they work abroad.
    Last edited by BobbinAlong; 01-12-2016 at 7:52 AM.
    • Lingua
    • By Lingua 1st Dec 16, 8:55 PM
    • 159 Posts
    • 166 Thanks
    Lingua
    My daughter lived with my high earning ex and so only received the minimum allowance in the first year. Instead of finding out how the system worked (doing that would be beneath him as he thinks he knows everything!) and giving her the additional money she desperately needed, he paid her tuition fees for the year. Despite part time jobs she ended the year owing much of her accommodation fee and has only managed to pay off that debt two years after finishing uni.
    Her brother started uni around the same time but was living with me as a single parent, very average wage earner and got the full allowance and managed well from day 1. Both went to smaller town universities well away from London.
    I have always said that students should be given the full allowance and the difference recouped in taxation, either on both parents or as a graduate tax or just added to the normal student loan repayments though many will never pay especially if they work abroad.
    Originally posted by BobbinAlong
    If you and your children's father are divorced, your daughter could have used your information on her application. It's a shame that her father didn't make more of an effort, as despite saving her some debt in the long run it's not a good situation to be in short-term!

    Living abroad does not affect student loan repayments; you have to repay 9% of anything over 21k earned, here or in another country. You'd be surprised how dogged the government will be in trying to recoup the loan money. Makes a change from their attitude to the super-rich and large corporations ...

    I do wonder if giving everyone the same amount regardless of parental income would be a better system. Yes, those with high-earning parents would be better off on average, but equally university should give everyone equal opportunity to earn the same wage, e.g. I should be able to apply for that 50k/yr job just as much as someone from a more affluent background.

    Besides that, MSE calculations showed that low earners pay back more on their student loans than higher earners due to the interest the loan accrues and the rate at which they pay back the loan. A problem that continues to exist is that we don't live in an ideal world and that students from more affluent backgrounds will still go on to earn more than their less affluent counterparts. Perhaps a graduate tax would indeed be more effective (set % of income over 21k + inflation for life).

    i.e. instead of paying back 9% of income over 21k until the loan is paid off or 30 years has elapsed, have them pay a lower percentage but for a longer period of time (regardless of how much loan was taken, or if one was taken at all). That way, low-earning graduates aren't being financially penalised compared to those who can afford to pay off their student loans quickly, or who have the benefit of rich parents who can finance most of their costs of university.

    Just some stray ideas!


    Lingua
    Long-Term Goal: 9'000 / 40'000 mortgage downpayment (2020
    • shyestgirl
    • By shyestgirl 20th Mar 17, 8:03 PM
    • 45 Posts
    • 37 Thanks
    shyestgirl
    I understand your point. And indeed I agree in tax transparency, I think we need people to understand that nothing is "free" its just a question of who pays the individual or the taxpayer.

    Yet I think that is a very differnet point to the direct transparency of telling people how much they need to give their children. Mine is an issue of communication of policy, yours is one of policy itself.
    Originally posted by MSE Martin
    Am I able to get in contact with you by PM, as a matter of urgency?
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