John Hemming's Web Log John's Reference Website
Saturday, December 11, 2010
  NUS Blueprint - also breaks pledge
I have linked to the page relating to the NUS alternative proposals.

On page 5 it says:
More funding for the higher education sector would be available, bringing long-term security and sustainability.
 After twenty years of operation, we estimate the total revenues from personal contributions would be £6.4bn each year, after thirty years it would be £7.9bn each year, and after forty years it would be £8.5bn each year
 This compares with estimated revenue of £6bn each year from fees under the current system, if the cap was set at £5,000


In other words the NUS proposals increase the capitation/fees element to £5,000. Now you could say that I am right about the NUS pledge and that it refers to only stopping fees from going up with the current system and that if there is a "fairer alternative" then such a limit does not apply.

Alternatively you could say that the pledge is a blunt - no more money for universities - pledge. In which case the NUS Blueprint - which involves almost doubling the fees element - would break the NUS pledge.

It is just some more evidence that my interpretation of the pledge is clearly right.
 
Comments:
Now so desperate that you intentionally misread the NUS plan? This proposes establishing a graduate tax which feeds into a specific national fund for university funding - to supplement, not supplant government funding (as the current Lib Dem/Tory plans do). The section to which you refer is a comparison to the current system if the cap was increased to £5000. The NUS proposal effectively scraps tuition fees for all and makes additional funding available for HEFCE to distribute alongside government funding.

The NUS blueprint allocates more money for universities.

In any case, it is irrelevant to the interpretation of the pledge that you signed.

Voting for a system based on the NUS blueprint would keep your pledge as it
a - would be voting against any increase (as you would be voting to abolish the current system)
b - would be fairer
 
In otherwords you recognise that the phrase "fairer alternative" is key and there is no simplistic limit to funding of universities.

Hence you accept my argument. Thank you.
 
No, I don't accept your argument. You are wilfully misinterpreting my words.

Fairness is half of the pledge, raising the cap is the other half.

You broke your pledge.
 
My argument is a simple one which is if we move the system to a sufficiently fair alternative then the pledge has been satisfied.

If students don't pay tuition fees then my argument is that from the student's perspective the amount of the tuition fee itself does not matter.

I don't see this as complex.
 
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