A graduate tax that students would have to pay after they finish their degrees is going to replace tuition fees, claimed Vince Cable, the skills secretary. Under this system the government would pay fees directly to colleges. Nowadays the government lends cash to students to cover the cost. In his essay papers, Cable is going to announce about decreasing costs in higher education. This may result in the reduction of degrees because many school students will not apply to universities. He is also enthusiastic about the increasing number of private universities where students may get degrees that will be awarded by other institutions.
The University and College Union (UCU) general secretary, Sally Hunt, considers that the government can not simply introduce higher fees and it is worth debating on how to fund universities so that the graduate tax was not "an exercise in rebranding". The lecturers' union also prompted the government not to introduce two-year degrees because it is likely to stop the university staff conduct researches that may ruin the reputation of the British higher education. This idea was supported by the National Union of Students and students who consider this tax to be not only a burden for them but the factor that will decrease the importance of education and increase the value of work experience to a career.
Wendy Piatt, general director of the Russell Group, said that the disadvantages of a graduate tax "explain why no other country has implemented this system of graduate repayments". The shadow education secretary, Ed Balls, said, "graduates pay a contribution to the cost of their university education, but only once they are in work and clearly based on their ability to pay." It is expected that Browne, the former BP chief executive, will approve of the rise of fees. At the same time Cable warns that after lifting £3,225-a-year cap on fees the taxpayer will see the increase of the cost. As a result of tuition fees, 56% of students are going to study at universities near their home; this number has increased from 18%. The results of the survey show that 34% of students think that their debt will be £20,000 when they graduate, 8% believe they will be in debt for more than 20 years after graduation, and nearly half consider that they need a decade to pay off what they owe.