A senior Conservative source has recently rejected plans of Vince Cable to replace tuition fees with a graduate tax for university leavers. Last week the skills secretary explained the benefits of introducing a graduate tax. When tuition fees are replaced with a graduate tax, university graduates will pay according to how much they earn.
According to the BBC, the coalition government has dismissed this idea because replacing tuition fees may spoil the relationships between students and universities and the tax would go to the Treasury. However, a spokeswoman for Vince Cable denied the truth of the BBC source claiming that the government has not rejected the idea of introducing a graduate tax.
The issue of whether tuition fees should be abolished or raised remains to be controversial. A senior Conservative source said: "It is important that the money goes to the institutions. They have to have an incentive for student recruitment or a penalty if the numbers are falling". Tim Farron, Lib Dem MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, wrote in his essay that a general tax is the most appropriate for university education. "Tuition fees are a poll tax and we need to change that".
A spokeswoman for the department of Business Innovation and Skills said: "Last week Vince Cable outlined his interest in a system of variable graduate contributions that could replace the current system of fees. Lord Browne confirmed that he was looking seriously at this option as part of his wide-ranging review into university funding, and this has not changed".