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Should UK students be charged university fees? Show more Show less
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Just over twenty years ago, higher education was free in the UK for any student who secured a place on a university course. Flash forward to today and students graduate with an average debt of £50,000. Critics claim this is wildly unfair and inhibits social mobility. Others claim that high fees improve equality. With both sides aiming to reduce inequality, why do the positions on implementing fees and reducing grants contradict each other?

Yes, the UK should charge for access to its higher education institutions. Show more Show less

Others believe that charging for education is the only certain way we can guarantee a constant source of funding for universities, and that it is fairer to only charge those who use the service for accessing it.
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By charging students, they value their education more.

If we value what we pay for, then we should certainly value our education.
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Humans tend to value what has a higher financial cost, as a result students may take higher education more seriously because of the increased cost.

The Argument

Cost can change the way we perceive an object, and this has been the case with tuition fees. Previously, students had a bad reputation as lazy, alcoholic layabouts but with increased debt comes an increased pressure to succeed academically and in one's career. The result may be that students today are more driven and more inclined to push themselves academically to make the most of the money they are spending.

Counter arguments

Student's attitudes may not be the result of tuition fee changes, but the result of various factors such as the images portrayed in social media of 'perfect' lives and an increased importance placed on having a financially lucrative career.



P1. Humans value things which come at a higher price to us. P2. As tuition fees increase, the psychological value of education seems to increase.

Rejecting the premises

Premise two may not be the direct result of premise one.


This page was last edited on Wednesday, 4 Dec 2019 at 15:21 UTC

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