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Graduate tax to increase cost of getting a degree

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The University and College Union (UCU) published research today showing the cost of a university degree will increase exponentially if proposals from business secretary, Vince Cable, to tax university graduates are implemented.

The union has analysed different models to make graduates pay for their university education based on future earnings. Teachers, nurses, doctors and social workers would pay considerably more back than under the current system. Under a model where graduates pay a tax of 5% over 25 years, doctors would pay back over £100,000 (£105,564) and teachers close to £50,000 (£46,046).

Announcing its findings, UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: 'Parents and students will judge proposed changes to student finance on whether they make university more expensive or not. Whatever scheme is proposed to replace fees, the government must ensure that studying for key professions remains attractive and that the prospect of prohibitive costs over a lifetime will not put off the next generation of innovators and public servants.

'We urge Vince Cable to look again at the idea of taxing big business for the substantial benefit it gains from a plentiful supply of graduates, rather than merely looking to penalise students further.'

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