Fee hike will leave government facing ‘huge liabilities’ in 30 years

Students enrolling at university in 2012-13 will have to earn salaries of £50,000 a year immediately after graduating if they are to pay off their student loan debt before the 30-year government write-off threshold, a new analysis suggests.

This is over £30,000 more than the average first-year salary for a university graduate.

The study of career and earning opportunities for young Britons by investment managers Skandia, titled First Steps to Wealth, questions the affordability of the hike in tuition fees, which will see many universities charging £9,000 a year from this autumn.

It says that students who enroll in 2012-13 could face debts of £34,000-£49,000.

As a result, it says, in 30 years time “the government is likely to be sitting on huge liabilities as it is forced to potentially write-off debt of between £30,649 and £64,935 for every full-time university student who graduates in 2014 even if they find a graduate level job after finishing university”.

Despite this, the report says that a university education is still the best way of improving a young person’s earning potential.

At today’s prices, an average graduate should earn £1,611,551 over their working life compared to £1,023,840 and £783,964 for those starting work at 18 and 16 respectively.

john.elmes@tsleducation.com

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