Let students decide how much their education is worth

The UK’s public sector financial crisis is putting university tuition fee deregulation on the political agenda there in a way that it is not here. The Browne review of higher education funding, set up by the previous Labour government, is widely expected to recommend at least some deregulation of tuition fees.

This has of course set off the usual worries about affordability and access. In this context a survey of how much existing students are willing to pay by the Opinionpanel organisation is particularly interesting. It asks two questions, one about what price the student would think so cheap that they would doubt the course’s quality, and another about what price would be so expensive that they would not consider paying it at all. They respond by dragging a marker on their computer screen in £100 increments.

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