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The impact of an increase in university tuition fees on higher education participation rates

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  1. Cost-benefit analysis of economic agent decision to progress to HE
  2. Impact of increased tuition fees on past data
  3. College Wage Premium (CWP) in encouraging students to progress to HE
  4. Limitations of CWP
  5. Significance of heterogeneity of degree subject

During the 1992-2007 period, the UK has witnessed great variances in the structure of Higher Education (HE) funding. Moving away from a period where taxpayers footed the entire costs incurred by HE, economic agents holding at least 2 A-levels have begun to contribute to their future HE prospects. From this, we can investigate whether increasing the financial burden placed upon potential students by increasing tuition fees, will portray a decline in participation rates for the UK.

[...] While contemplating the costs of education and their inherent impatience (i.e. the idea of starting to earn a salary instead of getting into debt via student loans and the interest payable on them), individuals need to take into account the other, harder-to-quantify, non-monetary benefits from HE. These predominately include non-economic benefits such as social status and life skills, alongside that of lower unexpected unemployment rates. In spite of the predicted conclusions drawn from our model, Walker and Zhu (2008) reported the greatest expansion in young individuals progressing onto HE arose from the mid-1990s+ with increases of 15% and 19% for men and women respectively (as seen in Figure where the newly elected Labour government first introduced tuition fees of £1,000PA Student ID: 1424533 Figure 2 Source: Walker and Zhu (2008, p.698) Although 2005 saw further increases in figures with approximately 40% of men and almost 50% of women attending HE, 2011/12 policy reforms provoked adverse effects on these figures. [...]


[...] 695?709. [...]


[...] However, increasing the financial burden placed on prospective students could lead to a rise in inequality, incurring future government costs, as those families stuck in the poverty trap may never be able to afford the increasing costs of obtaining HE. Consequently, whilst it is clear that increases in tuition fees due to policy reforms have only caused short-term shocks, it is hard to comment on what could happen to future UK participation if students were to witness greater surges in tuition fees across all disciplines. Word Count: 1650 Bibliography Adams, R. and Page, L. (2014) University applications hit record high. [...]


[...] All of these factors affect the decision rule differently and so ultimately could influence agents whether or not to participate in HE. De Vries (2014) investigates how the choice of degree subject varies the return to HE. Presenting data on starting salaries by degree subject (figure and that of salaries 3.5 years after graduating (figure de Vries results display how heterogeneity by degree subject is significant, even after controlling for personal characteristics. He computes the highest starting salaries to be earned predominately by Medicine and Dentistry alongside Engineering and Economics graduates, whilst Psychology, English and Creative Arts disciplines suffer the lowest starting salaries. [...]


[...] Student ID: 1424533 Use a model of individual rational choice to explain how an increase in university tuition fees would be expected to affect higher education participation rates. To what extent does the empirical evidence for the UK support this prediction? During the 1992-2007 period, the UK has witnessed great variances in the structure of Higher Education funding. Moving away from a period where taxpayers footed the entire costs incurred by HE, economic agents holding at least 2 A-levels have begun to contribute to their future HE prospects. [...]

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