A graduate tax adds up

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Ministers and advisers are still trying to agree on the best way of raising cash for universities. They should back the option that is the most straightforward and fairest. A graduate tax takes into account the level of an individual's earnings, and recognises that students as a whole earn more than those who do not go to university.

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Ministers and advisers are still trying to agree on the best way of raising cash for universities. They should back the option that is the most straightforward and fairest. A graduate tax takes into account the level of an individual's earnings, and recognises that students as a whole earn more than those who do not go to university.

Britain already suffers from an elitist system in which a higher proportion of public school kids head for Oxbridge compared with comprehensive pupils. Top-up fees would only worsen the situation. If British universities want to compete with the world's best they should find other sources of finance. A combination of cash allocated from public spending and a graduate tax would give universities a much needed financial boost.

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