Originally posted by AThousandYoung
What are they protesting?
"The government has pushed through plans to allow universities to charge up to £9,000 per year, raising the cap from its current level of £3,290. Universities wanting to charge more than £6,000 would have to undertake measures, such as offering bursaries, summer schools and outreach programmes, to encourage students from poorer backgrounds to apply.
The government would continue to loan students the money for fees. The threshold at which graduates have to start paying their loans back would be raised from £15,000 to £21,000. On 8 December, the goverment announced this threshold would rise annually with inflation - not just every five years, as had been planned.
Each month graduates would pay back 9% of their income above that threshold.
The subsidised interest rate at which the repayments are made - currently 1.5% - will be raised. Under a "progressive tapering" system, the interest rate will rise from 0 for incomes of £21,000, to 3% plus inflation (RPI) for incomes above £41,000.
If the debt is not cleared 30 years after graduation, it will be wiped out."
"What does the plan mean for students?
Students doing three-year courses charged at £6,000 will leave university with about £30,000 of debt - if fees go up to £9,000, debts will be closer to £38,000.
The government says the lowest-earning 25% of graduates will pay less than they currently do. But most others will pay more - the highest earners almost double what they currently pay.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies says that, for about half of gradates, the plan is essentially a 9% graduate tax for 30 years, because they will not finish paying off the debt by the 30-year cut-off point.
Assuming fees of £7,500 for a three year degree, plus maintenance loans, its modelling shows that the top 10% of graduate earners will clear their debts, on average, in about 15 years. But a middle-earning graduate would need to earn, for example, an average of £48,850 a year for 26 years to pay off their debt.
The IFS also says about 10% of graduates will pay back, in total, more than they borrowed."
Seems like a very fair proposal to me, and this is why I fail to see the reasoning behind these protests.