What is a university education worth? Who derives the benefits? And who should pay for it? These were just some of the questions that pushed their way onto the front pages here last week after the publication of “Securing a Sustainable Future For Higher Education,” the results of a yearlong inquiry into higher education and student finance in Britain, reports the New York Times. Better known as the Browne Review after the inquiry’s chairman, John Browne, the former head of BP, the report called for the cap on tuition fees at British universities, now set at £3,290, or $5,275, a year, to be scrapped in favor of a free-market approach paid for by the students themselves–but only after they graduate and are earning more than £21,000 a year.
“Students do not pay charges, only graduates do; and then only if they are successful,” the report said. “The system of payments is highly progressive. No one earning under £21,000 will pay anything.”