By Claire West

Over half of British adults think too many young people go to university

New research from YouGov reveals that over half (52%) of British adults think that too many young people are studying at university and many agree with Vince Cable’s proposals to overhaul the undergraduate funding system.

A quarter of respondents think that the number of university entrants is ‘about right’ and only 12% of British adults think the number of students is too low. There are currently around 2,396,000 full time students in UK higher education.

Younger generations are more likely to think that more students should be granted a place at university, with only 44% of 18-29 year olds saying that too many people are studying at university compared to 61% of those British adults over 60 years old.

[b]Loans and taxes[/b[

Business Secretary Vince Cable has suggested an overhaul of university funding, replacing the current student loan system with a variable graduate tax, where instead of receiving a loan and going into debt, graduates would pay an increased rate of tax rising in line with earnings.
Although the proposal has been rejected by senior members of Government, YouGov’s survey results find it to be the most popular option amongst the British public. Over a third (36%) of respondents think that a graduate tax would be the best way to fund universities, whilst 29% believe the current system to be the best.

In contrast 38% of 18-29 year olds think that the current system works best, with this age group most likely to still be in higher education or paying off student debt, compared to 22% thinking the graduate tax option would work best.