Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Mahmood Moots 'Hybrid' Model of Funding

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Mahmood Moots 'Hybrid' Model of Funding

Article excerpt

Shabana Mahmood, the shadow higher education minister, has said she is interested in exploring a "hybrid" funding system between tuition fees and a graduate tax as an alternative to current government policy.

In an interview with Times Higher Education during the Labour Party conference, held in Manchester from 30 September to 4 October, she discussed her party's current policy to lower the fee cap to Pounds 6,000, and whether the party could go further.

She said Labour's current model would see "highest earning graduates paying a little more; it envisages some element of over-payment by those graduates. It functions much more like a graduate-tax-type system."

She added of a possible future policy: "There's a lot of different ideas for that hybrid world between a straight fees system and a straight graduate-tax system, which I'm very interested in looking at."

Asked if she could envisage Labour spending more public money on higher education than its current proposal foresees, Ms Mahmood said: "I can't make any spending commitments, obviously. But our Pounds 6,000 proposal is revenue neutral.

"I'll have to make my pitch for higher education to both Eds (Miliband, the Labour leader, and Balls, the shadow chancellor) when we're looking at the manifesto. …

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