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STUC 2011



Higher education: Business should pay its share

Kieron Green
Kieron Green
Higher education benefits society as a whole - including the business and financial community, said the STUC as it agreed to campaign to ensure business and finance pay a fair share of the costs to address underfunding.

UNISON's Kieron Green, supporting the UCU motion, said, "I studied a science degree - this gave me skills necessary to carry out my job as a science technician. I know that without this degree I would have had fewer opportunities in life and I am grateful for the education I received.

"However I know that many people who studied alongside me at university have used their degrees to much more lucrative ends. Working in the financial services industry they, and their employers will benefit far more financially from their degree than I ever expect to".

Kieron told delegates he took out a full student loan each year at university and even without fees he was left owing the government £21,000.

"At the current rate of repayment I will be paying this off till I retire - clearly expecting graduates to contribute to the cost of their degree will neither be fair, nor will it raise significant amounts of funding. So why can't businesses and the banks pay their share?" he asked.

"If the investment banks can afford to give golden hellos to graduates starting work for them - who would be paying it off within a few years in any case then surely they can afford to recognise the wider benefit of higher education by paying their fair share of tax, instead of using every trick in the book to avoid it.", said Kieron.

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