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Returns to higher education – some doubts and alternative views John Thompson.

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Presentation on theme: "Returns to higher education – some doubts and alternative views John Thompson."— Presentation transcript:

1 Returns to higher education – some doubts and alternative views John Thompson

2 Student choice Whether to study What to study Where to study

3 Why go to university? “Universities transform lives - the typical graduate earns £31,000 a year as against £19,000 a year for a non-graduate. “ Willetts “on average, graduates tend to earn substantially more than people with A-levels who did not go to university. Projected over a working lifetime, the difference is something like £100,000” – Directgov

4 Population Students at English state schools and colleges At least two A-levels or equivalents At key stage 5 in 2008

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7 Student choice Whether to study What to study Where to study

8 Student choice Whether to study What to study Where to study

9 Earnings differentials for male and female graduates compared to non-graduates with 2+ A-levels Men22% Women36% Women - Men14% Derived from data presented in Walker and Zhub (2011), ‘Differences by degree’

10 Earnings differentials for male and female graduates compared to ALL non-graduates with 2+ A-levels Men43% Women15% Women - Men-28% Derived from data presented in Walker and Zhub (2011), ‘Differences by degree’

11 Student choice Whether to study What to study Where to study

12 Student choice Whether to study What to study Where to study

13 Mis-selling?

14 Policy development

15 How many places should be funded? Share paid from the public purse? Subject subsidy?

16 Social returns Productivity versus sorting Impact on others Who is affected?

17 Social returns Productivity versus sorting Impact on others Who is affected?

18 Social returns Productivity versus sorting Impact on others Who is affected?

19 From estimates to policy

20 The cost of student loans

21 The catch “You must agree to repay your loan with the regulations at the time the repayments are due and as they are amended”

22 What should be done?

23 Those estimating Set out all assumptions Range estimates covering different scenarios Detailed descriptions Data extracts and intermediate datasets

24 Pundits, politicians, policy makers When advising prospective students:- Be circumspect In policy discussions:- Do not treat approximate and uncertain estimates as hard facts


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