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Association of Graduate Recruiters rejects Government's idea of a graduate tax

The Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) has reacted against Government proposals to introduce a graduate tax, saying the priority for universities should be to drive up the quality of teaching.

Speaking yesterday, business secretary Vince Cable proposed a graduate tax as an alternative to a rise in university tuition fees. He also described the Labour government’s target of getting 50% of under-30s into higher education as "artificial"
Carl Gilleard, chief executive of the Association of Graduate Recruiters, said: "The AGR does not support the idea of a graduate tax. There is no guarantee that this tax would find its way into higher education. We believe that the removal of the cap on student tuition fees is the only way to fill the existing funding gap and to compel universities to demonstrate that their degree courses represent value for money."
"Cable indicated the coalition Government might abandon the previous government’s 50% participation rate for higher education. This would be an important step towards driving up standards in our universities and enhancing the value of a degree. This is an issue we identified as a high priority in our election manifesto published earlier this year.
"The 50% participation target has failed to increase social mobility and has only succeeded in damaging the quality of the student university experience. Every student should have the opportunity to fulfil their potential and to participate in higher education on the basis of academic attainment, ability and determination to succeed. It is essential therefore that the priority for higher education funding is to drive up the quality of teaching and learning thereby enhancing the student experience."