筆者剛來英國唸碩士的時候，學費是一年9000多磅，這是overseas fees，本地生唸碩士是算 home fees，要看是唸什麼所，理工的6000多磅。同一個時間，大學部的學生學費 home fees 是3000多磅，overseas fees 也是9000磅起跳。
後來英國學費不斷調漲，無論是 home fees 或是 overseas fees，一漲常常就是兩三倍。
大學學費28,000磅實際上是付多少？最近有一個機構叫 The Intergenerational Foundation (IF) 做了一份報告，計算什麼樣的收入，三十年之內總共會繳多少。
The Intergenerational Foundation (IF) is an independent, non-party-political charity that exists to research fairness between the generations in order to protect the rights of younger and future generations in British policy-making.
Whilst increasing longevity is to be welcomed, our changing demographic and expectations of entitlement are placing increasingly heavy burdens on younger and future generations. From housing, health and education to employment, taxation, pensions voting, spending, transport and environmental degradation, younger generations are under increasing pressure to maintain the intergenerational compact whilst losing out disproportionately to older, wealthier cohorts.
IF questions this status quo, calling instead for sustainable long-term policies that are fair to all generations – the old, the young and those to come.
While they were at university, and during the year since those on three-year courses graduated, their loans have been attracting interest of inflation plus 3%, with the government setting the RPI – typically higher than CPI – as the measure of price rises. Since April, those who have finished university have been charged interest according to their earnings. Anyone earning less than £21,000 a year is charged inflation – now 0.9% – and this goes up on a sliding scale, so that by the time they earn £41,000 their debt is accruing interest at 3.9%.
When Crowther and his contemporaries began their courses in 2012, inflation was 3.6%, so in their first year interest of 6.6% was being added. This March, the inflation rate was 1.6%, so in September their interest rate will be 4.6%.
利息就是RPI (In the United Kingdom, the Retail Prices index or Retail Price Index is a measure of inflation published monthly by the Office for National Statistics) 加3%。文章中提到的利息範圍從最低的3.9%，到最高達6.6%。這樣的利息實在蠻高的，難怪會三十年後還沒全額繳清。
Dr Fiona Hu
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