According to Anatole France, "the law in its majestic equality forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges". Similarly, in its majestic equality, the university system now makes both rich and poor pay around the same for university. Across the income distribution, almost no one gets a full bursary. Equal fees for all might seem fair, but in 2015, the poorest 50% of households earned less than a 12th as much as the richest 10%, and the poorest 20% of households earned under a 30th as much. In these circumstances, charging everyone the same amount places an extraordinary burden on those students from poor households. This profoundly unfair arrangement surely has a lot to do with the passion behind #FeesMustFall. It also goes a fair way to explaining why in 2015, about 60% of university students came from the richest 20% of households. These sorry facts emerge from analysis of the 2015 General Household Survey. According to the survey, more than 90% of students in highe...

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