Student loans, even income-contingent ones, are not optimal. Potential university students with the appropriate characteristics should be offered a scholarship, dependent on both need and merit. The award of the scholarship should be conditional on the choice of university degree, but students with a natural aptitude for studies that do not hold the prospect of a well paid job should not be pushed towards potentially more lucrative ones. The scheme should be financed by a graduate tax that re-distributes from the better paid to the academically more successful.
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