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Cost sharing:
the role of parents
Hans Vossensteyn
Center for Higher Education Policy Studies
Accessibility of higher education: Challenges for transition countries
Moscow
29 - 30 J О‡ u О‡ n О‡ e
2О‡0О‡0О‡4
Benefits and costs of HE
P riva te
S o c ia l
F in a n c ia l
b e n e fits
п‚·пЂ п‚·пЂ п‚·пЂ п‚·пЂ H ig h e r
H ig h e r
H ig h e r
H ig h e r
Nonfin a n c ia l
b e n e fits
п‚·пЂ п‚·пЂ п‚·пЂ п‚·пЂ п‚·пЂ п‚·пЂ п‚·пЂ п‚·пЂ C o n s u m p tio n
B e tte r w o rk in g c o n d itio n s
H ig h e r p e rs o n a l s ta tu s
H ig h e r w o rk s a tis fa c tio n
B e tte r h e a lth
B e tte r fin a n c ia l m a n a g e m .
M o re le is u re
P e rs o n a l d e v e lo p m e n t
C o s ts
п‚·пЂ T u itio n fe e s & o th e r c o s ts
п‚·пЂ F o re g o n e e a rn in g s
w a g e s (p ro d u c tiv ity)
c h a n c e o f w o rk
s a v in g s
m o b ility
Conclusion:
п‚·пЂ п‚·пЂ п‚·пЂ п‚·пЂ п‚·пЂ H ig h e r n a tio n a l p ro d u c tio n
H ig h e r ta x in c o m e
M o re fle xib le la b o u r fo rc e
H ig h e r c o n s u m p tio n
L e s s fin a n c ia l d e p e n d e n c y o n
g o v e rn m e n t
п‚·пЂ п‚·пЂ п‚·пЂ п‚·пЂ п‚·пЂ п‚·пЂ п‚·пЂ S o c ia l c o h e s io n
S o c ia l m o b ility
C u ltu ra l d e v e lo p m e n t
L o w e r c rim e
M o re c h a rity
G re a te r te c h n o lo g y a d a p ta tio n
D e m o c ra tic p a rtic ip a tio n
п‚·пЂ O p e ra tio n a l c o s ts
п‚·пЂ S tu d e n t s u p p o rt
п‚·пЂ F o re g o n e n a tio n a l p ro d u c tio n
shared benefits пѓ also cost sharing
But who should pay ?
GOVERNMENT
Students
Parents
Principles and political reality
User pays principle:
student is the focus
Beneficiary pays principle:
graduate oriented model
Maintenance obligation: moral, legal or practical
responsibility of parents
Current practices show how student support mechanisms
look if these perspectives are used: role of parents
Student centred model
User pays principle:
student is the focus
Students’ origin & current income position
Cost sharing with students:
but in practice:
use students income
cost sharing with parents
(family income used)
Differences in socio-economic background drive subsidies
income-test versus a means-test (need test)
Student centred model
GOVERNMENT
budget,
guarantee
s
intermediaries
parents
no/low tuition,
basic grants,
means-tested grants,
interest free loans
Scandinavian countries
Netherlands
But also: Canada, U.S.
voluntary
parental
contributions
STUDENTS
Parents centred model
Financial responsibility of parents:
legal /moral obligation
Often mixed with policies addressing family responsibily
tax benefits
family allowances
small merit-based or means-tested rants
But: … Parents’ willingness to pay: transfer subsidies?
not means-tested subsidies
in some cases higher income groups benefit stronger
Support in kind: dormitories, meals and study materials
Individual learning accounts (saving plans)
Parents centred model
GOVERNMENT
tax benefits,
family
allowances,
learning accounts
budget,
guarantee
s
intermediaries
PARENTS
no/low tuition,
means-tested
grants/scholarships,
loans, in kind
Germany, France
Belgium,
South, Central &
Eastern Europe
Legal/moral
parental
contributions
STUDENTS
Graduate centred model
Focus on long term costs and benefits of higher education
Thus particularly look at the position of graduates
rather than students or families
Private rates of return
Thus if cost sharing:
use graduates’ income
Loans and deferred tuition rather than grants
Debt remission, interest subsidies, grace periods, income
contingent repayment
Graduate centred model
GOVERNMENT
budget,
guarantee
s
intermediaries
parents
deferred tuition, loans,
interest subsidies,
debt remission,
income contingent repayment
Australia
United Kingdom
Students /
graduates
voluntary
parental
contributions
A superior approach ?
Is subsidizing students less expensive than subsidizing
parents or graduates ?
… it depends on generosity
Which approach promotes access best ?
… it depends:
type of support
merit based support to best students
do parents transfer support?
information / perception
Can or should we choose one apporach over the other ?
… it depends on goals, tradition, politics & information
In practice… more complexity
Most countries: a mix of subsidizing parents, students & graduates
Advantages:
serve different goals
use different sources
less tangible for policy drive towards change
Disadvantages: complexity
information problem for target group: debt aversion
risk of subsidising students who not need it
(when subsidizing parents or based on merit)
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