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A counter-intuitive report produced by PricewaterhouseCoopers and commissioned by Universities UK indicates that the latest cohort of UK university students are ultimately better off financially despite the new £3000 a year tuition fees. One factor in this change is that under the new student finance system, new fees do not have to be paid upfront (as was the case before 2006 in England) and can be prolonged until the graduate is earning. At the same time, the variety of grants, bursaries and interest free loans available have increased, improving the immediate financial package of the student. Ultimately, the nominal gain in the present exceeds the economic cost incurred in future repayments. Further, the state also benefits from accruing taxes on prolonged loan repayments
The study also reports on several other economic trends and benefits in UK university education, namely:
the average gross additional lifetime earnings for a postgraduate degree are approximately £70 000 – £80 000.