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Gordon Brown's "progressive universalism" is a nice idea but it may come unstuck

By Donald Hirsch   August 2007

When I was at university in the 1970s, students felt financially on a more or less level playing field. The state gave a standard grant that was just enough to live on; those with better-off parents got less than the full grant; all but the meanest parents topped this up to the state-ordained level.

Today, only undergraduate students with a family income of less than £17,500 receive a full maintenance grant of £2,700 a year, and those with a family income of up to £37,425 receive a partial grant. But the student loan, at an average of £3,400, only pays…

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