BBC News is reporting that campaigners are claiming politicians should stop using a “carrot of higher graduate earnings” to justify raising student fees or freezing repayment thresholds.
Those who do “should be charged with gross mis-selling”, says Angus Hanton, co-founder of the Intergenerational Foundation (IF) lobby group.
Having to pay back student debts will wipe out any graduate premium for most professions, claims the IF in a report.
The government says higher education boosts employability and earnings.
The report focuses on tuition fee rises in England – currently capped at £9,000 a year – pointing out how successive governments have used the graduate “pay premium” to justify them.
The premium is the amount of extra money it is estimated a degree can help graduates to earn over the course of a lifetime.
The report says that in 2002, ministers put it at £400,000, but recent estimates have been more modest at about £100,000.
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