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What are some points for and against the UK government increasing spending on higher education?

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The major point against increased government spending is that the government does not really have the money to spend.  This is a time of austerity in the UK.  The coalition government is trying hard to find ways to cut spending, so why go and spend more on higher education?

The major point for more spending is that spending on higher education, if done right, is an investment.  By spending on higher education, the government helps to get a better-educated workforce that will hopefully improve productivity in the long run.  In addition, well-funded universities can help with the sorts of research that can lead to technological innovations that can help the country's economy.

So, the basic trade-off is this; do you spend money now when money is tight in hopes of creating a more productive economy in the future?

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