So student loans seem to be working as a policy then

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Some will no doubt decry this finding as evidence of the increasing commercialisation of society, the death of all that is good and holy. We would respond that this is actually the point of having student loans:

The first students to graduate since the imposition of £9,000 annual tuition fees are more focused on securing a well-paid job than their predecessors to pay off their higher levels of debt, according to a major survey of post-university employment.

The survey of 18,000 final year students at 30 universities reported a record proportion had started researching career paths as early as their first year of studies, and more of them undertook work experience to improve their chances of getting a good job after graduation.

The survey found the average level of debt by this summer’s graduates had ballooned to £30,000, compared with averages of £20,000 in 2014 and 2013.

The truth being that university is both enjoyable and highly enriching. To the point that, assuming one has taken the right sort of course, lifetime earnings are some hundreds of thousands of pounds higher for those who have a degree than for those who do not. Thus the major beneficiaries of a university education are those who get one: so why shouldn't they be the ones paying for one?

But while that is true that's not really the point of student loans rather than grants. The real point being that a university education is an expensive thing to provide. We'd rather thus encourage people to go and make use of that expensive asset that they've just acquired. Thus recent graduates looking for well paid jobs isn't a fault of the system, it's the major darn point.

That is, that recent graduates are looking for those better paid jobs as a result of having student debt shows that the system of financing degrees by debt is working.