The Political Economy Review 2017

was showing “antipathy” towards Poland and other Eurozone members. This situation escalated when Macron felt the need to remind Szydlo that the EU was not a “supermarket” and that Poland could not only choose which EU policies to abide by, a rash and unsubtle approach to such key negotiations for the future of the EU. A prime example of Macron’s devotion to the EU is the ongoing Brexit negotiations. Mr Macron has revealed that the EU will unify for these negotiations and that France will stay in position with its European allies whilst having promised that France will carry on having a strong and “pragmatic” relationship with Britain. This being said, Macron will not give the UK special privileges stating that he was “attached to a strict approach to Brexit” and that he believed that "the best trade agreement for Britain ... is called membership of the EU". Additionally, Mr Macron seems keen to utilise Brexit in order to boost the French economy. He will push to make Paris Europe’s financial centre by giving the UK a hard Brexit deal and by attracting foreigners, who no longer feel welcome in London, by stating he hopes to lure “banks, researchers [and] academics” during a speech in London last year. Only the following quinquennial can tell us whether or not Mr Macron will be successful in rebuilding the European Union, but if he sticks to his policies, then he should be able to deliver on his promise. It is very hard to imagine a European Union weaker than it is today, with the UK having left and other members possibly looking to follow in its footsteps. Mr Macron has shown to have gained the confidence of the people, with the value of the euro raising to one of its highest point against the dollar since Brexit, which is a good sign for the future and which has given hope to many who doubted the revival of the EU. According to the Independent Schools Council, private school fees have skyrocketed - by 550% - over the last 25 years. Add this now, to the prospect of real incomes being expected to fall for the first time since September 2014, and we must ask ourselves how the less-privileged members of society will ever be able to afford what is believed to be a solid investment into their child’s future. In short, the answer is bursaries. But what are the economic implications of a school providing a bursary to a pupil? First of all, education is a merit good – it is a good which provides society with positive externalities (benefits) in consumption. Some of the personal effects of education include a higher earning potential, and many would argue that this manifests itself more so through a private education. Merit goods are believed to suffer from information failure – in the case of education, students cannot possibly know the benefits they will receive from getting good grades at school. We fail to acknowledge all the benefits of educating ourselves. To counter this, the government usually subsidises the consumption and provision of merit goods. In this manner, private schools aim to ‘subsidise’ education for pupils through the allocation of bursaries (and scholarships) of varying degrees. A bursary is not strictly a subsidy, however, as a subsidy usually implies some sort of monetary grant to an individual or organisation. Bursaries and scholarships lower the cost of education to the student, in some cases by up to 100%. Some may argue that bursaries bring about the ‘free rider problem’. This occurs when non-payers experience the full benefits of a good which is non-excludable (accessible without payment). However, this does not apply to students on bursaries as fee-paying schools are quite the opposite: they provide education as a private __________________________________________________________________________________________ Bursaries: An Economic Analysis H IBBAN R AHMAN


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