As a tool to encourage the young into Higher and Further Education by increasing available funding, it was pointless. As a way of reducing Government spending, it worked wonderfully.
The investment in graduates by the country, indeed the entire investment in education, is an apparently alturistic decision of the people. Of course, it is nothing of the sort; it is the means of investing in our future by allowing those with skills to develop and expand their abilities, and to then create jobs and wealth for the community as a whole.
Graduates (and here I declare an interest) on average earn more and pay more tax than non-graudates, and consequently the entire economy benefits. Allied to a progressive and redistributive tax system, this is THE example of "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need", and this is why Student Loans need to be removed also.
Plaudits are due to the Government for taking this forward, even if they have backtracked on the immediate removal of Student Loans.