Unless you are studying to becoming a doctor or lawyer or something with a pretty much guaranteed high income, I can't see why university is now anything other than a playground for the rich and privileged.
In fairness, nobody has to pay anything at all back until they are earning £21k a year, and it seems highly likely that many people will never repay in full. The debt is then written off - it's not a claim on your deceased estate.
I agree it's a mess for many reasons, but affordability is not necessarily one of them. It's not far off being a graduate tax (and IMO they should have gone for that, and called it that).
Dynamite with a laser beam...