The raising of English University Tuition Fees.

Discussion in 'Soap Box' started by Issaccs, Dec 12, 2010.

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  1. Issaccs

    Issaccs Well-Known Member

    For those who are not aware the United Kingdom government has just passed a bill raising the annual cap on university tuition from £3,290 to £9000. This is in response to having cut the annual higher education budget from 7.1 billion too 4.2 (Something I find particularly disgusting as a student given that the government has allowed Vodafone off of 6billion worth of taxes)

    Too compensate they have raised the cap on paying back student loans from £15000 a year too £21000. Their are also proposals too allow students from the poorest backgrounds to have up to two years free tuition.

    I however would note that if no one should be so significantly effected by the repayment of these loans, as claimed by our government, means testing for tuition costs is utterly irrelevant.
    Further I believe that later repayment of these loans is dangerous as it is not impossible that a future government could implement a policy demanding more stringent repayment plans.

    So, would anyone else care to share their views on these policies or even defend them?
  2. Terry

    Terry Antiquities Friend Staff Alumni

    We got what we could expect, we have a tory government that, as usual, thinks the working class should be emptying the bins and education is for the elite class :mad:
    What really gets me is that they weren't even voted into power but have got it through default :mad:
    And the lib dems...what a bloody joke!
  3. Issaccs

    Issaccs Well-Known Member

    I must admit that when an Etonian who inherited millions from his father and was educated at Oxford for free says "This will make students value their education more" I could quite literally cut the irony in the air with a fragment of Nick Cleggs misplaced spine.
  4. Kaos General

    Kaos General Well-Known Member

    Just thought id also add something i just found out which is despicable.

    They are also scrapping Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA). Because kids between the ages of 16-19 are often too poor to stay in college or school and too young to claim JSA or income support they get this which is £30 a week. Now they are basically barring everyone between the ages of 16-19 that are extremely poor from college because they cant afford it.

    Im sorry but there is no way in hell IMO that they can justify any of these policies. Lets go back to the Lib dems manifesto. Nick Clegg and Vince Cable went round to all the universities they could and signed a pledge saying tuition fees would remain as they were and EMA would be kept. They are now feeling the ramifications of their actions in london now.

    Students now feel let down and are rightly angry. Scenes that people have been seeing on the news with protests in london will continue because students wont take this. Im pretty sure that in 2011 there will be another General Election because people wont take much more of this coalition joke.
  5. chjones21

    chjones21 Well-Known Member

    I am not sure about the whole thing - there are so many people at university now it just sorta seems like an extension of school. In the way that in the past maybe 50 or 60 percent stayed on for A levels. But school at least was free if you stayed on. I always thought university was supposed to be an elitist thing - but elitist in an academic way, only for those who wanted to go into academia/research or those who wanted to take up professions such as Law, Architecture, Medical - the sorts of job where you have to 'prove' your intelligence before you are allowed to practice it - to protect the public from harm.

    I know in France if you fail your medical twice, you are not allowed to retake them EVER.

    Suddenly though it seems like university is for everyone and you can study any old nonsense like 'media studies' - all of which you could easily learn on the job and be earning too ... so what is the point of it? It seems like a grown up version of a kids crèche!

    And putting everyone into debt too! Rather go back to the old days where maybe 10 to 20 percent max went to university and it was not only free but supported - with grants for living. Only take the very brightest and limit the courses to serious professional, engineering and scientific degrees with just a few humanities, arts, economics, politics and lighter/research-style courses. Everything else can be learnt on the job and if employers need to work out who is brighter or the better prospect then make A levels tougher....
  6. Kaos General

    Kaos General Well-Known Member

    Ah ok so say someone from a very poor background gets the best GCSE's and A levels in the country but cant afford to go, but someone from a very very rich background has average grades and takes their place, is that fair? Basically thats whats happening at the moment.
  7. victor

    victor Account Closed

    idiots run the country, thats all
  8. Crue-K

    Crue-K Well-Known Member

    I would hate being the position now of looking to find a place at university, being saddled with such a high level of debt. The LibDems have shafted those who voted for them and their excuses are an insult to injury. Why is it that the same people are always targeted when looking to save money; students, benefit claimants, local services that support mental health etc etc? They are all easy targets and that sums up this tory abortion of a government. I support the protesting students 100%, including the use of violence, however some of the violence should have been directed at the spinless MP's as well as the fascist police. Change can only come about through direct action, however on this occasion the violence wasn't enough. On a different point, without adding insult to injury, it could be a lot worse, look at how much a bachelors degree costs in the US, it doesn't lessen the blow that much though. I feel very lucky, I did my bachelors degree in Aberdeen, Scotland and as such I paid no fees. I then did my Masters in Orkney, Scotland and received a bursary from employer, so again paid nothing. And if that wasn't enough, I received sponorship from a new employer to complete my PhD. I do have a student loan to pay off but that is miniscule to what I would have paid in fees in England.
  9. chjones21

    chjones21 Well-Known Member

    Well that's what I DON'T agree with and that is not what used to happen. It was all about the BRIGHTEST going and they were supported no matter what their financial status with free places and grants. Now we can't afford to do that because so many people get to go to university now (almost 50 percent) so we can't afford to pay for them all. I think we should go back to that - where it is elitist but elitist by brains not by money. Only ten or so percent should go - the brightest and the best - and it should be free and supported. They will pay it all back by what they give back to the country by being high earners or making scientific contributions etc

    If stupid people want to go to university ... There should be fee-paying ones for them.
  10. Issaccs

    Issaccs Well-Known Member

    I feel somewhat less strongly about EMA. Bar four people in out of our 70-strong sixthform everybody was on EMA however the majority of us really did use it for getting drunk and going out. Reflecting on that on jobseekers I was entitled to 52 pounds a week and as a student dicking around I was entitled to 30 it does seem quite insulting how we spent that money.

    However it was a really brilliant idea at the time but my understanding is that it has been a quite a failure in making further education attractive too poorer students (I recall some figures Labour produced a few years ago suggesting it was less than a hundred more than expected without EMA but I should really find citation for that) and I think the cost might be better allocated to the education system in general too ensure that the quality of higher education received is the best we can provide as a nation.

    The problem with free places for the brightest is that you will still the richest students being the ones to get the free placements. Its amazing what spending thousands of pounds a year the average family does not have on private schooling and home tutors can do too boost a childs grades. However these students traditionally perform rather poorly compared to expectations when removed from said expensive support structures.

    Moreover, I do not view 50% of students managing to get to University as a bad thing, England is no longer a manufacturing economy and as a result the young need training if they intend to find meaningful work in a country increasingly relying on the services and banking too fund its economy. I often here the argument about nonsense degrees like media studies and golf management (Which I really hate as I really do think that some people believe it is standard procedure for high end Universities to offer this rather than a few exceptions at specific small institutions) however I would much prefer a media studies degree on my CV than five A-C GCSE's and an equally inane NVQ.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2010
  11. chjones21

    chjones21 Well-Known Member

    Its amazing what spending thousands of pounds a year the average family does not have on private schooling and home tutors can do too boost a childs grades.

    Well then the problem needs to be addressed where it is at - and not where it is not at. Places like France have a state system that works for all and gets the best out of the brightest regardless of income ... so that is where the problem lies in this country. The failing state school system. That's what needs to be addressed.

    What I find I specifically dislike is what I perceive as another "control" on people. The moment you have people owing you money - you own them. Pretty much that is the case and it seems to me that by increasing the amount of people going to University and increasing the amount of debt --- you are already creating a golden handcuff around people that would otherwise be free to be counter-cultural or even counter-governmental.

    I see the whole system of encouraging the youth into debt, both by educational fees and an impossible housing market that will keep you "under the thumb" for a good forty years of your life, most of the time - as simply a way of restraining the populace. How can you stand up against the system, when you might lose your house, when you owe them so much that they can put you in prison for non-payment of debt.

    It is a return to feudalism, just in a modern day way. How different is it, the fact that you have to slave away - day after day - simply to be allowed to live in a house .... how different is that to being forced to slave away - day after day - simply to be allowed to live and farm on a feudal landlord's estate.

    Labour was a govt obsessed with control. They brought in 3,000 plus more laws whilst they were in power. There are cameras everywhere. Everybody has to tick the box. Everybody HAS TO CONFORM. Or else.

    I don't believe in conformity. I don't believe in debt. I would rather rent and never go to university than be in hock to this sh*te. I want to be as free as possible to act according to my conscience and not according to a whole load of cr*p that I apparently owe to someone else... and that's all the last govt seemed to keep on doing, keep on piling on the "you owe" restrictions. Over and over. I loathed it.

    There is NO reason to go to University. Richard Branson? Bill Gates? John Major? Alan Sugar?

    The reasons to go to University are for professions - Legal, Medical, Architectural et al. or academia (which is also important) - anything else you can learn on the job.

    But no, now if you don't have a "degree" - as has happened to a friend I know - then you won't be able to progress. Get this ... someone I know joined a firm through a temping agency, for one reason or another they never changed his contract to going directly through them - he remained on the temp agencies books. He was promoted - now Vice-President of Sales and Marketing, they suddenly realise it is ridiculous that he is still on the agency's books and they are paying commission on his salary and that they should employ him direct. Note that he has been doing this job for over a year, very successfully, by now ... when they change him to their books they realise on his CV that he has no degree "Oh, they say," you can't keep your title "all employees at this level need to be degree-educated."

    That's just insane, he is already doing the job competently but it is part of the WHOLE scam. The establishment NEEDS to make degrees essential for you to be able to progress or there is no reason to get into debt for 20 odd thousand. So they are going to start to make it essential - even though it clearly isn't given the amount of people who succeed beyond any other degree-educated person. Having a degree makes you no cleverer, than if you chose not to get one --- it doesn't improve your basic IQ, it simply shows you can stick out a course (and are probably a conformist - which many large companies like and are looking for, plus potentially responsible etc.) but it is a huge SCAM - not for your cash but in order to control.

    And they are selling it to you as if it is a good thing for you, just what you want --- what a pile of horse-sh**. Don't buy it! It's not true. It's a nasty trick .............

    Sorry, my conspiracy rant - got the better of me! :)
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2010
  12. chjones21

    chjones21 Well-Known Member

    as a result the young need training if they intend to find meaningful work in a country increasingly relying on the services and banking too fund its economy

    And that is a perfect example, since when has banking and the City ever relied on anything but school-leavers. All the people I know who have made an absolute fortune in the City (bar one Cambridge-educated one) started there at eighteen.

    Straight from school - prepared to start right at the bottom and to fight (or luck) their way to the top. I can think of one friend with a yacht the size of Onassis' --- eighteen, school-leaver.

    And really, if you need training well let the bloody company that is employing you provide it. Why SHOULD the tax-payer or more often now, YOU?

    You can get it on the job. Media studies - or five months working as a runner on a film set? Who has more knowledge, more contacts, more understanding of how it actually works?

    Richard Attenborough - our favourite natural world presenter ... did he train? No, he went for a job, someone else got ill so he was told to get in front of the camera and do it for him. This training - at University ... it is just an effing waste of everyone's time. I am going to do a History of Art degree and write essays about the difference between French and Italian neo-classicism ... great. And the training is...?

    There is no training at University half the time. It is just nonsense. If you need to learn a language - do at A'Level and go and live in the country after school!

    The problem is A'Levels are not hard enough, they don't offer enough scope to distinguish the bright from the stupid because everybody has to pass them - otherwise the 50% wouldn't get into University.

    Make them harder - don't make everyone take them. Let people leave school at sixteen if they want to, after GCSEs and let those who are more academic continue on to do A'Levels and the tiny minority who really want to go into the professions or academia or research go on to the best of the best ENTIRELY free and supported Universities.

    That way, no-one is in debt --- people are being trained by companies. Skills are being acquired within the workplace and yet employers have the capacity to tell the bright from the stupid by the A'Level results.

    Is that so wrong? Or is it just that people are living longer and therefore less mature and therefore don't want to start working until they are closer to twenty-three or four - rather than sixteen and eighteen? Maybe there is something in that...

    Well, other than that University seems an awful waste of time. I was just speaking to a friend of my mother's a multi-millionaire - made a fortune in plumbing supplies --- now is a "patron of the Arts", he buys sculptures and paintings and owns galleries and sculpture parks all around the world. Degree? What for?

    C'mon - it's just to get people in hock. To keep them quiet. To keep them down.
  13. Kaos General

    Kaos General Well-Known Member

    Ok lets say this vision of yours is actually what happens. Then what happens to all the mature students as well who cant 'start at the bottom'? Your views remind of something but i cant remember what exactly, oh wait thats right, labour, when they tried implenting the idea that NVQ's were the way forward.

    Oh and remind me again who caused this mess in the first place? Oh yes thats right it was the City. Why on earth do people assume A levels are getting easier? Could it just be that teaching methods have gotten better over the years or is that just fanciful thinking? I worked damn hard at my GCSE's when i was 16 and even back then i got told over and over that you wouldnt have gotten those results 15 years ago. To everyone who thinks the exams are easier now i suggest you go and take one of those exams yourself now and see how well you do in them because suggesting they are easier is just really insulting to people who work damn hard to get good results.

    Fact is years ago the only people going to college to get these extraordinarily hard A levels were rich kids who could afford to stay in college. I goto lewisham college which is in a very very poor area of south east london where instead of doing A levels they do Access to higher education and all the NVQ's and BTECH and City and Guilds courses and every single person between the age of 16-19 is on EMA. Some of them have been told they have to move out of home because they give it to their parents for their upkeep. These are the type of people who these jokers in government are affecting.

    Our college have already told us that Access to higher education courses will cease to exist next year so i can no longer go and do electrical engineering. The only choice ive got is to spend another 2 years at college to get my A levels or find a job and do a foundation degree instead. Except i cant find a job because all the eastern european firms have all the construction jobs sewn up because of their undercutting.
  14. Kaos General

    Kaos General Well-Known Member

    I would like you to point people to these said jobs you keep going on about where you start at the bottom. I for one would be very interested in these jobs because from where im sitting there are no jobs. I have applied for 13 jobs in the past week and im still awaiting a reply off all of them. How can people start at the bottom when all these companies are laying all the people at the bottom off?
  15. chjones21

    chjones21 Well-Known Member

    I for one would be very interested in these jobs because from where im sitting there are no jobs. I have applied for 13 jobs in the past week and im still awaiting a reply off all of them. How can people start at the bottom when all these companies are laying all the people at the bottom off?

    I am sorry but you are only emphasising my point anyway, when these guys went straight outta school - it was when relatively FEW people went to University and university was still free with grants. They chose not to go - and rather to go straight into work because having a degree wasn't as common, so employers then didn't have any issue about employing people who didn't have degrees!

    It is this massive growth under Labour of trying to get 50% into Universities that a. has caused them not to be able to free anymore and therefore return to a privilege of the rich or upper-middle classes rather than the intelligent
    and b. Employers now start to say they won't employ anyone who hasn't got a degree ---- FORCING people, by default, to have to take out massive loans and get into debt before they have even started their life. It is a MASSIVE CON.

    There is no good reason for having 50% of the population in University, we do not need it. We do not need it. School is enough. If A' Levels were tougher they would be all employers would need to be able to distinguish the bright from the less capable, then they could train their own employees in the field of business in which they are working.

    I wish you luck with your job applications.

    What field are you applying in, anyway?
  16. chjones21

    chjones21 Well-Known Member

    Why on earth do people assume A levels are getting easier?

    Let me put it this way then, in the 1980s the amount of people getting As at A' Level was maybe 6 or 7% of those people taking them (I don't know the exact figures I suppose I can google but) .... clearly then, from an employers point of view looking at those candidates who had managed to get an A --- you KNEW you were looking at the brightest 6 or 7 % of that year. Bs maybe 10% - Cs 15% and so on

    Now the amount of people who get As is closer to maybe 35% --- as an employer, you have no way of distinguishing from that 35% who are the brightest 7%.

    That's what these exams were originally set up to do. They fail to do that now. There is no distinction. They become pointless for an employer.
  17. Kaos General

    Kaos General Well-Known Member

    Electrical engineering or electrician.

    I personally think that the whole A level needs restructuring. It clearly doesnt work and hasnt for many many years. If so many people are getting A's then the grading system needs to change so you need to get a higher percentage to get an A.

    Truth of the matter is this. The reason this is not fair is because Nick Clegg and his flying monkeys made a pre election promise to leave the tuition fees alone. He lied and now they all seem hell bent on making the poor pay for their mistakes. Welcome back to the good old days of the tory nightmare.

    Tuition fees were designed at a time where their was no recession and the only people who was unemployed was the bone idle who refuse to work. Times are tough and i do agree with you that stupid degrees like media studies etc. need to go. Its just the way they are going about it. People wont stand for this anymore. At the moment its only students that are protesting, pretty soon what you see on the news about the protests are gonna become more and more common. I honestly cant see this coalition government lasting much longer.
  18. Lovecraft

    Lovecraft Well-Known Member

    If The Winnipeg General Strike taught me anything it's that a system stacked against you is best remedied with a riot that flips streetcars and makes the mayor shit his pants about getting the City Hall raided.
  19. chjones21

    chjones21 Well-Known Member

    Electrical engineering or electrician.

    That's fantastic, when you finally get your foot in the door I think that's a great career.

    I know someone who has also just done their electrician's training in Bristol, they had been a cameraman for Channel Four but just got completely sick of it and decided to change course entirely. It is a hard time though, as you mentioned, suddenly to change and start again with no experience under ones belt - and also with all the competition from EU electricians etc. etc. etc. it makes quite tough.

    I don't know whether he has found a job yet, he went back to Ireland where his parents live temporarily whilst he is looking.

    a system stacked against you is best remedied with a riot

    Vox Populi - it's democracy, isn't it? And if they simply won't hear what you are trying to say, you gotta make them listen!

    Although, I do approve of the students demonstrations, I personally think that it is the wrong target. We need to try to sort of the State Schooling system over here, that's the beginning of all the inequalities. It is so arbitrary and sometimes so bad - Why? I don't get why.....

    We have teachers, we have pupils, we have classrooms and text books (just like they do in France, Spain, Germany) the private schools show that we are capable of educating almost anyone (they can take the biggest thicko and squeeze pretty good results out of him, and some state schools can't even get average ones out of a bright child). So why is our State education system such a lottery? Why can't they teach?

    I just don't get it.
  20. Kaos General

    Kaos General Well-Known Member

    I guess you have never been to a state school? Its simple. The teachers really dont care. The sheer amount of kids they have to teach and the aspirations of most of the kids arent exactly great either. Look at the kind of kids they have to deal with in state schools and their backgrounds to find your answer.

    Saying that Eastern Europeans are electricians is like saying santa claus is real. They do a 5 day course in Part P and thats it, they call themselves electricians. We have to do 4 years before we can call ourselves electricians.
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