THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT TUITION FEES - your thoughts please

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by golden_rivet, Dec 8, 2010.

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  1. Much though I support the brave young people facing cops and horses I do have to concede that we have a really massive problem. The University system is massively over-developed and I'm afraid the blame for this lies with Madam Thatcher and the marketing of a degree as almost a fashion accessory along with buying council houses and shares.

    A population in debt is a population well and truly held by the short and curlies.

    EMAs? Education Maintenance Allowances - Well they were invented to keep kids at school because there were no jobs for them, its as simple as that. I have worked in an FE college where you feel many of the kids are only there because there is nothing else for them to do. Not pleasant.

    We have a massive problem due to the lack of jobs but I don't feel that getting second-rate degrees is the answer.

    Anyway - good luck to the kids protesting today and tomorrow - their bravery makes me hope that the ipod generation might not be such a wash-out after all.

    Stay warm, stay safe.

  2. Although a lot of jobs in this world requires a degree, I do believe there are far too much crap degrees people choose to go Uni for just for the life style.

    Personally they should lower the fees but lower the payback threshold not raise it. £21,000?? The amount of money owed by ex students to the public is a lot. The average debt by a student is £25,000 supposedly and not many pay it back.

    They should be paying back what they owe as soon as they work. Every other person out there have to pay their debts off. I have and yes I paid off £25,000 working various jobs including min wage jobs. It was hard work but I've done so why can't they? I never had a job over £21,000 down her in Kernow. Outside of the mob I never worked a job over £15,000 yet I still paid my debts and survived.

    We do need people to get degrees like Doctors, Engineer, Teachers etc etc but why should we pay for those who get degree in Surfing not to pay us back?

    That's my opinion based on my experience doesn't mean it's right.
  3. I read a post the other day (not on RR) that got me thinking and made me question my original opinion which had been "why shouldn't students pay for their university education?"

    The post pointed out that education in the UK is a right and is funded by taxation. That being the case, those who are capable of undertaking further education should be both encouraged and funded by the State to do so. Taxes paid by those who are working and by students when they ultimately start working provide the funding so why should students effectively be double taxed?

    I have strong opinions on the "value" of some degree courses and believe there are too many dodgy qualifications floating around I also feel that many degree courses could probably be undertaken in a fraction of the time currently allowed (one of my sons in his first year had an average of 2 lectures and 3 seminars a week on a politics and history degree - what about the other 35 hours a week? (adjust figures for whatever you think a working week should be) - but that is not the point of this particular argument.

    This argument of course does not extend to overseas students who take their new-found education and skills back to their homw countries with them blah, blah, blah
  4. As with the unions in the 70's it looks like the students are just being given enough rope to hang themselves...There is no doubt that massive reforms are needed...As a businessman before I retired I was fed up with councils trying to impose on me some 26 year old business management graduate to show me how to run my business...
    The fact that the English pay ,where as the Welsh and Scots don't ..although unjust...comes as no surprise as this has become the norm...

  5. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    I will uphold everyone's right to protest, providing they operate within the confines of the law, in particular the provisions of public order, violence and criminal damage. Therefore, continued acts that result in unnecessary injury or loss/damage to property will, in my opinion, negate any relevant protest that they are supporting. This includes launching fire extinguishers from buildings and pillaging Police vehicles (paid for by you, me and every other tax-payer in the UK). :evil:

    Having learned lessons from previous protests and to prevent further acts of disorder, I understand the Metropolitan Police are deploying water cannons, which is a "win-win" situation - it disperses the students AND they'll get a wash at the same time. :shock: :wink:

    Having said that, if the students felt strongly about how their education will be affected, perhaps they should protest at the weekend so that they can go to College/University during the week. Just a idea... :roll:
  6. Shouldn't the tossers be studying rather than causing havoc?, they have a right to protest but not in the way they go about it. They call themselves 'tomorrows future' - god help us if tomorrows future are going to behave like that. Utter scum!
  7. It might be more pressing to look at 'Lower Education'?

    Every skool and it's satchel calls itself a university these days....they have devalued the degree and higher education.

    No, I'm not bitter and twisted about it, but lets get the creme on top and contract them so that the UK gets the benefit. Most of the creme has flown the nest and we never see them again
  8. Levers_Aligned

    Levers_Aligned War Hero Moderator

    It’s a massive crock. Firstly, since when has a degree been a guarantee of employability, rationality and logical ability? Its proof that once upon a weekend you managed to collate enough data to show you could collate that data. Tell me how many military officers have degrees, and then tell me as a percentage how many of them lack basic life-skills to garner trust from their men and women and leadership qualities enough to be regarded as ‘in charge’? Many of them have dgrees completely at ninety degrees to their trade. It’s a certificate of study, not a guarantee of ability.

    Where this current crisis centres is the great pulsing vein of tedium and boredom which infects young people’s lives, particularly in these establishments. They aren’t really faced with any challenges, their lives are heading for the crapper and many have embarked upon study plans which are uninspiring and dull. Notoriety is an option, and what better way than to smash up your surroundings using a baseless and frankly pointless argument as an excuse. The fact that the country is skint beyond comprehension and every one of us is going to have to take a nice gobful of shit sandwich is lost on many students. Their misguided perception that a cushy life of weed, ‘chillin out’ and two or three ‘workshops’ a week whilst pretending the collected works of chimps like Pete Doherty are the apex of the future should all be funded by someone else is lost as a concept of stupidity. Further education isn’t an extension of school any more than an excuse to dodge employment whilst ‘studying’ a subject which is ostensibly a fecking pastime, not a source of furthering oneself for employability and self-reliance. Not so? Then ask how many third class arts and media degree students are currently manning call centres and shovelling fries for McShit, whilst telling anyone who will listen they are ‘looking for the right job, man’. Truth is ... and it is a truth ... they are unemployable by rite of fact that they followed a path of least resistance. Easy subject (that thousands undertake) which is beautifully unchallenging, requires precious little entry criteria and might even make them famous ... if anyone will show interest in their portfolio full of bland witterings, weed-induced scrawl or frankly derivative and unoriginal claptrap. Academia? Science? Engineering? Technology (not ‘games design’)? Nah. Too borin’, maaan.

    Who to blame? Dunno, really. It’sa bit self-perpetuating and easy to single out the government in isolation. I suppose the poacher-to-gamekeeper route of student to lecturer and the failure to regulate ridiculous degree prospectus is partly to blame. Recently on University Challenge, on student claimed she was studying ‘Drawing’. Imagine that. BA (Hons) Oxon. What in? ‘Drawing’. Captain of Industry, that one.

    Above all of this veiled hatred for people who resemble their parents (i.e. the rather embattled middle class who have striven to build this country since the second world war – itself a nightmare that students would rather not comprehend for fear it destroys their mindset) and politicians who enjoyed the free further education that the brilliant IMF-funded, strike ridden, grim and dire 1970s provided is the unanswered question of ‘who should pay for your education, dear student?’ It is drowned out by the ‘No ifs, no buts ... ‘ arseflapping because it is a question many have neither the maturity nor the sensibility to understand. Their counter that many in previous lives have enjoyed this privilege is completely baseless because the world has changed, life is more expensive and as much as it is pleasing to see a new arts wing or science block being constructed, all of this needs paying for ... set against those fickle enough to drop out of the education system because studying is cramping their busy lifestyles. No one provides an answer who is to pay, and how their privilege is to be catered for, yet to me if they can’t work that one out, what are they doing studying for a degree? I forget ... last week I saw this question ranged at a ‘protester’ ... your atypical Alexa Chung type who if I am being charitable is possibly doing a BA in fashion design (much needed in these days when the shops are chucking clothes at you and VAT is due to go up) and she said, get this colleagues ... that the government should make cuts elsewhere, such as the military, for example. Yeah, baby. Today, ‘the army’ as we are often referred to were called in to help civil authorities in Scotland in light of adverse weather conditions. I seem to recall us also manning fire appliances, carrying out counter-narcotics operations, plucking Cornish villagers from the roofs of their flood-destroyed dwellings via helicopter, setting up field hospital facilities in Haiti and providing engineering support to ease the pain of thousands of desperate people, bringing home ungrateful tourists stranded in Spain and (if I flick through various other pages of newspapers) countless other charitable tasks, before we start on the Military Cross awarded yesterday for bravery so massive is touches the other reaches of our Galaxy. Could you imagine going into the refectory of any University where small huddles of cool people and louche, file-carrying right-on militants all chill out contemplating another bland week of one hour’s lesson and countless hours watching Kyle and asking for volunteers to come and assist with some crisis ... man the fire engines ... drive tankers ... fight overseas conflicts in the interests of their government we ourselves uphold? How many sleeve-covered hands would rocket skyward? How many would swap their Vans for boots and get stuck in, like us ‘military’ sorts?

    I have no time for their argument at all. This has been a long time coming and if anything, it will thin the student population down somewhat and make those choosing a life at Uni to consider their subjects, their ability to study and more importantly, if their path through education to employment can sustain their ambitions. Its a no brainer and the current crop of idiots marauding through our cities should wake up big-style to the damage they do not only materially, but to their credibility. Many of them fail to acknowledge the concessions, checks and locks built into the system to enable poorer students to get in, let alone the sweetener of only paying – at a sliding scale based on earnings, mark you – once salaries hit £21k.
    By the way, before anyone starts ... obviously I didn’t attend university. I did, however, support my daughter at University through her English degree and with that academic achievement under her belt, she went on and qualified for her PGCE and is now a secondary school teacher. Had she come at me for support for a degree in what she enjoyed – fine art – I’d have refused to support her. She now has a career, rather than a qualification denoting she studied a past-time.

    Fire away, anyway ....

  9. Levers, can't disagree with 99% of what you have said - and very passionately too. The system needs a bloody good shake but I went to university and my time there was (for the most part) funded by the taxpayer. I have been a taxpayer myself since leaving university and I don't begrudge my taxes going to fund university courses for students of today - I just wish that there was a bit more focus on taxpayer funding of further education being directed at ensuring it was an "investment" to benefit the country and meet the country's changing needs rather than a 3 or 4 year jolly for so many.
  10. In the same way that Defence is a "right" and "funded" by taxation?

    Therein lies the root of the problem. The tax take largely covers our children to be educated (to a variable level depending on what school you get) to the end of secondary school (inc 6th form). The explosion of "further" and "higher" education courses since the late 80s (not all of which can be laid at the door of Mrs T) has never been funded - particularly when you consider that the genius Blair and his henchmen set an arbitrary figure of 50% of folk to go to university, a pitch which essentially devalued the degree system and is based on the "all must have prizes" philosophy, which is unfortunately b8ll8cks..

    A degree is supposed to be hard work and represent a level of achievement that is limited to a relatively small (certainly less than 1 in 2!) proportion of the population. Elitist? Yes - that is utimately what a degree is supposed to represent, not a time-served badge, which is what it has become.

    Look around the science and engineering faculties of UK universities and you'll see a minimal proportion of Brits and a load of EU / overseas students. The post-grad element where universities make a lot of their research money is heavily staffed by non-Brits. That suggests to me that not only are we funding a box-ticking agenda in terms of churning out degrees, but that we're also losing out on the added-value bit at the top end. On top of that we're creating a generation whose level of indebtedness is terrifying and in the long-term unsustainable, hence the fees argument.

    Suspect the only way out of the current situation is to make the unis self-funding - ie establish scholarship / endowment funds against each uni (also topped up from industry, based on post-grad work) which must be earned by (UK) applicants in order to attend. It also has the advantage of restoring real meritocracy and gets the state (and hence politics) out of the picture. The state could then concentrate on fixing the mess that is primary and secondary education.
  11. Not a boffin - agreed. It does no-one any good if qualifications are made equal across all subject areas and anyone can gain the (dubious) status of being a graduate but is then left scrabbling for any job going because the formula (education - higher education based on ability - higher paid employment based on ability to contribute) is flawed.
  12. Levers,

    You have marshalled and articulated the thoughts of many of us at RR, and probably most of the otherwise silent majority of middle England too - BZ.

    Your post deserves a much wider audience than RR, any suggestions from others on here where it should/could be placed to reach them?

  13. I agree with some points made, especially Levers Aligned and disagree with other.

    The main fault I find with the majority of posts is the use of the words 'Further Education'. This is not further education but job training and I think there should be no government subsidy whatsoever towards it.

    If they think they are entitled to my money to train them, then so is Asda entitled to make a claim for subsidies to training the checkout girls, it amounts to the same thing.

    As also mentioned above, a lot just treat this as a few years out with no intention of using the qualification afterwards, and so they can boast that they went to Uni
  14. No it isn't - Job Training is vocational and is focused on specific tasks (cf specialist training in the Mob). Further Education is what most university degrees are - broad brush education covering a wide subject area with a focus on developing analytical skills etc (in theory) that could be applied (again in theory) to ANY subsequent job (eg data collation and management, report writing and so on)

    Many people may not like the fact but (IMHO) those are the facts and they cannot be avoided if you want to develop a skill balance that is not over-focused on achieving a single job in a single environment

    Standing by!
  15. Levers_Aligned

    Levers_Aligned War Hero Moderator

    I refute this. You can't levl that say, a degree in 'Film Studies' or 'Phonecian History' equips you for any job, any more than an English degree equips you to be a radar engineer. The degree has to be specific and the study structure in those subject matters that are relevant to the career path chosen. And before anyone flaps wildly about 'huh, most sixteen year olds are faced with choosing an important career path at such an early age'I level then that they should therefore not be old enough to expose themselves to procreation, exposure to lung cancer, drive a vehicle or any number of freedoms they enjoy which are life-structuring. It isn't a great quantum leap to understand where your strengths are and if your strengths are enough to uphold a five year path through A Levels and through a degree.
  16. My abiding memory of student types was them looking down their noses and sneering at me on many train journeys. Why? simple I was obviously in the military.
    Left wing [email protected]*s!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Remember a documentary about Manchester and Liverpool Uni's Air Force units. The Manchester one was forced to recruit outside on the pavement banned from the Hall.
    A Police friend of mine is quite happy about the protests.
    Lots of O/T and the Government now becoming reluctant to target the dibble too much.
  17. As someone who is going to Uni next year, I strongly support these protests! How can students expect to pay off student debts of up to £27,000 after leaving Uni when they will also have to pay other expenses? Do you want young people to be able to buy houses, cars etc? If I hadn't been working today, I would have joined in the protest in Leeds!
  18. According to yet another bloody e-mail, all the answers are here;$N0B8WQXyNEH30gvu/cons4

    Children are entitled to a decent education; not a guaranteed free course towards a degree in underwater basketweaving and the like.

    Remind me, which grinning idiot wanted more children of any background to go to university?
  19. By studying hard for a worthwhile degree, that will allow you to get a well paid job which can pay off your debt.

    It's not rocket science, once the tuition fees rise, which they will, it will discourage people from choosing uni as a stop gap because they can't be arsed to get a job after they leave school.

    People will think twice before enrolling on a Football Studies course, if they know they will have to pay loads of money for the privilege. If for instance, you are studying medicine or law, you can be pretty sure that if you work hard and stick it out, you will walk into a well paid job that will allow you to pay back your debt.

    If however, you choose to spend three years smoking ganja and getting a 2:2 in 'Media' just so you can then get a job filing in an office, then you deserve to pay and suffer financially for those three years of dossing, as it doesn't benefit anyone but yourself.

    As Levers so eloquently put it, 'it's a big shit sandwich and everyone's gonna have to take a bite.'
  20. Please don't get me started!
    I have experienced working with many Graduates,through both my Naval Service and as a civilian within the Public Sector of a Local Authority.
    The memory that springs to mind was a lovely young lady with a Geography Degree who ended up as an inputter in the Crime Management Unit working alongside an 18 year old who decided to go to college and study Shorthand and Typing.
    8 years later the Graduate was still inputting and the now 26 year old studied in her own time and is a very successful young lady working as a Manager of a well know Solicitors Practice!!

    I know which way I would prefer my taxes to be spent!!

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