Thursday, December 9, 2010

Revolting students

What do I think about student fees?
Well I'm all for people paying their way, however as my generation weren't saddled with massive debts for simply going to university (we got grants can you believe it) the students cause does have my sympathy... To a certain extent. I believe that fees should be selective, that certain courses or disciplines should be free because that is what the country needs, engineering, maths, physics even foreign languages should be subsidised, the rest can be put to a sliding scale with perhaps a degree in flower arranging or media studies costing a lot more than history or geology. Not that I've particularly thought this through, but it makes a certain amount of sense to me that what the country needs, the country should pay for, what the country doesn't need, the person taking the course should pay for.
The startling hypocrisy of Labour who introduced fees and top up fees is of no surprise of course, it was their ill advised ambition to get as many young people into university as possible, so we ended up in the position where companies took on graduates rather than those with A or even O levels, though considering the massive dumbing down of education in the Labour years the standard remained the same, it just takes the students longer to get there, I'd match my school qualifications against most graduates in the softer studies any day if only because I've seen their exam papers and can do a lot of the stuff in them in my head and I was only considered an average student. For Millipede E to criticise the increase in fees that the previous Labour administration imposed shows a complete lack of understanding of the situation. We don't need so many graduates, only the creme de la creme should be going to university, the top 10 to 15% all the rest should be dealt with in house by company training and sponsorship, that would enable the state to once again fund higher education rather than make everyone suffer in it.
You do have to wonder why only now that the National Union of Students are protesting though, then again as a socialist organisation perhaps even they realised that doing it under Labour would have been the equivalent of shooting themselves in the foot. They should have been manning the barricades a decade ago, it's far too late now, even if they do block the fees increase, all it will do is make universities withdraw the more expensive unnecessary courses, which is probably the coagulations plan B.

1 annotations:

peejos said...

It was John Major [Cons] who wanted 50% of school leavers to go to university. The main problem now is having converted old polytechnics into universities there is a vast core of up graded lecturers who belive in their right to be state funded. A return to Red brick universities + Oxbridge should be the sensible answer, but not against such a vested interest group.