On Thursday, British members of Parliament were set to vote for a proposal established by the Conservative-Liberal coalition government, to raise tuition fees of students going to English universities to between £6k and £9k. Prior to the vote have been weeks of protest, by students across the country, many peaceful, some turning violent, which lead to vandalism of the Tory headquarters in London.
It may be true that overall the least well off will pay less under the new schemes, however its the underlying issue of the level of debt and the philosophy they’re promoting that takes away the involvement of a society and government investing in its people’s well being, that i dislike!
What’s annoying me is how the fact that the royals’ car being attacked, has hijacked the headlines of new reports, with the actual issues of the protests and debates being sidelined.
I still think the proposal was rushed, and that there were many alternatives that they just didn’t seem willing to explore. It doesn’t seem very well thought out to me. Half the claims the Coalition make just come out of thin air – speculative at best. They have no plans to actually reinforce the claim they make, about ensuring universities use the extra funds, to support and increase proportions of students in good performing institutions from “disadvantaged backgrounds”
There may be some truth, that the system doesn’t negatively affect students from poorer backgrounds as much as is being made out… at least until they’re earning a lot of money – BUT then it acts as a dead weight to any financial progress their family might want to make, whilst the very rich still get off very lightly. Earners over a notably high threshold could be taxed a very small percentage extra of their wealth to cover a lot these shortfalls in funding, and realistically there would be no noticeable different to their quality of life. I was super rich, even though it might be seen as an annoying hinderance to the advancement of my empire, it would be MY responsibility as a citizen in this country to contributre more. Those with the power to change something, (and let’s face it, wealth is one of the main currencies of power) naturally have a responsibility that lies with that power!
The plans, even if unintentionally, make it even more difficult for those from poor backgrounds to gain more than an average amount of wealth over their lifetime, whilst those already at the top of the financial chain remian virtually unscathed! It also goes against the whole philosophy of a having a society – with citizens supporting each others’ needs. Are we going to make everything individualistic, so that those ill must also support themselves because its unfair on the other taxpayers who are not?
The government does have an ulterior motive imo, but what exactly it is, has yet to be established. Unless they really follow through with their plans to put more schemes in place to support and encourage the working class’ route to university, there is no doubt in my mind that the proportion of those from such backgrounds at good universities will remain static or likely decrease, as even just the figure of debt is an intimidating detterant, EVEN WITH the understanding of the system.
Cuts were expected. The manner in which the cuts have been made was not!
The repayment system seems fairly done, but it’s the principle and whole philosphy/ ethos of the government’s proposals in the first place, that the taxpayer shouldn’t have to pay towards their own country’s citizens education which benefit the country in the long run. The conservative were ranting on about the community prior to the election, yet their propsoals go against every aspect of the concept of community, and back to the ideas of the thatcher era. Shall we extend this idea further and say that smokers should have to pay an extra tax in advance of their lung cancer costs, why should the rest of society have to pay for it, or people who want to go into the armed forces? where does this train of thining stop?
the thing most students are annoyed about is the fact that the elder generation went to university for free, and they’re dumping the burden of the economic mess on us. and that our fees are amongst the highest in western society. Nevermind the injustices in the system that allow Scottish and Welsh students to maintain their own lower fee rates! Furthermore it’s an atrocity that a student coming from the European union to study in Scotland only pays the Scottish rate, while those from England going to a Scottish university still have to pay the highest rate. People in our own so-call “United”-Kingdom have to pay MORE than people coming to study from a different country! What kind of a mickey mouse system is this?
This sounds a bit nationalist but in hard economic times, surely students from foriegn countries’ fees should be raised more so than ours, because 1 the market for a degree from uk institutions is highly sought after and 2/ many students from other countries are often from well off backgrounds to be able to fund, ad if not, enhance the system of sponsorships for talented students from poor backgrounds.
We should be promoting the value of education. Ministers state that universities will have to show their efforts to fund students from poorer backgrounds and get them into university. Realistically the system will not work, just from the trend of past history. Institutions such as the university of wolverhampton are in danger on closing due to lack of funding, where a very large percentage are from poor working class backgrounds. I know many of these people, and they are not stupid, but just have not necessarily benefitted from their socio economic situation and therefore have gone to a university that’s less credited for, or that cater to their career and lifestyle. If these institutions are shut down, and there remains such high entry requirements for the redbrick or Russell league and top universities, and no schemes are put in place to either compensate for the fact that intelligent people from poorer backgrounds are more likely to underperform statistically but have just as much potential, or schemes to improve the attainment of those from such backgrounds (which will not be immediate in effect), then it’s effectively divisive, and set to create an even larger void-like barrier than already exists between the economic classes of society, even if this wasn’t the intention.
Theoretically i was a student that was capable of achieving 4 As or higher at Alevel, however i underachieved and got AABDDE. Thankfully even with my underachievement it was enough to get into an esteemed institution, however, those on the equivelent level of many middle class students who get say AAA or AAB at alevel, from working class backgrounds due to the statitucal underperformance due to many factors that wold be too lengthy to discuss in this post, may get say ABC or even BCC, on average i would say a grade lower than their equally capable middle class counterparts. If there are no institutions to accept them, then where does their talent go? to waste! down the drain!
There is already a massive gulf as pointed out by david lammy in a gaurdian article. in the article it said that in the whole of the last academic year there was one, yes ONE student of african caribbean background admitted to the univeristy of Oxford. It isn’t just individual ethnic groups of people it will affect, but also likely those such as the working class white people as well. If this is the current case, how much more will the percentage of students from poorer economic backgrounds drop when these less established universities are closed due to lack of funding? In my opinion it would be best to clamp down on the degrees that are less useful to our society especially at lower performing instutions, such as surfing degrees and david beckham studies. These need to be targeted and eliminated, the funding to those courses could help assit more useful courses and their students!