Education cuts

I paid tuition fees at University,although it was under the short lived system that was means tested so I paid less.

I can see the reasoning for graduates paying part of the cost of their education and I am not a denier of the private benefit that is received by students.  However I believe that higher education should be in a way that shares the cost of education between the individual and society as a whole*.  Of course part of what the media haven’t really focused on (because I guess a few vandals are more interesting than figures) in the debate is that teaching grants to Universities are being cut by 80%.  That seems like a crazy amount to me, even the most deficit obsessed politician isn’t proposing that for any other area I can think of.

It was with this in mind that I was happy to go along to the march to Rob Wilson’s office supporting a petition collected by pupils from Reading schools.  They said they had taken just two days to get 900 signatures – impressive by any standards!  Although of course Rob Wilson wasn’t there we had hoped a member of his staff would be to collect the petition but mysteriously not only was the door locked and no-one was home but the usual Conservative party posters had been removed from the window!  It didn’t dampen spirits though and it was a cheerful, noisy march.

*Incidentally I also do have problems with the current system set up by my own party by which a graduate going into a ‘typical’ graduate job like teaching can be paying back their debts over decades while a city trader pays back very quickly.  I hope that we agree a better policy where those who earn more after graduation pay more.

4 thoughts on “Education cuts

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  1. Rachel,

    Even by your usual standards, this is pretty poor. What you fail to say is that the current proposition is actually more beneficial to students than the current system in place.

    Like you, I graduated under the current system and am paying my student loan back on a monthly basis. Let's look at why the proposed system is better than the current one shall we:

    1) Current system you start repaying when you earn £15k. Proposed you start repaying at £21k.
    2) Current system you pay your tuition fees upfront, therefore reducing the amount of the loan received. Proposed system nothing is paid upfront so you don't need 'rich' parents to be able to go to university.
    3) Hopefully we will now see the number of mickey mouse degrees reduce.
    4) With the report published on Tuesday showing that Britain's education has yet again got poorer despite the record amount of money squandered on it, it is clear for all to see that fewer people than ever are actually bright enough to go to university.
    5) Under Labour's graduate tax, everyone would start paying back as soon as they are earning over £6,475. As you like the word 'fair' a lot, tell me how that is 'fair' to the 'poor'?

    As to your point about city bankers paying back their debt quicker than teachers. So what? If they're deemed smart enough and good enough to command a good wage then what's the problem? Not all bankers are born with a silver spoon in their mouth. The people who end up in high paying jobs are usually people who show ambition and determination. I appreciate that your party tried to stop this by dumbing everyone down to the lowest common denominator, hence education standards continually falling since Liebour came to power, but thankfully not everyone fell for that old chestnut and they retained their ambition and determination.

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  2. “Only the Prime Minister could triple fees and claim it is a better deal for students” – oh and anonymous blog commenters too I guess 🙂

    I agree there are lots of debates to be had about exactly how we pay for higher education which is what your comments address (incidentally your comments also show that you have out of date information. For example point 2 is simply factually incorrect – that was the system when you and I paid fees, not now. And don't assume a graduate tax would have to kick in at the 20% rate…)

    My main point is that an 80% cut in teaching grants and a massive hike in fees so that students bear the full cost is just not right.

    Apologies for the delay in publishing your comment As mentioned in a previous post though I am dealing with a family bereavement so don't have much time for on-line at the moment.

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  3. Well you said that you think you know who I am, as such I'm hardly anonymous am I?

    Point 2 is actually factually correct I think you'll find. We did pay tuition fees at the beginning of the year, that's not the case under the current proposals.

    Why should the taxpayer continue to fund university education when there are, quite frankly, too many people going to university? Our education standards have slipped over the last 10 years despite a record amount of money being squandered on it (yes squandered!) so therefore there should be FEWER people going to university and not more people.

    The EMA shouldn't have even been put in place if you ask me. Why? Because it's basically bribing kids to do A-Levels when they're not smart enough to do them. Education funding clearly needs to be cut as it's obscenely inefficient, as shown by our standards dropping.

    I'm sorry to hear about your loss.

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  4. You said
    “2) Current system you pay your tuition fees upfront, therefore reducing the amount of the loan received. Proposed system nothing is paid upfront so you don't need 'rich' parents to be able to go to university.”

    Actually current system you don't, you pay afterwards.

    I was talking to a senior teacher at a 6th form college recently who said that the EMA had both improved enrolment and attainment, as it means the students make sure they turn up! Lets leave that one for another time shall we.

    Thank you.

    PS I don't actually know who you are, I just had a suspicion, that is no doubt incorrect since you claimed never to have met me

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