Actually I was. Grammar school 64-71
Exeter - French and German combined honours.
It has for me developed into one of the more interesting threads for some time.I did not have a specific vocation in mind when I went (1977 and yes a lot has changed)- I had better grades in Maths,Physics and Chemistry but it wasn't just the "degree" or the future earnings that I went for. After having a decent secondary education,I saw how much teachers provide not just in subject education but in personal development.I owe a tremendous amount to both my school and university teachers in all elements of my "education" and it would be wrong to think they just teach their subject.
I saw for myself how much reward they got from it and I don't mean financial,I mean personal.I don't think that has changed.The numbers may have but the principle hasn't.I'm with Strapped on the sad decline of the Arts.I'd guess at the moment there are more "leaders" of society/business across the board coming from Arts rather than sciences (accountancy doesn't count as either) so that will change in the future(if I'm right)
I still use my languages and my experiences of living in other countries and the progress I made in employment due to my school/uni experience, is something I will never forget/regret.My education from 5 to 22 was all payed for by Manchester City Council.
I am now in phase 2 where my 18 year old son is ready to go to Uni.We do not have the the finances to cover his education any further(payed for residential FE),so he will have to take on that debt himself. We may be able to help in the future when inheritances may be forthcoming but the student loans will have to happen if he decides to go.It is a really difficult situation but my wife and I will not let the finance side decide whether he does it or not- it is whether he wants to or not .Just like us.
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Good course, terrible location! (But then there's only a choice of 8 places in the UK to do it.)
I attended the University of Essex and have a degree in Computer Science. I was fortunate enough to choose a subject that I enjoyed and happened to pay quite well (I had no idea of that when I started). When I went, tuition fees were paid and we received a small grant that meant I left University debt free. I am continuously depressed by the number of people who benefited from this generous regime but who are vocal supporters of the current loan system. I know that my parents and I would have been seriously concerned about taking on such a large debt and this must affect the thinking of many poorer students.
Another good one!
Here's an easy way of thinking about it. Are students getting a better deal today than they were before the tuition fee hike?
My original point (aside from discussing changes to university curricula) was that young people are getting a worse deal now than their parents did as they entered adulthood. I stand by that statement, not simply in reference to the cost of higher education, but in countless other regards.
I don't recall you saying that. I do recall you trying to get into it with me over the coalition though You won't get me there, as I hate it.*
Anyway, there's not really an inconsistency in our views, given the way you now put it; they are not better off than their parents (though I'd argue they are not much worse off), but it also isn't that bad, as I've consistently argued.
Cheesy little beer emoticon here.
* But let's not forget my beloved Labour started it, as they started kicking the disabled with Atos as their front men, but anyyyywayyyyy...
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I don't recall you saying that.
Well, on p. 5, in post #9, I said:
"I'm simply pointing out that today's youth are getting a worse deal than previous generations."
I don't think we're a million miles apart politically, even if our views differ on the tuition fee hike's impact.
I'd argue they are not much worse off
I'd argue that young people are considerably worse off than their parents when it comes to a range of life options.
They're not tagged generation rent for nothing; while worker rights have been consistently eroded; and of course tuition fees didn't exist when most current students' parents went to university.
In any case, I've no quarrel with you personally, we just disagree with regard to young people's prospects.
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I'd argue that the tuition fee rise can't be a non-issue if it has an effect (as it clearly does) on applications and admissions patterns and the courses universities are ultimately able to offer.
The whole area of "student grant vs student loan" is imo far from black and white.
On one hand you can argue that investing in the education of the next generation is vital, with no barriers to those who wish to take further education. It is a sensible way to ensure consistantly high standards are maintained (and indeed improved) and that we don't lag behind other nations. Sending graduates out with large debts has drawbacks, and the potential size of these debts will be putting people off, which is counter-productive.
On the other hand, why should the taxes of the many go to pay for the "elite" education of the few, where the qualifications gained could well lead to a much better earning potential. It is the softest loan that you'll ever get, and is paid back in a manageable manner. If Uni is free, people can end up going just for the life experience, and the qualification can be seen as simply an added benefit. Whereas, if you are paying for it yourself, it typically concentrates the mind on what you want to do, and why you want to do it.
I suppose my view is somewhere in the middle, where a part is subsidized (how much is situation dependent) and then a "manageable" amount is contributed by the student. One way or another, we cannot let our standards fall too far behind other more progressive countries.
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With regard to your first point, Strapped, I forgot that and was too lazy to chreck. That'll teach me. Sorry.
I've been guilty of the same.
why should the taxes of the many go to pay for the "elite" education of the few, where the qualifications gained could well lead to a much better earning potential.
Though there's an argument that those higher earners will go on to pay more in taxes. I think part of the problem, as Ben observed, lies in the volume of students now entering higher education, though tuition fee levels still depend to quite an extent on government priorities.
So you're arguing for some form of means testing? This happens to a very small degree now, with most universities setting aside bursaries for academically gifted students from lower income backgrounds. These bursaries are thin on the ground and highly competitive, though, and don't come remotely close to redressing the balance.
The number of students from lower income brackets admitted to Russell Group universities has also fallen since the tuition fee rise. This problem is compounded by the fact that studentships from the major UK research councils are administered through the Block Grant Partnership Scheme, which heavily favours the "research intensive" Russell Group. (As I've benefitted from this I probably shouldn't complain too much. I basically went where the funding was, though the department was also highly suited to my research interests.)
That is fair comment, provided they stay in the country.
So you're arguing for some form of means testing?
Yes...... means testing that's "reasonable and fair"......which is easier said than done, I grant you!
My 19 yr old son is currently studying professional dance & musical theatre at a top college in London.
He had to audition against over 1000 applicants for 70 places, of those 70 places - half get a scholarship which is funded by the Government. This scholarship pays the tuition fees (circa £45k for the 3 years of the course) but thankfully he does not have to pay this back.
But, we have to pay for his maintenance expenses - it cost us alot for his first year. Housing benefit has now been withdrawn too (due to a court decision) so he is now looking at applying for a Career Development Loan. We go without a lot, inorder to fund him.
But - would anybody argue against this type of setup? The Government provide the scholarships to enable the most gifted students with the most potential, to enter a professional vocational course that will see them graduate straight into professional theatre. This is to ensure that the quality of the new graduates coming into the industry remains high - as this industry contributes millions (probably billions) to the UK.
So half the students have to pay the full fees and their own maintenance (probably in the region of £70k), and the other half (those that cannot afford it) still have to make a major committment by covering their maintenance. What you do get is very committed and focused students with full parental support, and an industry that can accomodate them when they graduate.
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But - would anybody argue against this type of setup?
This is the sort of thing I was referring to......as long as the wrinkles have been effectively ironed out.
On the other hand, why should the taxes of the many go to pay for the "elite" education of the few, where the qualifications gained could well lead to a much better earning potential.
I am simply amazed you asked that.
I would be #### scared to send children to a school where no-one was qualified to teach, or to go into surgery where no-one in the hospital had passed stringent medical qualifications, or to cross a bridge every day that had been designed without the involvement of any qualified civil engineers, or to step onto an airliner made and designed by a company employing no graduates at all. (This list could go on until my keyboard wears out.)
If some of that talent needed my taxes to support them through University (because they happen to come from poorer backgrounds), then i'm paying.
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That is why I put elite in inverted commas.............I'm not (intentionally) saying anything of the sort. I posed potential, theoretical (rhetorical) questions / arguments, neither of which I fully agree with.......I obviously didn't make it clear enough in my summary, so my mistake.
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