Wednesday, 13 October 2010

How to pay for universities.

I don't get the impression that we are worse off than we were in the seventies which was when I applied to go to university. I was given a grant and didn't have to pay for tuition fees. However our present economic climate has persuaded the government to increase tuition fees. The BBC reported that some universities, like the red brick University of Birmingham, will manage quite well while other univesities will struggle because prospective students will not be able to afford these fees.

You may believe that all our students deserve the chance to go to university and this should be free as it was in the seventies. You may feel that graduates should pay more because nothing is free in life. What can be wrong with tuition fees? I happen to believe that education should be provided to our students and not leave them in debt. It doesn't affect the rich but the poor may have their education curtailed. A graduate tax isn't fair either because any student who leaves the country would not pay it and some would repay their course fees many times over.

Where does that leave us? For me the answer is easy. The Spinners, the folk group from the sixties and seventies sang about red brick universities putting you on the lower branches of the tree. Now they put you on the top branches because everyone is getting to university. It feel like every town and city has its own university. To matriculate meant to join a little list and now university students are part of a really big list.

We don't need tradesmen with degrees. There is a common feeling that everyone should go to university and that is what we can't afford.

Change the world


  1. But far more people are attending university now than during the 1970s so trying to consider costs as being comparable with then are impossible.

    "We don't need tradesmen with degrees. There is a common feeling that everyone should go to university and that is what we can't afford."

    Agree with you absolutely

  2. Thanks for your support Anonymous. It would be more helpful if you gave your name as a cynic would say that I may be agreeing with myself. Thanks anyway.

  3. People who make comments that dont say "I agree with you" and then dont see them put up, might think that. Not too sure that is overly cynical though.

  4. Thanks The Druid. I have the four comments still waiting to be published. Tell me which one is yours and I'll tell you why it is still pending.

  5. It should have been posted in my name. But it basically said: this is a nice idea but how would you make it work? Who would decide who is deserving of a degree and who isnt? The devil is in the detail.

  6. Thanks for clarifying and thanks for your name.

  7. I have just watched Question Time and the point was made by a member of the audience that we don't need as many people with degrees. I also liked another point from the audience that we shouldn't lose the cap on tuition fees. It sounds like we are heading for a two-tier system in which the rich will do quite well.