UK Tuition Fees/end of the world as we know it

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Killyp, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

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    #1
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    I personally think this is disgraceful. What has happened to our state-provided education? A levels? That can hardly be called 'education'.

    I cannot believe the government are even seriously considering this...
     
  2. Queso macrumors G4

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    #2
    Education policy in the UK has been a complete shambles for at least 20 years. The gradual removal of funding for vocational training has funnelled all teenagers who wish to continue their education into academic fields which now cannot be funded either, graduates are working in coffee shops because there's too many of them hitting the job market, and on the flipside there is such a lack of skilled tradespeople that we rely on imported labour from Eastern Europe to keep our cities running.

    Ridiculous. This tuition fees nonsense is bad enough, but all the government are really doing is closing another door in the faces of already dispirited youth.
     
  3. peskaa macrumors 68020

    peskaa

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    #3
    I hope those who voted LibDem are feeling totally betrayed and, well, shafted by their party. After all that talk of no rises in tuition fees....we're looking at a huge rise!

    I hear all this defensive talk of "Oh they won't charge £12,000 a year!" and maybe they're right, but £6,000 a year is when the penalties start kicking in and that is still a near-100% increase in fees. Okay, so you won't pay anything back until you earn over £21,000 - but that's the average starting graduate wage anyway.

    I've just applied for graduate-entry medicine, and I'm bricking it. If this comes in any time soon I don't think I will be able to afford my fees.
     
  4. Queso macrumors G4

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    #4
    I voted LibDem and don't regret it one bit. Look at the options we had. Labour, as the party in government prior to the election, would not have been able to admit to mistakes and act to fix them. The Tories on their own would have resulted in all sorts of bad social policies leaking in with the economic ones. With the coalition in power the economy gets tackled without all sorts of nonsense such as the return of fox hunting taking up government time.

    The decisions with regards to tuition fees are not the fault of the current administration, who have to react to a situation that has been brewing since the rapid expansion of university places back in 1990-1991. I still think the issue is that the economy can only absorb so many graduates, yet with other avenues being closed off teenagers are being channelled into university as the only option available to them. The diversity of aspiration has disappeared, and as a result the country cannot afford free higher education. It's awful, but the question is how do we fix it properly?
     
  5. peskaa macrumors 68020

    peskaa

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    #5
    Despite what people say, the current government basically IS the Tories by themselves, because the LibDems aren't standing up for what they said they would. This hike in tuition is a Tory policy, and goes against what the LibDems were campaigning on - so where is the LibDem backlash? Why is Vince Cable saying he supports the proposals?

    The long and short is that the LibDems should be standing up right now and saying no to this change, and proposing a solution that actually works without the hike. But no, they're happy to go along with the Tories because that means they're "in power" for once. The Tories aren't banging on about fox hunting because they know if they try that right now, before appearing to tackle the economy, everybody will hate them...apart from those who fox hunt, obviously.


    In regards to actual solutions, I totally agree that the loss of vocational courses is ruinous, and that there are too many graduates. However the answer is not to make university so expensive that only the rich can afford it (or the working class who are willing to be saddled with massive debts, the middle class are basically screwed as they get less support from the government but can't realistically afford fees + living). We need more people in vocational training schemes (apprenticeships etc), and reserve university for the academically able, regardless of wealth.
     
  6. Queso macrumors G4

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    We have no idea just how much or how little they are standing up for, since those discussions are occurring out of sight of the public. Coalition governments are about compromise, and that means you do not get to enact all your policies or demand adherence to your manifesto in all areas. With the Tories being the senior partner in the coalition you have to expect that their policies will be the ones followed the majority of the time. That is coalition politics in the real world, something the UK electorate has never really had examples of until now.

    And as I said, the only other option for the country was four to five years of Labour being paralysed by its own past decisions. I would rather higher education was completely free, but in the short term if it's a choice between tuition fees and closing down a bunch of A&E departments (as an example) there's only one option worth pursuing.

    In the long term the whole strategy needs to be rethought with complete consensus across parties, so that hopefully tuition fees can be dramatically reduced if not eliminated at some point. This is something we should all lobby our politicians about, whatever our party of choice is.
     
  7. peskaa macrumors 68020

    peskaa

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    Whilst I get the concept of compromise in a coalition government, something as big as tuition fees, which the LibDems made a huge song and a dance about prior to the elections in university towns (getting them the student vote...) and signed pledges etc. to fight an increase, this turnaround is just too far. Sure, on other issues you accept you have lost the fight and move on, but university funding is such a big, UK-wide issue that the LibDems appear to have totally lost their backbone.

    If they'd have said to the electorate "We'll join a coalition with the Tories and then backtrack on tuition fees to allow a 100%+ increase in them, but we'll fight for some kind of electoral reform at some undefined point in the future" I somehow doubt they would have done as well.
     
  8. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    #8
    This sounds good, but realistically, raising tuition fees is never just a "short term" option. If those fees raise, they will stay there (or continue to rise) in the future. If the burden falls to students to fund universities, I can't think of any government that would take back that responsibility once they were in a better financial position. Maybe I'm just cynical about this because tuition is getting out of control over here in the US and no politician is talking about how much of a problem it is, but would the UK government REALLY use fee increases as a short term fix only?
     
  9. Queso macrumors G4

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    It depends on the outcome of these changes. If the numbers of higher education students plummets whilst youth unemployment rockets tuition fees will be reduced. The only other option would be to completely scale back the universities, which would be catastrophic.
     
  10. likemyorbs macrumors 68000

    likemyorbs

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    #10
    Welcome to US university fees Brits! Many americans graduate with over $100,000 in debt. its pretty horrible.
     
  11. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    #11
    Well hopefully your politicians are more serious about it than ours. When many states were faced budget cuts they almost all either raised tuition, cut programs, or both. Like I said, I haven't heard any politician talking about fixing our broken university system.

    Just look at what happened to the UC system in California. Students there were faced with a huge increase in tuition. A decade ago students in the SUNY system were paying almost nothing for tuition because contributions from the state government made up most of SUNY's budget. Now in-state students are paying much more since the state contributes very little to the SUNY budget. My undergraduate institution got rid of many departments, made all staff and faculty take unpaid furlough days, AND raised tuition and fees.
     
  12. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    This is alarming, if only because, as it5five mentions, it has failed so miserably here.

    A decade ago public schools were a bargain over private schools. Two decades ago they were night and day in terms of fees and tuition.

    Today, undergraduates in the UC system are paying over $10,000 per year for reduced classes, fewer resources, and overall worse quality. Graduate schools have been hit even harder. A decade ago graduate tuition in the UC system was a third or less than what it is today.

    Part of the problem has been poor management (like Berkeley paying $2 million for its police chief to come back from retirement), but the biggest problem continues to be that the state doesn't have the money or the desire to fund public education.
     
  13. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    #13
    A taste of the American way for our British friends? The American system is quite clearly broken and it's unfortunate to see others moving in the direction of unregulated tuition as well. My private college cost $50k/year which obviously a premium fee, but it still would have cost like $20,000/year for the public state university in-state tuition.
     
  14. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    Am I surprised by this no. I am willing to bet that UK has been doing the same thing the US has been doing for years.
    That is they keep cutting money from higher education funding year after year and their just is not any more money to cut.

    Take UT. Like 30 years ago like 60+% of its was funding by stated money. Now less than 16%. That is included in the so called in state tuition . The state is supposed to pay the difference. Reality is the state really does not pay that cost.

    Governments have squeezed all the can out of the higher education and now are heading lower. This is just the result of it.
     
  15. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    Yea, tuition hikes are the norm. Every year it seems to be about 9% here and the school paper reported that my school is looking at a 20% hike this next year

    Schools are rapidly pricing themselves out of viability for many
     
  16. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    and what is worse is the school still has to budget cuts.

    I know Texas Tech is doing a pretty nasty tuition hike next year and on top of that they are doing some pretty deep budget cuts as well and cutting some of the student services.
    Students are pissed but it goes back to Austin which did told schools to cut their budgets by 10% (tuition hike help that some) and then came back and told them to do another 5% on top of that for the following year.

    Tuition increases were not enough to off set the states bigger budget cuts..... What is worse is Governor lieing sack of crap Perry claimed that there was a budget surplus and it should go back to the people when he was in a primaries..... Where is that surplus...
     
  17. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    It sounds like what we're going through in California. The state university system, which was virtually free when I went to college now charges students over $4,000 in fees.

    Making education more difficult... now there's a smart plan. :rolleyes:
     
  18. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    #18
    A lot of this is the increasing bureaucracy within the schools. In most schools there is plenty of room to cut back on administration/student activities/random other office jobs that are well paid and serve no purpose in the greater scope of the school's educational mission.

    My college, for example, had a 'Greek life liaison' who was paid 6 figures (plus 2 secretaries) to counsel with and vouch for the fraternities and sororities. He basically would get drunk and go to frat parties, in between giving advice to the brothers on how to avoid probation and keeping the school from kicking them off campus. Why should there be any academic budget cutting before guys like that are fired?
     
  19. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #19
    Yet you belong to a private university.

    So much for the efficiency of private industry. :rolleyes:
     
  20. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #20
    Well it also has to do with state policy. I know CO ranks 49th in higher education funding which is quite bad

    But I agree on room to cut spending......I mean when student government brings in Common for a 1 night show and for 90,000, it pisses me off

    From 3 years ago and has gotten worse since...
    from http://www.ncbr.com/article.asp?id=88900

    More info on the culprit...aka TABOR
    http://blog.ednewscolorado.org/2010/03/17/tabor-and-education-spending-in-colorado/
     
  21. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    #21
    Yep. I'm a funded graduate student in the SUNY system. The university I go to is affordable as far as university tuition goes, but I wouldn't be here if I wasn't offered full funding (tuition scholarship + stipend).

    You think that's bad? My university paid Snookie $16,000 to come judge an ab contest.

    No, I'm not kidding. What a ****ing waste of money.
     
  22. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #22
    I hear you. If I were not in the same boat as you, there would be no way I would be back for grad school
    And to think that could have paid for one student's year of education instead
     
  23. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #23
    Okay. I'm not trying to argue for spending $16,000 to get Snookie to judge sweaty six-packs. But when you say that your university paid for it, you need to be more specific about what part of the university and whose funds paid for that celebutard's appearance.

    I'll bet you that money came from a student association from fees intended to fund events just like Snookie's. This was most likely money set aside solely for the purpose of entertaining students. And while you can still argue that spending it on Snookie was a waste of money, these funds were never going to go to tuition, books, housing or other core education expenses.
     
  24. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #24
    While you are right, it does not leave a good taste in the mouth when your school raises tuition, cuts class offerings, reduces professors and talks about a budget crisis and then is seen spending money on Snookie or a rapper for an event. There should be a way to reallocate that money somehow or be able to be spent in a manner that improves the school for longterm. Surely having a measure brought up in the student government could have reallocated it, or at least I would hope that would be the case
     
  25. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #25
    I work for a university. Our student association has all kinds of performances roll through campus... any one of which could be judged a complete waste of money or a vital part of student life, depending on your taste.
     

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