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'No fee degrees' university plan

We need to make the education system biased towards people who live near Universities? Oh, sorry, I didn't realise. Yes, of course people who live in big cities are far more entitled to this level of education then those of us from the countryside.

So, whatever happened to the idea of fair and equal access to education? Everytime there's a change to the funding system we seem to move further and further away from it. It's like the government are actively sitting down trying to think of new biases to add to the system.

How about this for an idea: use income tax to subsidise the education system to allow access to regardless of wealth, location, etc. It's perfectly fair as those that have been through university tend to be paid more and it would help even up the wealth too. Oh, yes, I forgot, we couldn't possibly do that, the rich clearly need their money...


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
8th Jul, 2009 08:59 (UTC)
God help you if you come from Cleethorpes, Tow Law, Wooler, Redruth...

OK that's just insane.

Or maybe we should just all move to London. Because clearly that's the only place in the country which matters.
8th Jul, 2009 09:13 (UTC)
To be fair, even in my remote remote rural hometown, I was an hour away from a university.

Unfortunately, it seems that most people would rather pay lower income tax than subsidise people at University. I've heard some people call it a subsidy for the middle classes, on the premise that only middle class people would go to University and want government subsidy towards it. It's a flawed one, to say the least, but the days of major government subsidies for students are long gone. :(
8th Jul, 2009 11:19 (UTC)
I was at least an hour away from my nearest University and would have had to pay very high bridge tolls to get there. I grew up in a town* with 60 000 inhabitants, next to another town with over 100 000 inhabitants. The nearest University did offer the course I wanted, but what on earth are you supposed to do if you want to study something more specialised?

To be honest I'd rather see fewer University places and have proper funding in place (with tuition fees paid at the very least) than have this current system which seems to be aimed more at making parents happy and keeping the youth unemployment figures down than actually taking tertiary education seriously.

Of course that would also have to be combined with vocational qualifications which could be taken seriously (as they are, for example, in Germany) which would be a much bigger problem. Oh and properly funded for the long term, not just for three years and then the situation reviewed yet again, or funding cut, or having to re-appy...

*Oh and frankly, moving away was one of the bet things I ever did. At one time it had the highest per-capita assault rate in England and had almost the highest teenage pregnancy rate in the country. Almost everyone who did A Levels moved away as soon as they could.
(Deleted comment)
8th Jul, 2009 15:24 (UTC)
No- Cleethorpes- nearest Uni (at least when I was that age) was Hull- and the Humber Bridge tolls are really high. It doesn't lookisolated on the map, but it is an incredibly isolated place both geographically and culturally. There is a Uni in Lincoln now, but again that is an hour away as the road are so, well, rural.
8th Jul, 2009 12:23 (UTC)
There were certainly very few universities anywhere near the Lake District when I applied.

The only one I can think of is Northumbria, which had a campus in Carlisle, but I suspect they only offered a limited range of courses there.

We clearly couldn't possibly implement any policy that would mean the greedy bankers would lose any of their lovely money...
9th Jul, 2009 20:48 (UTC)
...to any people who could do their job better due to having more sense than money...
8th Jul, 2009 10:04 (UTC)
And of course everyone who comes from an urban area *obviously* wants to study at the *nearest* university rather than one that offers a course they are more interested in... this is just bullshit. Also - a lot of people don't *want* to live "at home", and some people *can't* live "at home" because their parents have thrown them out.

I'd support a graduate tax. Hell, I'd even be happy with the current student loan system (the repayment scheme makes it look a lot like a graduate tax, although I guess that some people are very unhappy with the idea of being in debt full stop) if it actually loaned people enough money to live on (my student loan was smaller than my college bill including rent, fees and some food) rather than assuming parents will support their grown up children financially (fortunately mine did).
8th Jul, 2009 14:46 (UTC)
Also rather a challenge to people who live on islands where there are no universities... But, then, since the government has in the past proposed that the Isle of Wight can do without a casualty department, since Southampton is only a few miles away, I expect they believe that we can all stroll across the Solent in five minutes.

Total OT, but I suspect that we saw you at the weekend in Chepstow. Unfortunately, I spent half the weekend putting together clues to confirm my suspicion about your identity, and the rest feeling too embarrassed to go up and say "hello! I might possibly know you online, unless you're someone else, in which case I don't."
8th Jul, 2009 17:47 (UTC)
Just wait until they announce the new swim to school campaign in your area!

Didn't know you were at Chepstow, otherwise would have probably ended up doing the same.
8th Jul, 2009 20:01 (UTC)
I was with the green-dressed ladies' side that was in front of you lot in the procession. Pellinor was one of our hangers-on and bag-carriers, wearing vaguely eighteenth century costume. If I'm right about who you are, we were the first couple you danced with in the first Sicilian circle on the Saturday night ceilidh - me in a "I'm blogging this" t-shirt, and Pellinor in a Spinal Tap one. Not that I expect you to remember this... ;-)
8th Jul, 2009 21:10 (UTC)
I noticed both the t-shirts (I can remember cool t-shirts even if I don't recognise the people in them :-) ), although didn't realise who you were and can't remember where in the dance it was we met.

I think I was wearing a bright "safety green" gogs t-shirt that evening, but by the sounds of it you seem to have guessed that was me.
10th Jul, 2009 07:07 (UTC)
I was wondering if you could get the fee free approach without living at home.

Fees are now higher than living costs, so any parent who was going to end up paying (because you know, you're an adult now, so clearly your parents wealth is a sensible way of assessing what you have) the fees would be better off following the no fee approach.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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