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Tuition fees increasing

For discussions related to education and educational institutions.
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Alan H
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Re: Tuition fees increasing

#21 Post by Alan H » November 12th, 2010, 7:39 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

It's not exactly the same photo, but very, very close.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

Nick
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Re: Tuition fees increasing

#22 Post by Nick » November 15th, 2010, 6:59 pm

Time to add No. 6 to Fia's list....

We are regularly told that graduates benefit by £100,000 over ther working lives by having a degree. Some do, but some don't. We are also told that a degree course is about "life enhancing experiences". Well frankly, for £27,000 I can think of a few other things which would enhance my life nicely, thanks very much!

Consider the sums. If we assume £9,000 pa fees, and £5,000 a year to live on, and an interest rate of 7%, after 3 years of study, at age 22, you will be £50,000 in the cack. Assuming you retire at 67, your degree will cost you around £150,000 plus 3 years lost income from 18 to 21. After tax. So, in gross terms, we are looking at over £200,000. Of course, some benefits accrue to society, rather than to the graduate (I like my doctor to have been proerly trained....) but 200 grand? The whole system is potty! It is time for radical reform, including slashing the number of university places. Dramatically.

Discuss. :D

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Alan C.
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Re: Tuition fees increasing

#23 Post by Alan C. » November 15th, 2010, 7:49 pm

First I'm going to tell you off for not putting a question mark.
Discuss. :D
It really narks me when somebody on an internet forum says "discuss" Like it's a command rather than a request.
The smiley helped but a question mark is better :smile:
Nick
(I like my doctor to have been properly trained....) but 200 grand? The whole system is potty! It is time for radical reform, including slashing the number of university places. Dramatically.
I agree completely, the government want to see 75% (is that right?) of school leavers going into universities, when IMHO 33% would be quite sufficient.

I'd like to see prospective employers sponsoring students, maybe with the proviso that the student after graduation works for the sponsors company for ........Say 5 years, would that work?

Also I'd like to see some of the nonsensical "degree" Courses dropped altogether, too many to mention but pick your own from here.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

Nick
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Re: Tuition fees increasing

#24 Post by Nick » December 1st, 2010, 2:56 pm

Sorry to upset you by writing "discuss", Alan. :) I used it partly to invite discussion, but mainly because, having written my last paragraph, it struck me that it sounded a bit like an exam question, hence "discuss". Thank goodness I used a smilie :D Either way, as an invitation or a command, it wasn't that successful was it?

I think you'll find it was the Labour government's goal to get 50% of school-leavers into university, rather than 75%, but I agree with you that 33% would be more appropriate, with alternative training elsewhere. The trouble is, reversing expenditure is so difficult, politically.

But OTOH, it's nice to know, that, as there has been no further comment, the rest of TH must agree with us. :D

thundril
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Re: Tuition fees increasing

#25 Post by thundril » December 1st, 2010, 4:30 pm

Alan H wrote:
As far as I'm concerned, I pay taxes to allow students to go through Uni, to gain an education (sometimes just for the sake of it), to enable them to have careers that will sometimes (but not necessary always) be an investment for the future. All this while keeping them somewhere above the poverty line. Students should have no debts when they graduate.
:happyclappy:

Totally agree ! Never got as far as O-level myself, but was happy to pay taxes to support anyone who could do it.
Like I've never been hospitalised, and seldom seen a doctor or dentist, but completely support free healthcare for those who need it.
Is Humanism related in some way to social mutualism? (Maybe via a connrction with words like 'humane'?)
Is this a potential thread-title in itself?

thundril
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Re: Tuition fees increasing

#26 Post by thundril » December 1st, 2010, 9:14 pm

Alan C. wrote: I'd like to see prospective employers sponsoring students, maybe with the proviso that the student after graduation works for the sponsors company for ........Say 5 years, would that work?
Interesting idea, Alan. Would it be OK for employers like the NHS?

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Alan C.
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Re: Tuition fees increasing

#27 Post by Alan C. » December 1st, 2010, 10:20 pm

thndril
Interesting idea, Alan. Would it be OK for employers like the NHS?
I don't get your point thundril, please clarify.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

thundril
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Re: Tuition fees increasing

#28 Post by thundril » December 4th, 2010, 4:51 pm

The distinction between private and state employers might be a tricky one.
For example if a pharma company financed someone through Uni, on the basis of a five-year contract designed to ensure that the company would most likely recover its investment over that time, I could see lots of people, even Tories, quite agreeing with that. If, on the other hand, the NHS financed a student through med school, with an obligation to work for the NHS for 5 years, I would be strongly in favour (I think), but would we hear lots of Tory and Liberal howls of "Stalinism!"? Not letting intellectuals go abroad, yadda yadda?
OTOH, the armed forces has always practised this sort of thing, with few objections from the political world, so maybe...

Nick
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Re: Tuition fees increasing

#29 Post by Nick » December 4th, 2010, 6:31 pm

I think this is definitely something worth exploring. I have to say that 5 years could be too long. I appreciate that a company would need time to recoup it's investment, but how many graduates stay in their first job for 5 years? I like the idea, though. I'd extend it to school leavers too. Maybe the employer and employee could be relieved of national insurance payments for the period. This could be self financing: more output would result, less debt and more spending. It would be very interesting to have it properly investigated.

I don't think you'd hear Tories cry "Stalinism!". Self-help and application are very much hall-marks of the Tories. I think it could well be the Lib Dems and Labour who would object more. The Lib Dems think education is a good thing, of itself, no matter that it may have no financial pay-off, while Labour may object to "indentured labour" and fear exploitation of the newly qualified.

You are right that there will be strange anomolies. If the NHS sponsor medicalstudents, then it is exactly the same as the tax-payer paying for the student (but, in that case, is it so wrong?) And in some ways, this system already applies, as the NHS is effectively the only employer available to medical graduates, who, consequently, pays them badly in the early years. As for going abroad, it would be unreasonable to stop anyone, in just the same way as it would be unreasonable to bind someone to a job they hated, or couldn't do. But they could buy themselves out. We could perhaps have bi-lateral agreements with EU countries, the Commonwealth and the US to run such a system, in which case the number who fall through the net would be small, and may be appropriate, eg a qualified person working in the developing world. As you say, the armed forces already operate such a system. I like it.

Fia
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Re: Tuition fees increasing

#30 Post by Fia » December 4th, 2010, 8:01 pm

I don't know if you're aware that UK Nursing and Midwifery (I think they are the only ones) students are paid, around £500 a month. As a major part of their degrees, they work very long hours including 12.5hr shifts in hospitals. They play a big part in keeping the NHS going. They don't have the part time commitment that other degrees have, as their summer holidays are 3 weeks, rather than months.

They can choose where they take their final placement. I hold my hand up to a personal interest, as my eldest is going to New Zealand for her final Midwifery placement. As past classes have testified, if she doesn't blot her copy book, she'll be offered work there on qualifying. I have mixed feelings about this. On a personal level I'm delighted that she's embracing the world :D On the level discussed above I am uncomfortable that although she is currently sure working hard for peanuts for the NHS, the benefits of her education could be lost to the NHS.
And should a strong, inquisitive and focussed young woman be obliged to "serve time" in the NHS?

3 years of study is a concept most 17/18yr olds can deal with. If they had to sign up to commit themselves for 5 -8 years, they could be over 25 and therefore ancient :supershock:
I think it's a bad move for society to force young people into careers that may not be for them... did you know what you wanted to do when you were 17?

Nick
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Re: Tuition fees increasing

#31 Post by Nick » December 5th, 2010, 7:29 pm

That's very interesting, Fia. Thanks for the factual input. I'm very pleased to hear it. A couple of comments:

If the time commitments are as you say, and wages are low, then I think this reflects some of the cost of their training, which is partly what I was on about, so in a sense, they are already on the right path.

As for your daughter working in NZ, it seems to me that she has already had the opportunity to repay a proportion (I don't know how much) of the cost of her training, so 5 years further indenture would be far too much. As for her working overseas, maybe NZ should pay some sort of "transfer fee".... Frankly, though, I think that is probably unworkable and, for me, goes against the idea of a free society. I also agree it is unreasonable to ask most 17 year-olds to make a 5-8 year commitment to a career which may not suit them.

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Alan H
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Re: Tuition fees increasing

#32 Post by Alan H » December 6th, 2010, 1:41 am

Because of disappointing low initial sales, the Government have been forced to put tuition fees on special offer. For the very poor.

I expect it'll be bogof* next week.

Three-for-two the week after. Then it'll be time for the sales.





*Buy One, Get One Free
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

Fia
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Joined: July 6th, 2007, 8:29 pm

Re: Tuition fees increasing

#33 Post by Fia » December 6th, 2010, 11:07 am

:pointlaugh:
"There is absolutely no reason why students that are worried should have any genuine concerns about the proposals"
- Universities minister David Willetts
Just how out of touch is he? I bet he got his higher education free :angry:

and I didn't realise this:
The proposed increase does not apply in Scotland nor for students resident in Wales, wherever they chose to go on to study in the UK.
(my bold)
Cue a massive migration of teenage families to Scotland and Wales?

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Alan H
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Re: Tuition fees increasing

#34 Post by Alan H » December 6th, 2010, 11:41 am

Fia wrote:Cue a massive migration of teenage families to Scotland and Wales?
Unfortunately, that's highly unlikely to happen. I suspect job security is at an all time low and few would want to risk moving jobs. I think what will happen is that going to university will be seen as a luxury again - something for the rich - and numbers will fall.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

philbo
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Re: Tuition fees increasing

#35 Post by philbo » December 6th, 2010, 12:36 pm

Fia wrote:On the level discussed above I am uncomfortable that although she is currently sure working hard for peanuts for the NHS, the benefits of her education could be lost to the NHS.
Sounds rather like the NHS has already had their money's worth...

Fia wrote:3 years of study is a concept most 17/18yr olds can deal with. If they had to sign up to commit themselves for 5 -8 years, they could be over 25 and therefore ancient :supershock:
I think it's a bad move for society to force young people into careers that may not be for them... did you know what you wanted to do when you were 17?
There's those that do, and those that don't - I have one friend who's till at the same employer he went to after leaving uni (well, it was a poly back in those days) a quarter-century ago.. had it pretty much all planned out beforehand, it sometimes seemed.

Personally, I think that industry(or other employer)-sponsored degrees are an extremely good idea - give the companies tax breaks, and if the student doesn't want to work for the company after finishing their degree, maybe they should pay something back. But it's not for everyone (even if you could find enough companies in these straitened times to fund enough people to make a difference). There were a few of these when I was at Uni - especially in the engineering department, IIRC.

As Nick says, it's not fair to make a 17-year-old make that kind of commitment, however, there's no reason for it to be mandatory.

Is there anyone else here who thinks that the concept of taking on a debt which will only be repaid once income gets higher than some notional value is actually fairer than the concept of a "graduate tax" which would have those graduates, once their income gets higher than some notional value paying the tax for the rest of their lives?

..but I still don't see why, if as a country we agree that more people going to higher education is a good thing, this shouldn't be paid for out of general taxation.

Nick
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Re: Tuition fees increasing

#36 Post by Nick » December 6th, 2010, 12:42 pm

Fia wrote::pointlaugh:
"There is absolutely no reason why students that are worried should have any genuine concerns about the proposals"
- Universities minister David Willetts
Just how out of touch is he? I bet he got his higher education free :angry:
If he were going to university now, do you think he'd have to pay twice? Once for each brain?
and I didn't realise this:
The proposed increase does not apply in Scotland nor for students resident in Wales, wherever they chose to go on to study in the UK.
(my bold)
Cue a massive migration of teenage families to Scotland and Wales?
I can envisage some home flipping. If you have 3 kids, say, you could be looking at saving over £50,000, after tax, before interest payments. I'd be surprised if there were no restrictions on this, but I don't know. I also think Scotland may find it unaffordable in future if the money from London is cut. It also bothers me that young men and women of 18 are not treated separately from their parents. They are supposed to be treated as adults. How old does one have to be before that happens?

The governments' (that's the Labour government's, as well as the Coalition government's) higher education policies are in a complete mess. I'd vote no to the proposal.

Nick
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Re: Tuition fees increasing

#37 Post by Nick » December 6th, 2010, 12:50 pm

philbo wrote: ..but I still don't see why, if as a country we agree that more people going to higher education is a good thing, this shouldn't be paid for out of general taxation.
As a country, we can't afford it from general taxation, nor do the results justify it. Time to radically alter higher education, including large cuts to the university system.

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Alan H
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Re: Tuition fees increasing

#38 Post by Alan H » December 6th, 2010, 1:05 pm

Nick wrote:
philbo wrote: ..but I still don't see why, if as a country we agree that more people going to higher education is a good thing, this shouldn't be paid for out of general taxation.
As a country, we can't afford it from general taxation, nor do the results justify it. Time to radically alter higher education, including large cuts to the university system.
Whether or not it is affordable depends on what you think is important. What results don't justify it? What 'large cuts' do you think are needed?
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

Nick
Posts: 11027
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

Re: Tuition fees increasing

#39 Post by Nick » December 6th, 2010, 6:44 pm

Do I get the feeling you are sensing blood here? :laughter: Luckily, I'm not Secretary of State for Education. :D

As an aside, but integral to my thinking, in terms of enhancing equality of opportunity, we are looking at the wrong end of youth. The disadvantaged are largely scuppered before they even start school. There was a good article on this in last week's Sunday Times. I'd love to link to it, but it's behind a payment screen. Anyway, that's for a separate thread.

First of all, I said large cuts to the university system, which is not the same as large cuts for youth development (I'd put it as widely as that). To start with, is it the best system to have 3 terms of only 10 weeks (or IIRC just 8 weeks at Oxford)? Is it so important that study is undertaken at some distance from the family home? How effective are lectures in delivering subject matter? Do the best academics make the best lecturers, teachers and tutors? Is help available when required? Are books available when required, or at all? How effective is the feed-back from educators to students?

That is not to say that university-type institutions are not required. For example, in some subjects, it would be impractical to do without labs, for example. I also think there is a lot to be gained from special lecture series, and student meet-ups, conference type occasions, summer schools (not necessarily held in the summer) and so on. There is also a need for research including research facilities and the opportunity for cross-fertilisation and peer review.

We are frequently told that university teaches you to think. Well maybe, but if you want to develop critical thinking, why not include it more explicitly? We are also told that it’s in expanding horizons by being away from home. Well, maybe it is, but how far does that go beyond escaping parents, and exploring Pot Noodles, hang-overs and large overdrafts? Again, I think there are better ways of expanding horizons, than 30 weeks of intermittent lectures. In my experience, my gap (half) year, during which I worked, and the summer vacations were more valuable in that respect. I also think there could be much better ways of developing young people, and including some of those currently excluded, not because they are thick, but because they are not academic. Many employers would be equally keen to hire someone who had completed a short-service commission for example. Not that I am advocating the complete militarisation of our youth. There are beginning to be seriously high drop-out rates in some subjects. For those poor sods, they will be saddled with debt, without the benefit.

Results can be classified in different ways. Some can be measured in filling the needs of society, eg doctors. Note, however, that in both law and accountancy, the professions accept graduates of almost any (‘serious’) discipline, so a specific degree is not necessarily required for the job market. Some benefits to society are not so easily measured in financial terms, eg music, say. There is also the need to generate a pool of talent from which research and development of the subject can spring. Eg mathematicians. But I doubt very much that as an economy we need 50% graduates. But by pushing them through the sausage machine, you are seriously disadvantaging those immediately behind, who find themselves discounted for jobs they could do perfectly well, depriving them of an opportunity on the career ladder, without benefitting a proportion of graduates as well.

There is also the benefit to be derived from the subject itself. For me, my interest in economics is ongoing, as it may well be for an English or history graduate, say. But is that worth a £50,000 price-tag?
However, an increasing number of graduates do not make direct use of their degrees, either because jobs are more commercial than academic, or because jobs previously taken by school-leavers are now taken by graduates. The same people get the jobs, but they are now 3 years older, and (soon, even more heavily) in debt. For too many students, their exams are the last time they ever have any contact with their subject, even as an interest. But individually they have no choice but to jump through the hoops. If their potential lies in the 4th decile of their generation, and 50% go to university, then unless they jump that hoop they are stymied. (If that’s not mixing metaphors).

There are also courses which many people don’t think are worthy of the name, eg Golf Course Management and Football Studies. If they are relevant to your chosen career, I’m sure some non-university courses could be usefully devised, but go for any other job and you’d be laughed off the list.

That’s long enough. Not necessarily comprehensive, but you did ask! :D

Maria Mac
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Re: Tuition fees increasing

#40 Post by Maria Mac » December 7th, 2010, 1:31 pm


Nick
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Re: Tuition fees increasing

#41 Post by Nick » December 9th, 2010, 10:54 pm

Well, the vote has taken place. Today in Parliament, Vince Cable, who seems to have lost his sainthood, rejected all alternatives, some of which I hinted at earlier, one by one. The Lib Dems are screwed.

Amazingly, Red Ed has been spectacularly spineless and refused to confirm he would do anything about it. But then, as he went against a manifesto commitment and introduced top-up fees in the first place, he can't really say anything, can he?

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