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Tuition fees increasing

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

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

Latest post of the previous page:

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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Re: Tuition fees increasing

#42 Post by Nick » December 10th, 2010, 10:03 am

Besides, he was a member of the government which appointed Lord Brown, whose recommendations have just been implemented.

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Re: Tuition fees increasing

#43 Post by philbo » December 10th, 2010, 10:54 am

Have got this song in my head still, for some reason...

Who wants to pay tuition fees? I don't
Who wants to subsidize degrees? I don't
Who thinks that education should be, well, free
From years 1..3 up to BSc?
Who wants their life to start in debt? I don't
But who wants to pay for what they get? I don't
Who wants their taxes all to rise, too?
I don't... and I don't
I guess students are screwed..

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Re: Tuition fees increasing

#44 Post by Nick » December 11th, 2010, 11:22 am

Nice one Philbo :laughter:

I remember a Matt cartoon from the Torygraph from many moons ago, when Ken Clarke was Education secretary in the early 1990's, and had just announced a series of education 'reforms' to re-introduce 'proper lessons'. The picture showed a couple of hairy leftie types with the caption:

"I'm so angry about Mr Clarke's reforms, I'm going to send him an angry collage." :laughter:

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Re: Tuition fees increasing

#45 Post by Nick » December 11th, 2010, 3:37 pm

First, a few corrections: The university finance review was carried out by Lord Browne (but why the 'e', I don't know...) Secondly, the £100,000 average income differentiation between graduates and non-graduates is after tax, not gross. Thirdly, all oustanding university loans are (or are to be?) written off at 50, not at retirement.

Since the vote, I've been listening to comments from all sorts of people, which is shifting my position slightly. But before commenting further, I'd like to see a breakdown of the figures: forexample what interest rate is charged, how are repayments calculated. I've had a look on line, but the info seems to be very illusive. Has anyone found any useful info?

Benjamin Hart
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Re: Tuition fees increasing

#46 Post by Benjamin Hart » December 20th, 2010, 7:23 pm

I would like to say the education system in this country has fail me, however that would be slightly unfair on the system as my reluctance to be educated was a mixes of circumstance and attitude on my part.

I will not say a reform, but more a replacement of the system is what I personally feel is necessary. Rather than a slowly improved system which still holds onto core ways of teaching which are outdated?

Should education not be design to bring out the best in us?

Obviously we need to learn a centre of core subjects which may cause the main argument.

Running along side this we should be teaching people how to think and how to make an informed choice.
While also working out how each student learns, then give them choices and explain where they might have the most
success in further education. Still letting them make the choice where they should go.

(My careers advisor suggested I should focus on my chemistry and physics A levels because I could be come a lab assistant, I was a dyslexic student with a Hight I.Q and low self esteem, showing a serious struggle with my work load, and showing that I was not taking in the physic and chemistry. All of which she knew, and she suggested I could become a Lab assistant if I worked harder and dropped Media Studies the one of four subjects I was enjoying. I wonder why I dropped out? -
I should point out I am not suggesting Lab assistant is not something I would like to be now, just then it was not exactly interesting me.)

I feel that everyone at any point should have the chance to take free higher education, but we should make sure people have an idea of where it will get them first, too understand what their choices are. Yes a degree is a worth while choice, but it might not be the best choice for everyone.

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Re: Tuition fees increasing

#47 Post by Nick » January 6th, 2011, 8:28 pm

Further to my contention that we have too many university students, here is an interesting article by The Economist concerning PhD students. We certainly don't need any fresh interpretations of D H Lawrence or lives and influences of saints. It's time to face facts!

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Alan C.
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Re: Tuition fees increasing

#48 Post by Alan C. » January 6th, 2011, 8:36 pm

here is an interesting article by The Economist concerning PhD students.
Where? :wink:
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

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Re: Tuition fees increasing

#49 Post by Nick » January 6th, 2011, 10:48 pm

Do I really have to spell everything out for you, Alan?



...and I don't know why it's underlined, either.... :shrug:

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Re: Tuition fees increasing

#50 Post by Nick » January 8th, 2011, 12:21 pm

I am always ready to recommend Tim Harford for an interesting and quirky perspective on life. Just go to for hours of interest.

Here is a short article he wrote about education, which tends to support (as I do) the LibDem idea of concentrating on the young kids to help equality of opportunity.

Why education fails the poor

An article written by Tim Harford on the 11th December, 2010.

Published on Undercover Economist.

Students took to the streets of London last month to protest against a stiff increase in course fees.

I can hardly blame them, but the fee increase is not the great injustice that they claim. In one sense it is unfair, of course: earlier generations of students paid less. Some paid nothing at all. My Oxford education was free – as was that of David Cameron, who did the same course in the same college less than a decade before me – and I am grateful.

But was that free education an example of great social progress? Cameron’s family was hardly poor. He did well enough out of his Oxford education. Is it really outrageous to suggest that he, rather than taxpayers, should have paid for some of it?

And while the percentage of under-thirties attending university rose from 5 per cent to 35 per cent between 1960 and 2000 – with a surge during the early 1990s – it is still the preserve of relatively wealthy families. According to the economists Jo Blanden (University of Surrey and LSE) and Steve Machin (LSE and UCL) this expansion actually widened the participation gap between richer and poorer children. (To oversimplify, only kids from well-off families go to university, but whereas it was once just the bright boys, now the girls and the dim boys also get to go.)

In short, a university education is a valuable product, largely consumed by the sons and daughters of well-off families, which plays a major role in ensuring that the sons and daughters are themselves well off – and, helps them to marry each other. This is the perk that students demand that the taxpayer should provide.

Of course, raising fees will discourage students a little. My reading of a recent study, commissioned by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and conducted by researchers from the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the Institute for Education, is that adding an extra £5,000 of annual tuition fees, and funding that with an extra £5,000 of cheap loans, would dent higher education participation by about 6 percentage points. That is bad news (and subject to a high margin of error). But regressive? No.

If you want something to get angry about, I wouldn’t look at tuition fees. I’d look at a little graph produced by Leon Feinstein of the Institute for Education, which shows tests of cognitive development given to almost 2,500 children at the age of 22 months, 42 months, five years and 10 years. The very brightest 22-month-old working-class kids were inexorably overhauled by the very dimmest children of professional or managerial parents – apparently by the age of about seven, and emphatically by the age of 10.

Research by Jo Blanden and by Paul Gregg and Lindsey Macmillan of the University of Bristol, underlines this. We know that “income persistence” is high in the UK – that is, parents wealthier than average have kids who also grow up to be wealthier. In other words, social mobility is low. We also know that education seems to play a strong role in this: countries such as Denmark have egalitarian schools and low income persistence. Blanden, Gregg and Macmillan have found that you can predict much of this income persistence simply by looking at exam results at age 16. Higher education is the icing on the cake.

The real problem in British education starts very early indeed. Subsidising tuition fees for relatively prosperous students is not the solution. Subsidising poorer kids to stay on at school after 16 might help – although even that is too late for many – but this is a policy which the coalition government is set to scrap. It’s the three- and four-year-olds from poor families who have for decades been let down by this country’s education system. But toddlers don’t take to the streets in protest, no matter how right their cause might be.

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