Freeze Tuition Fees
Business Secretary Vince Cable has announced the coalition’s plans to allow universities free reign over tuition fees. Although the Liberal Democrat party, of whom Cable is a member, had made a key election pledge to prevent the increase in tuition fees for British students, the coalition is in danger of neglecting its promises in a surprisingly ill thought out proposal to help the government cut 80% of its education funding.
Whilst no student or future student wants to be saddled with the prospect of crippling debt at the age of 18, very few alternative suggestions have been presented directly to Vince Cable and the cabinet.
Here are a few:
•Take a closer look at school funding. If I remember correctly, my own secondary school had a modern foyer and reception, plasma screen televisions in the corridors, interactive whiteboards…and textbooks from the 70s. Head teachers and Principals need to have their spending closely monitored; Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) could be made responsible that the school is fully functional from the ground up. This could also be applied to the newest Academy Schools
•Schools in ‘Special Measures’ can still go on to nurture fantastic students. The nature and criteria of ‘Special Measures’ needs to be made clear to parents and the public to ensure that schools are not attempting to cheat the system by applying for more funding than they should
•Viable alternatives to university need to be created. It should no longer be held that unless one is educated at university, one is not educated at all. Each year around the time of A Level examinations and results, numerous adverts depicting the advantages of apprenticeships, work experience and diplomas are televised, but they do not seem to really exist. This needs to be addressed
•Quality, not quantity. University should no longer be portrayed as just a ‘rite of passage’ – Sixth Form and College students are adults, and must show their commitment to their studies should they wish to gain university places. The bottom 10% of British universities are still underperforming as they had done when they were polytechnics, draining resources and acting as a ‘mop’ for young people. Their degrees could be converted to college diplomas, and the UK’s position in International league tables would be increased
•Demand funding from Scottish students. As someone with Scottish blood, even I can see the unfairness of British taxes funding the Scottish education system with no monetary return. This would take an incredible amount of pressure off of students from the rest of the British Isle
•Regulate ‘philanthropy’. After the government’s calls for private funding for the Arts sector (a system that thrives in America), the same could be applied to Education in the short term. The bitterness that the country still feels towards those who perpetuated the banking crisis should be fairly addressed, and high-income sectors such as banking could become representatives or ambassadors of selected institutions without the need for privatisation
I hope that these points illustrate the fact that alternatives do exist; they need to be hammered out by a committee of university representatives from across Britain and made publicly accessible.
Thanks for this idea. We’re looking into what we can do to help.
We’ll update you soon.
I have to disagree with this. Students already don't have to pay back the tuition fee unless they're earning over 15k a year. I mean come on, if you're earning, contribute to those that put you in work. It isn't as though the money they take out will cripple you.
Bethany Lowe commented
Looks like this idea is dead in the water for the time being - shall we take our votes back??
im not moaning ok
Because Graham it affects many of us now and many generations to come.
Just because it is not something that directly affects you or you believe something else is more important really does not give you the right to moan at those that are affected.
why is this subject under review 38 degrees?Shouldnt you be reviewing all the posts affecting people who will suffer because of the govts cuts to public services.
liz watts commented
Andrew Walton commented
There used to be such things as student grants - I think we need to get rid of tuition fees altogether, rather than freeze them. This should be provided from central taxation.
"The bottom 10% of British universities are still underperforming as they had done when they were polytechnics, draining resources and acting as a ‘mop’ for young people."
That's a very narrow minded and Daily Mail-like view of the role some of these institutions play in the social mobility of many underprivileged students.
I have been a teacher now for 46 years. I would not have managed to get into this profession without the taxpayer paying for me to study and pay tuition fees. I fully agree with 'Anonymous' and instead of lending another 10 billion pounds to the IMF use the money (which we have been told that we wont miss) use it to get fully qualified university students for our country's future. How about getting the banks to fund our universities or our chancellor to pay his taxes, instead of his working the system available to the rich? Shame on all you millionaire politicians who have told us we are all in this together.
How can we value an education system that is 'free' to 18 years and then hammers students who gain good academic grades and wish to go to university?How can we justify them coming out with debts of £43,000 after 3 years of study? We are selling short our future generation and only the rich can afford to pay.
This issue is not going to go away and all the politicians who had a free university education and voted for tuition fees should hang their heads in shame!
m walters commented
I am all for the abolition of student fee,s think its wrong nick clegg should take this issue up and persue it strongly he claims to have swayed the tory,s to change nhs polices so why can,t he stop the fee,s for students and I am not a student I am 71yrs old but don,t agree with fee,s
I heard on the grapevine today that my university will be seperating the tuition fees into three catagories for undergradutate students starting from Sept. 2012 - £6000 for courses that just need classroom supervision, £6500-£7000 for courses which have field trips and a whopping £8000 for science subjects a year. I don't think it's right that students (whatever their background) should be saddled with a debt of that magnatude just because they want to do science because science is such an important subject for techonolgical growth of this country. Not only that, but biologists, particularly molecular and cell biologists research cures and treatments for diseases which other wise wouldn't get done. For a Zoologist/Conservationist like myself, we face a bleak prospect of unemployment due to the cuts that will no doubt be soon plagueing the conservation sector (including govermental organisations and those organisations which rely on grants from them.) It's a disgrace that something like this should happen. Fortunately for myself, I am in my thrid year of my undergradute degree and will be taking my final exams this May, but if the rise in tuition fees go ahead, it will no doubt put a lot of people off from even applying. The sciences, particualrly Chemistry (and it's teaching) is in a bad state already and tuition fees should not be allowed to stop people from pursuing a career in science.
john gosling commented
The rich will still be able to afford the fees. The poor will get goverment help to afford the fees. The mid-income students and parents are the ones that will abandon university as an educational channel to getting ahead. Fact is, poorer mid-income families will be better off claiming free school dinners for their kids today to guarantee assisted funds for Uni later.
I replied to your same comment on my EMA page.
Can I just also point out that if you don't vote at all for any of these campaigns, you're slowing down the process. So don't vote if you disagree with the idea, vote if you do agree...but don't agree and not vote :)
Gordon Craig commented
Should we consolidate our votes to make them count and pick a campaign that best suits the "No Confidence/ General election vote?" I personally feel no confidence says it all and should then lead to a general election.
If you'd like to join, this group has a facebook page: www.facebook.com/freezetuitionfees
Hi Ryan, it's really nice to hear from you.
We need all the support we can get, let's keep at it!
Ryan Kerswell commented
Hi i have posted this on facebook and i am going to get loads of people to vote for this to happen as me and most of people on my facebook are students and are outraged over the rising of education.
I've started another ideas page with regards to EMA - take a look if it's something you're interested in.
No Need to Demo:
It'll never happen. I can't see how you could even imagine that something like that would be constructive.
But thanks for the idea anyway :)