Thursday, 10 June 2010

Quality degrees should be more widely available, the government says

"Quality degrees should be more widely available, the government says." - BBC

Hmmm. Are some degrees rubbish then? How come?

And "(quality) degrees should be more widely available"? The emphasis there must be on quality because in fact the UK Government is set to reduce numbers of undergraduates, and raise the costs for those that remain.
The cost of degree courses is a "burden on the taxpayer" and the system of funding is in need of "radical change", the universities minister has said.
I don't remember this in the election.........who voted for this? Did anyone say this would happen? Where is it in the manifesto(s)?
Current fees are £3,225 a year and graduates only pay the money back when they earn a salary of £15,000 or more.
Until not so recently it didn't cost a thing for working class kids to go. Of course, one was never swamped with money, being a student implied a condition of poverty, but it could be done, without necessarily having to pay for anything. About as cushty as it gets......for working class kids. About as cushty as it has ever gotten for working class kids?

But what happens when we lose that cushtiness? If economic "efficiency" demands that things can't be so cushty for working class kids, then let's admit it? If THIS is the material reality that your ideological position generates - let's admit it? You are? Ok - so stop telling me your ideology is so great, that you're right and that it's the only way that we can provide all the great liberal successes like.......a university education! Liberalism can't provide it's own conditions. Oh dear. Shit.
Conservative Mr Willetts said....students should see repaying tuition fees - which they must begin to do when they earn a salary of £15,000 or more - "more as an obligation to pay higher income tax", than as a debt.
Well, yeah.... When the issue of instituting fees came up (in the 90s?) I felt graduates should pay more tax because graduates earned - it was claimed - £100,000 more over a lifetime. So a graduate tax? But.....that's dumb? Just make the income tax do all the work? Why is there any other sort of domestic personal tax, really, other than to try to tweak behaviour? There's no need. The goal should be to get everyone to a degree level education level. It's a largely pointless goal in ways, and of course it will never happen soon. There really isn't any strict economic need to demand 50% of school leavers attend university, as NewLabour set as the goal. There's an argument to be had whether there's "efficiencies" available through preferring to have graduate engineers working at McDonalds, rather than mushroom-ologists.

Anyway, it seems to me we're seeing that graduating has not proven to be the boon they assumed. Else we would be able to afford to pay for it? No?

And of course, we don't really need a degree when the only work available is......errr.....hmmm. We should be lucky to have a a factory employing 270,000 people......where toilet breaks are timed and suicide is preferable.

ETA ---- here's the Tory Manifesto version from before the election:

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