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Old 12-03-2010, 05:39 PM
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Default Tuition Fees

Knowing that most of you guys here are American, I'm fairly sure I can predict the answer to this question, but nevertheless: Recently, England's Government has been going on and on about raising the price of Tuition fees from 3000~ to 9000~ per annum, causing mass-uproar and protest in the Student community and with student sympathisers. This has gone on to the extent of big protests, Police kettling of students (including horse/baton charges) and student-lead occupations of Universities.

What's your take on all of this? Should the fees rise, stay as they are or do you simply not care? :P

Personally, I'm of the angle that education is a basic right; everyone should have the access to education when they want it. While I agree that fees can't be completely abolished (even though Mexico has been fee-free and fine for aeons now) I don't agree that they should be as high as 9000~ a year. That excludes far too many, and reverts to the old system of 'people with money get a good education, people without don't'.
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Old 12-03-2010, 06:07 PM
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Default Re: Tuition Fees

Quote:
That excludes far too many, and reverts to the old system of 'people with money get a good education, people without don't'.
The "old system" referring to the US? Srsly I can't even imagine a free or heavily subsidized college education for all, being American and such.

People don't give up benefits easily, so I am not the least surprised that a price increase has caused trouble...that being said I assume the UK is in financial trouble like the rest of us and needs to find a way to pay for everything so it's kind of a "What else can we do" situation.
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Old 12-03-2010, 06:14 PM
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Default Re: Tuition Fees

Making education available to everyone really increases the quality* of students in the institution. Makes sense, because the school is filled with the best students of all available, not just the best students that can afford it. Schools know this and want to take advantage of it, but there's also the issue of they need money to keep doing what they're doing.

In Georgia we have HOPE, which means students who make 3.0 GPA or higher don't have to pay at all. It's paid for by the state lottery, and it's totally merit-based, as opposed to need-based. I won't argue that it's the best possible system, but supposedly** the quality* of students in college in Georgia, esp. UGA, has improved measurably since its inception.

My point is, free education is not just good for the student***, it's good for the school itself.

* though I'm loathe to use that adjective noun but I can't come up with anything better ... caliber, maybe, but it's still fraught.
** according to my advisor
*** and like society as a whole and junk
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Last edited by Ensign Steve; 12-03-2010 at 06:32 PM. Reason: My Georgia education strikes again!
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Old 12-03-2010, 06:20 PM
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Default Re: Tuition Fees

It's a Cameron policy, so I'm against it on principal.
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Old 12-03-2010, 06:23 PM
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Default Re: Tuition Fees

You know whose opinion I trust on this?
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Old 12-03-2010, 06:46 PM
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Default Re: Tuition Fees

What? You are waiting to see what mickthinks and ifthakar have to say about this?
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Old 12-03-2010, 06:50 PM
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Default Re: Tuition Fees

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Originally Posted by Angakuk View Post
What? You are waiting to see what mickthinks and ifthakar have to say about this?
Either that or he's going to a take a lead from the opinion of Ed Balls. :deeznuts:

As I understand it from what I've read on College Misery, the maximum fees are currently 3300, which goes directly to the universities, and the government now wants to skim 6000 of the 9000 they hope to charge, leaving universities with students who expect much more to do that on an income from students that will be much less. Moreover, 80% of the teaching budget that the universities receive from the government will be taken away, leaving only the 20% of extra support that traditionally goes to the more expensive subjects (read: the sciences), meaning that all the financial support for the humanities is being taken away and will have to be made up for by fees. But hey, what has Britain ever contributed to the humanities anyway? :facepalm:

And to top it all off, the cuts will be made effective for the academic year starting in Autumn 2011, but the new fee system will only be applied to students in the academic year starting in Autumn 2012.

The blog Lenin's Tomb has been doing an excellent job with on-the-ground coverage of the student protests, but from what I've heard of the plan from British professors (including the above-mentioned author of the CM post) I'm surprised they're not out there raising hell with their students, because they seem to have as much to lose, if not more.

Last edited by Nullifidian; 12-03-2010 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 12-03-2010, 07:02 PM
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Default Re: Tuition Fees

I've found that many people in certain less profitable professions, end up not being able to work in those professions as they have to take jobs to pay back their loans.

Good grief, trebling the tuition? That's harsh.

I find that many of the costs of education here are designed to create a less politically savvy politic body.
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Old 12-03-2010, 08:04 PM
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Default Re: Tuition Fees

Sending 50% of the population to university has always been a crazy idea; making it the kids of the richest 50% doesn't make it any better.
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Old 12-03-2010, 11:04 PM
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Default Re: Tuition Fees

I've been following the Students Against Fees NE blog that's following the protests in my area. There's some pretty good pictures, too. The biggest rally is going to be next week on Thursday, when the bill's voted on in Parliament.

I couldn't agree more with most views in this forum; regardless of what the Government puts forwards, students will be unable to pay back the fees or be forced to enter other, more open professions in order to gain some money.
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Old 12-03-2010, 11:18 PM
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Default Re: Tuition Fees

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ensign Steve View Post
Making education available to everyone really increases the quality* of students in the institution. Makes sense, because the school is filled with the best students of all available, not just the best students that can afford it. Schools know this and want to take advantage of it, but there's also the issue of they need money to keep doing what they're doing.

In Georgia we have HOPE, which means students who make 3.0 GPA or higher don't have to pay at all. It's paid for by the state lottery, and it's totally merit-based, as opposed to need-based. I won't argue that it's the best possible system, but supposedly** the quality* of students in college in Georgia, esp. UGA, has improved measurably since its inception.

My point is, free education is not just good for the student***, it's good for the school itself.

* though I'm loathe to use that adjective noun but I can't come up with anything better ... caliber, maybe, but it's still fraught.
** according to my advisor
*** and like society as a whole and junk
Indeed, as it became cheap/free for good students to go to georgia, average sat scores went up and georgia has become a better school. Ultimately the education that one gets from their also becomes more valuable, which is interesting to me because as it is free for a great many students.

Note that HOPE does not pay for room and board.
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Old 12-04-2010, 12:16 AM
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Default Re: Tuition Fees

It might be interesting to note that Noam Chomsky supports free tuition fees, as well.
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Old 12-04-2010, 12:36 AM
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Default Re: Tuition Fees

Whatever the context and whatever the problem, tripling fees, at one go, is a draconian solution that is guaranteed to generate outrage.
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Old 12-04-2010, 12:55 AM
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Default Re: Tuition Fees

Yeah, that would be trouble in any sector. Triple gas prices and see what happens.
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Old 12-04-2010, 01:05 AM
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Default Re: Tuition Fees

Quote:
Originally Posted by beyelzu View Post
Indeed, as it became cheap/free for good students to go to georgia, average sat scores went up and georgia has become a better school. Ultimately the education that one gets from their also becomes more valuable, which is interesting to me because as it is free for a great many students.

Note that HOPE does not pay for room and board.
And because HOPE does not pay for room and board or the complete cost of books, the students at UGA from outside the Metro-ATL are more likely to be children from one or two parent professional families. So, there is still some bias towards wealthier families--but the smaller colleges/universities in the state have also benefited from HOPE, so better schools are available around the state.

Not having student debt is incredibly freeing, especially as jobs become less stable and wages stagnate. Many of my law school classmates and my former colleagues have loads of student debt from undergraduate and law degrees. Everyone thinks they are going to be in the top 10%, and then they wind up with no job or a job that pays $40,000 (with no benefits) and $170k in student loans.

I'm more comfortable saying there should be equal opportunities for education than saying higher education is a right. I don't think wealth should be the determining factor in who is able to get an education, but I think it is laughable to think that it won't be, even if tuition is free. Free tuition doesn't pay the rent or feed your family, and many people have obligations that they can't just run off and sit in the ivory tower and forget about.
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Old 12-04-2010, 02:13 AM
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Default Re: Tuition Fees

1.) Some places used to offer tuition-free college, California 40 years ago, for example. Norway currently has no college tuition fees for citizens and foreign students alike.
2.) I would be completely willing to pay higher taxes for universal health care and higher education available to all, and think access to both should be a right.
3.) The US government cannot sustain both social programs and military expenditures; the people in the US may have to agitate for what they want as a priority. Currently the global trend is to continue to empower transnational capital, dismantle social programs, privatize basic resources, infrastructure, and utilities that the public depends on, and disenfranchise labor interests.
4.) Parts of the US political system have a vested interest in an under-educated populace.
5.) The US economy has no jobs for a well educated populace. Our areas of growth since neoliberal globalization and into the future appear to largely require no secondary education, with some exceptions. It doesn't mean one shouldn't pursue higher education and work a job unrelated to fields of study, (good) education has numerous inherent values. It simply means if education is considered a means to better income, that better income is unlikely to materialize, or may become much more difficult to attain.
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