Tuition Fees

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by Pythagoras, Jan 27, 2004.

  1. Pythagoras

    Pythagoras Active Member

    What are people's opinions on the tuition fees debate (The government won by 5 votes tonight). My own opinion is that it is a bad idea, for the following reasons:

    1) Its only a short step to differential charging by different unis. If you start getting charged £12000 for an old red brick and £1000 for the likes of Univ of Luton, which is a kid from a poor background who is bright but not quite bright enough for one of the tiny amount of scholarships (or from a school which doesn't push its brightest enough) going to choose?

    2) It will encourage people to go to their local uni and live at home for economies sake, which I think is a bad thing as one of the big things about uni is gaining independence from your parents, and also this will again mean that the brightest pupils are not always going to the best uni's.

    3) Will discourage people from poorer backgrounds from even going to uni at all.
  2. NeilW

    NeilW Member

    I must admit that if I were to go to one of the "better" uni's today and came out with a degree that made me marketable internationally, I'd be very tempted to find employment overseas.

    That way, I wouldn't have any earnings in the UK to pay back the tuition fees from...

  3. amgray

    amgray Member

    IMHO, education should be a right, free to all at the point of delivery not a privilege for a moneyed few. Everyone should be able to go as far as they are able.
    Graduates generally fill the higher paid jobs and consequently pay more tax throughout their working life.
    I am very disappointed that a bill like this should have been presented by a party that traditionally has been inclusionist not exclusionist.
    Political rant over :oops:
  4. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    It'll put students with 'poorer' families off from going to uni because their parents won't beable to afford the fees etc!! ...and loans are not the answer!
  5. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    Extremely disappointed about this. It has to be the first political subject i've got worked up about in ages.

    I can't believe the government wishes to pursue such a fatally flawed and elitist plan.

    I just cannot understand how allowing universities to choose their own fee levels will make university more accessible. Possibly the ex-polys, but not Oxbridge or the Redbricks, where fees will soar, making them totally elitist. It is ridiculous.

    I think a better solution would be to make unis cut out the so-called "soft courses". far too many people go to uni, not to study but to live the student life. Fair enough, live the student life, but also be at least vaguely studious- David Beckham Studies for crying out loud!!
  6. cornetgirl

    cornetgirl Active Member

    I agree - and without wishing to rub it in I'm glad I'm the age I am!

    I graduated 3 years ago, and, like many of my colleagues, ended up 20K plus in debt at the end of a 5 year degree. Nearly all of us got some sort of grant, mine rising to the full grant when my dad retired halfway through the course. At that point my parents also moved and couldn't afford to give me any financial support (having previously paid my rent) so I had to support myself through the two longest years of the course. The "extra weeks payment" didn't really add much to the grant in total!

    For most of the course I worked part-time as an auxiliary, often working a night shift then into lectures the next day, as well as some freelance music work.

    If I'd been going to Uni now with the top-up fees I couldn't afford it - even living at home a 5-year course would have been out of the question - so I am baffled as to how the perceived shortage in the medical professions (and vets for that matter) will improve with this new development!

    Think I'll emigrate to tMPalia....

    Rach x
  7. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

    I know nothing about your system, so I can't fairly comment on it. But over here we have the HECS scheme, which allows us to work up a debt, that the government pays off, and we pay the governmnt back through ain't pretty, but it means the government has to work at finding us jobs should they want their money!!
  8. WhatSharp?

    WhatSharp? Active Member

    Over here we have a system whereby you work up your debt in the form of a loan, then pay it off when you start work, and the goverment rubs salt in the wound by taxing you as well!

    Its not just poor families that will suffer, those who earn a reasonable amount will be unable to send their kids to uni, I do pretty well financially but with the cost of houses and living in the south east sending my two to Uni will be a mere dream!, I can't even afford a new car let alone the 20 grand needed to send just one of my kids to uni!
  9. James McFadyen

    James McFadyen New Member

    It's even worse for Postgraduate!

    I trying to get funding from the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, you need referees and everything.

    I think fees should be ablolished but that ain't gonna happen, but for just a little under £3000 to do a Masters at Goldsmiths (£4000 If I did my Masters at the RSAMD) it is a bit much to ask of a poor student!
  10. asteria

    asteria Member

    Part of the reason i've take an industrial year is to help me finance the rest of my degree, but i dread to think how things will be when i go back to uni next year at the same time my brother and sister (twins) start.

    Found my loan statement last night (scary big numbers!), and the thing that gets me is that i've received no help or direction at all from my uni this year while i'm on placement, except a bill for £550 tuition fees! :(
  11. horn1

    horn1 Member

    I was lucky enough to miss out on the fee thing, I think I was in the last year who did. However, I'm still stupidly in debt and haven't even began to pay off my student loans. I worked all through uni and had support from parents I can't even begin to think how I could have afforded uni with fees as well! This is NOT a good thing, how are ordinary people supposed to afford an education???? :evil:
  12. bruceg

    bruceg Active Member

    I'm old enough to remember no fees and the government actually giving me a grant to go to uni so I have a lot of sympathy for today's students.

    My own "leftie" views are that education is an investment in the country's future and should be funded by the government. I believe that that should apply to all first undergraduate degrees not just the scientific and technical degrees (though I am a Computer Science grad myself) because a country without a rich mix of educated people would be a very poor place in which to live.

    I'd also like to see a lot more being done to fund post graduate study across the board. We've got a lot of very bright people in this country and the thought of them leaving to be educated and then to work overseas is a very bleak prospect indeed.
  13. Dan

    Dan Member

    I think it is a total disgrace for the following reasons:

    The vote was won last night ONLY because a 46 Scottish Labour MPs voted FOR. Those MPs voted for something that does even affect their constituents. Scottish Parliament have no plans to introduce fees up in Scotland so fees will only be paid in England and Wales :x

    Ironically, the majority of MPs that voted would have probably had their university education paid for them as well as receiving Grants to fund them through their studies!

    The thing that annoys me more than anything is that millions/billions of pounds of tax payers money is being spent on Bogus Asylum Seekers. The government need to sort this out before penalising the future British tax payer.

    I feel very sorry for future students. I graduated in 1998 the same year that fees were introduced. I did my dissertation on the introduction and impact of tuition fees. Stangely I predicted that the £1,000 fee would be increased within 5 years and that an average student would be facing debts of £15,000 +. Exactly the same thing happened in Australia where fees were introduced many years ago. The fees started off at a sum around the same as ours and just kept on rising.

    Don't think that the figure will stop at £3,000 per year if the Labour government stay in power.
  14. bruceg

    bruceg Active Member

    Don't think that the figure will stop at £3000 regardless of who is in power. The Conservatives may be playing populist at the moment but they'll pick up the fee paying baton and run with it just as surely as Labour will continue with it. A sad day indeed :(
  15. niknakewok

    niknakewok New Member

    IMHO I think its ridiculous! I left uni 2 years ago in about £10k worth of debt, I had to take out loans to live off cos the Government believe that a student can live off a measly grant of £200 per term. PMSL. That covers not even one months rent (living in Edinburgh is a tad expensive). I was one of the lucky ones who were fortunate to receive this generous (?!)donation from the Government. I worked during all my university life, full-time during the holidays (when I should have been studying) and 20 hours a week during term time - just so I could eat (sob sob. poor me!) :( So every year I had to get a loan to pay my bills, buy books, travel expenses and, yes, the occasional pint. I also begged my bank for a nice overdraft, which was lovely at the time, but once you leave its a bit of a nightmare if you dont pay it off at once. Be warned. :evil: Same goes to those lovely student visa cards. Hmmmmm take my advice and stay well away!

    If I had had to pay tuition fees upfront then theres no way I would have been able to go to uni. Soon further education is going to become for the rich. Whish is not fair on those of us that can not afford it, but have the talent and ability to do well at uni! :evil:

  16. Dan

    Dan Member

    Sorry, don't want to come across either as some pro Tory or Labour!! No point in starting off any political beliefs arguments here! As far as I am concerned they are all as bad as each other.

    Just feel quite bitter about all of this. I still owe the student Loans company money now 6 years after finishing uni (although I did spend a year and a half travelling) and I didn't have to pay fees.

    This is also going to affect parents/future parents in a very significant way. If you have two or three children that all decide to go to University........... And that is in addition to tax on just about everything you want to buy, increased council tax, income tax, congestion charges (it is not enough to charge us all road tax and tax on petrol), ridiculous low thresholds on stamp duty (I live in London and haven't seen a decent house priced under that for years!), the introduction of squillions more speed cameras to catch out the driver again and all the rest blah, blah, blah.......

    This Country is a disgrace.

    Sorry, I feel better now :D
  17. James McFadyen

    James McFadyen New Member

    There goes my PhD then...........................................I think it is estimated that I would need $50,000 to study at Harvard

    So that's probably just under 1500 Brass Band sets to sell................ If I'm lucky I'll be able to go on my 50th Birthday! :wink:
  18. bruceg

    bruceg Active Member

    Dan, you didn't come across as either to me - I just wanted to get in my "they're all totally unprincipled and as bad as each other" bit before anyone else :D

  19. Dan

    Dan Member

    Thanks bruceg, I am glad about that, would hate to come across as some Labour Loving / Tory Toffing supporter!!!!!!!! Ha, ha!

    :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)
  20. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    I'm just glad i'm starting uni this year, rather than in a 2 years when this new system comes in!

    It seems to me that the very poor get most of it paid for for them, the very rich can afford to pay for it anyway, and the people in the middle (me included) are left to fend for themselves. I would have to pay the full whack tuition fees, without any help from the government, which there's no way I could afford.

    The fact is these people are going to be in debt for most of their lives now. They already have the problem of massive rises in houseprices, leading to people taking out 30, 40 or 50 year mortgages, and now they have another lifetime debt!! And the government saying "You only pay it off when you can" is rubbish! You work hard to get a good job, to be paid well and all of a sudden a big lump of your pay packet is gone!

    What needed to happen was not for more people to go to university. What we needed was better apprenticeship programmes, so people who knew exactly what they want to do can learn in a practical manner (far better in my opinion). Also, these "soft" degrees, appear to me to have been created so that people that didn't really want to do an academic degree (and in fact probably wouldn't have wanted to go to uni if the government hadn't given the impression it was uni or die) could attend university. And this has led to the biggest 1st year drop out rate ever! Why populate already over crowded universities with people who don't want to be there? This is the reason unis are asking for more money! They have to process so many more students than they used to that they can't stay afloat any more! And there's only one group of people to blame for this and that's our fearless leader...

    And, by the way, I'm with the idea of moving to another country. I'm taking this loan and keeping it!

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