Tuition Fees Madness 51

I set out a comprehensive attack on the withdrawal of public funding from university teaching (for it is no less than that) here:

Now the actual figures have been released – £6,000 fees and up to £9,000 if you can prove you condescended to admit a few plebs – I do hope some Lib Dem Ministers will be shamed into rediscovering their integrity. But I doubt it.

If the object of this “reform” is to ensure that the Camerons, Cleggs and Osbornes of this world can go through life without ever meeting a member of the hoipolloi who is not serving them, it will succeed. If it has any other aim it will not.

The British government will spend less in total and less per student on higher education than any other developed country. It already spends less government money per student than the United States. This is a national disgrace much more fundamental than all the

macho nonsense about sharing aircraft carriers.

51 thoughts on “Tuition Fees Madness

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  • Vronsky

    I cannot understand why you have not torn up your card – you *know* it is only going to get worse. FFS, Craig.

  • writerman

    With an economy that’s shrinking, as the age of massive subsidies from the North Sea and the Great Debt Bubble, ends; it’s obvious that what one calls the “welfare state” will suffer too. In this instance… education for all, regardless of background. The human waste of potential, as millions are excluded from attaining advanced education, despite their abilities, will be collosal.

    From a merely pragmatic point of view this is a tragedy, to say nothing of the moral aspect of denying everyone an equal opportunity to develop their interests and abilities to the full.

    It also means the end of another era, the time when education was seen as a way of rising above the restraints of social class. The myth that we lived in a fair meritocracy, which could be portrayed as a substitute for real democracy, dies with a shrinking economy and the dismantling of “free” access to education.

    In Britain time is turning backwards.

  • luis

    Was watching Coppers on the telly the other night. A constable kindly pointed out that it costs the state 40 thou a year to lock up a petty criminal.

    In comparison free tuition would seem to be a no brainer.

  • ingo

    Thanks luis, great point. Students, non voting youth who have their services cut, as well as the elderly, all are punished with extra costs, whilst large international concerns such as vodaphone, are let off their 6 bn. tax bill, Osborne seems to have another agenda, re writing the social agenda of Britain, to the detriment of the majority.

    Those who gain will be his ilk alone.

  • Ishmael

    Yes, better education for state schools, or get them run privately with the local government funding. The cost of not doing it is far too high in terms of wasted labour, and productivity, and the resultant criminal behaviour. Wonder how many inmates came from a rough area. The cost of monitoring these people, courts, jail etc certainly creates a strong case for a review of the current plans. Or maybe this is being done by design. Think about that.

  • Apostate

    If less university education means fewer of you PC Frankfurt School-programmed dingbats babbling about historical events you haven’t even bothered to research and regurgitating corporate/Foundation-sponsored left-gatekeeper disinformation then I’m all for it.

    The graduates they’ve been turning out with vastly inflated grades over two decades come out knowing nothing worth knowing whatever anyway.

    Everything you need to know is here on the internet. This is a free access world library still by and large beyond the reach of elite censorship.

    The only censorship we need worry about here is the self-imposed dumb-arsed insistence that certain unique events must remain beyond scrutiny. Ergo we shouldn’t be allowed to visit certain webpages/sites.

    The idea that officially-sponsored information bears any scrutiny whatever is another self-imposed restriction on our natural human inclination to discover the truth.

    To listen to these idiots droning on about the class system and people’s entitlement to achieve their full potential is positively vomit-inducing. By and large these are the same people who enjoyed free/cheap higher education and now assume they came out with a better critical understanding of the world than anyone who didn’t enjoy the same privilege.

    We beg to differ.

    Mindless arrogance and outright hypocrisy is their forte!

    Last time I cited Macaulay’s remarks on the peculiarly British capacity for getting themselves into a moral lather the comments were censored. Evidently Mr Murray didn’t want anyone here to follow the link I supplied to the piece re-the post WW2 use of torture by the allies at the revisionist IHR site.

    While it is perfectly acceptable to the PC mind-set to pontificate re-rendition and torture in Uzbekistan it is off- limits to consult an enormous body of ideas and documentary evidence which contradicts the whole official Alllied account of WW2.

    The use of brutal beatings and torture by the Allies after WW2 to obtain “confessions” at Nuremberg and at tens of other smaller “trials” was widespread but we are supposed to

    pretend it never happened. Anyone with a brain the size of half a walnut can work out that the idea that Anglo-British sanctioning of rendition and torture in Uzbekistan represents some new departure in cruelty on our part is wholly fallacious.

    It is also unworthy of someone who claims to be in favour of free speech and pretends they’re upset about youngsters not being able to enjoy that entitlement to knowledge obtained from the free enquiry they’re supposed to get at university.

    It’s in Macaulay’s terms RANK HYPOCRISY!

    “The English have always tended to give their actions a guise of high moral purpose,and to persuade themselves to believe in it. We know of no spectacle so ridiculous as the British public in one of its periodical fits of morality.”

    On rendition and tuition fees the hypocrisy is not just ridiculous it’s sick-making!

  • ingo

    Apostate, your post is still here and you are right.

    The allies tortured some 300-350.000 returning german soldiers from the east front, let them dig their own holes and die on starvation rations.

    Evidence to this was destroyed and only the red cross archive in Genever has the evidence.

    They have refused to let scholars see these documents, they know why.

    Was Guy Fawkes not tortured?

  • writerman

    One can also see the expansion of higher education as a way to “park” or defer the entry of young people into the labour market.

    It’s not as if University education really exploded, as it had done in the fifties and especially the sixties, mostly colleges began to offer degrees in all sorts of things, and were then magically re-defined as Universities. The value of the degrees and the quality of the teaching, if one compares the older, elite, Universities with the late-comers, was vast.

    Still, the “average” student from a poor background is going to find the prospect of going to university economically daunting, and that’s on top of all the other social and class related barriers that “put one off.”

    The point is that these proposals are yet another piece of evidence that this current government seems determined to return the UK to another era; an older era where people knew their place in the social order… and not much else.

    We have a coalition that is ruling the country and imposing economic and social policies that will only benefit a very narrow segment of the population indeed… under 5% maximum. Now, one could call this a form of “class warfare”, the question is, how will the middle classes, who have benefitted from both the creation of the welfare state and especially the expansion of education, react to all this? Because, it is now their turn to be squeezed hard.

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  • glenn

    “I do hope some Lib Dem Ministers will be shamed into rediscovering their integrity”

    That could only happen had they any integrity to begin with. They did not. They said whatever was necessary to get elected, and now they do anything necessary to stay in power. That is a consistent record of an entire lack of integrity.


    I’m fed up of hearing about how “the best and the brightest” will still be able to go to the top universities, that some places will be made available. Some bread will be allowed to fall from the table. Fine. But “the best and the brightest” will always get along well in life, by and large. It’s the vast majority that any system with the slightest compassion should be concerned about, those not born gifted with huge quantities of money or even talent.

  • mike cobley

    Ah, tuition fees. Maybe Apostate is right, and a bit of learnin’ is actually a bad thing. I mean, perhaps those who work their way through the secondary school system should also pay back the cost of THEIR tuition – many do go on to jobs after leaving secondary education, dont they? Well, then, time they paid their way! So that in the bright new Cameronian future that beckons, everyone will by law have to stay at school till 16 and thus would have their very own secondary school tuition fee debt to repay. What a result! Trebles all round!

  • glenn

    Mike: You’re going soft. Pay for their secondary school education? They should be paying back the costs associated with their BIRTH, dammit!

  • dreoilin

    Pictures of student protests in Dublin yesterday over the raising of third level fees (from 1,500 to 2,500 euros).

    Scroll down a bit to view.

    Video at the bottom shows when the “stormtroopers” arrived, and the dogs …

    Meanwhile, saw this quote today on Twitter:

    “Those who make peaceful protest impossible will make violent revolution inevitable” -JFK

  • writerman

    But, but, but! People do “pay back” their “free” educations… at the other end so to speak.

    It’s a simple enough concept. One generation pays for the education of the next generation and then that generation returns the favour. It’s called a social contract, and means that it’s in the intersts of succeeding generations to provide for each other. Or you scrubbed my back and now I’ll scrub yours.

    Of course I’m simplifying here, but basically that’s how it is supposed to work. It’s also known as solidarity, which seems like an alien concept to some people, who against all the evidence insist on claiming that they are individuals and can sustain themselves without society.

    In truth only the very, very, rich can afford to be individuals, and even they are dependent on their control of society’s wealth and power for their position, and individuality.

    The vast, overwhelming, majority of “ordinary, hardworking, people” are part on society whether they like it or not, and heavily reliant on everyone else for their prosperity and welfare. All “ordinary” people really have, their only real power, is their numbers and their relationship to other ordinary people. The many have always had to combine with one another to protect themselves against the raw power of the few who rule over them.

  • writerman

    … and another thing that puzzles me, and always has, is why on earth people who clearly don’t have tuppence to rub together are so mean spirited and down on those who are less fortunate than themselves. Why?

    It often seems like their have an inverted sense of what’s just. They aim their fire at those who they perceive are below them on the social scale, whilst those above them are given a far easier ride. They rail against the man who steals the goose from the common, but the man who steals the whole common is exempt. Are these people just stupid, or are they merely cowards who understand that attacking the powerful is far more dangerous than taking their anger out on the “scroungers.”

    For example, there is around half a billion accredited to welfare cheating, a large sum, but over twenty times that ammount in unclaimed entitlements. Then one can factor in probably forty billion in various types of fraud originating in the financial sector each year. Yet that kind of crime, scrounging and fraud, is rarely mentioned or addressed properly.

  • glenn

    Writerman: You’ll often find that those without tuppence to rub together are also the most generous when it comes to giving to charity. Possibly because they know what it’s like to bump along at the bottom themselves, they will help out those who are even worse off. That’s why charity is so preferred to welfare by the rich – it allows the well heeled to give nothing except advice (“pull yourself up by your own bootstraps”, etc.), and leave the actual costs to those who understand poverty more keenly.

    With education, I think we’re seeing the same process as with much else. The baby-boomers and those a bit older than generation-X’ers have been busily pulling up ladders behind them all through life. Those making the decisions to cut off grants and tuition fees all benefited from it. The people in final salary pension schemes are saying “No more! Too expensive!” to newcomers.

    Getting a decent first job, even as a graduate, is next to impossible now. These days newcomers are likely to have to work an internship for years if they’re lucky, and then get a job which isn’t exactly raking it in. Those without degrees are condemned to pretty much life on the minimum wage. Manufacturing is gone, we’re left with service industries (the “do you want fries with that?” economy).

    The class and money divide is wider than ever, and increasing. Prospects for the young are bleaker than they’ve been in many generations – indeed, this next lot appear to be the first who are likely to be worse off financially than their parents, have poorer prospects, and possibly shorter lives into the bargain.

  • ppl-wanna-be-buggered

    I bet (sportsmans bet) that there will NOT be much difference in the number of Uni applications under these gigantic loans.

  • Parky

    I have a feeling of history repeating itself and we are landing somewhere about the late nineteen-seventies. We have had an extended period of apparent prosperity, created out of thin air and are now paying for that, where the rich have become richer and the rest thinking they have too but off the back of easy credit and inflated house prices.

    We are moving on now, all part of the plan most probably as there is nowhere else to go with the inflated boom cycle. Also now China and India have launched onto the world with thier cheaper manufacturing processes, we really have no need for the millions here who once did that work. I believed for many years whilst working in manufacturing industry, that each and every government that comes along is merely managing the further decline of UK plc. There is no other way to go when we no longer have much of natural resources of our own, no empire to exploit and have to take to plundering other less well defended countries for theirs.

    There should be interesting times ahead and if it all does backfire in riot and civil unrest then maybe there will be a social revolution and not before time.

    Things have got to get real bad before anything is going to change, the powerful families and interests of this land are not going to give way easily and perhaps revolution will be the only way.

  • Ingo

    All good questioons Mark, on an issue which is still steeped in secrecy, sadly.

    The second world war and its ravages is not my forte, but secrecy has never solved anything.

    But, this has got nothing to do with the thread and we should discuss them somewhere else, if at all.

    I had so many debates and argumentative discussions over that period, most here with flumoxed and ‘conditioned’ Brits who seemingly, still, are getting fed on a weekly diet of second world war stories, must have been the biggest thing in this Country since sliced bread.

    If these cuts would have hit universities in the 1960’s all hell would hgave been let loose, Essex university would have been calling students to arms, demonstrations would have layed off and shut university administrations.

    Nowadays student unions are pussy cats, they could not even contemplate demonstrating.

    Why is that I wonder? Are student unions too well off, some say profits from bars and alcohol are in the tens of millions/annum and they are making a good business from boozing students.

  • technicolour

    actually friends of mine who’ve gigged at modern redbricks say they’re run along the lines of internment camps with security guards everywhere and gates and passes. and i know that in the past students who have protested have been targeted in many places.

    it’s not easy, as Charles Crawford wisely said. And what I find quite interesting is the expectation that individual groups in all case should *do* something – students should rise up, diplomats rebel etc; when the rest of us don’t, and the government we all elected (or didn’t) squats there happily and takes no notice.

  • Vronsky

    Higher education has become a sink for economically surplus youth. We used to have mass participation wars to get rid of them – another employment niche lost to the advance of technology. ‘Degrees’ keep them off the unemployment figures and force them to remain under parental support, returning soon to the days when children never left home, simply taking it over (with their own children) when their parents die.

  • angrysoba


    I am a bit surprised that you don’t seem to know where Apostate is coming from here. His claims about German soldiers being tortured into confessions and his source (IHR) reveals that he is talking about Holocaust denial. The Institute of Historical Review is not interested in doing genuine historical research, it is interested in trying to pretend the Nazis weren’t that bad after all.

    You seem to be confused with the charges made by James Bacque in which he claimed that up to one million German soldiers were deliberately starved to death following the Second World War in internment camps. The truth is that some soldiers did die but of a massively lower number and not for any particularly nefarious reason but in the way that many POWs were apt to do at a time of a severe food shortage in which the civilian population ended up favoured over the recently ex-combatants.

  • peacewisher

    Interesting article, Mark Golding.

    It seems that all will be revealed by HMG in 2017 (!)

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