The Destruction of Higher Education 36


In our discussions of the riots, a commenter noted that while I had grown up in comparative material poverty, I had benefited from an environment which was socially and intellectually rich – by contrast with the looters. It was a very good point, and I don’t think I had thought of it that way before. I recall a survey of educational achievement by children which found the most significant of all correlations was to the simple number of books in the parental home.

But nevertheless, my own progress – and that of my siblings – was entirely due to the availability of public funded excellent education. I was not only given higher education free, but given a full maintenance grant I could actually live on. Without that, I would have had little more opportunity than my father, forced to leave school at 13 to work.

To me, it is the greatest betrayal in the modern history of Britain, that my generation, which benefited hugely from free public education, has destroyed it rather than pay for it for the next generation.

A betrayal instigated by one Tony Bliar, public school and Oxford.

Now a survey indicates that with new tuition fees, average graduate debt might soon reach a staggering £53,000. This is in fact already blindingly obvious to those of us who are parents.

The government has effectively withdrawn all public funding from university teaching in England and Wales, the finance for universities solely covering part of research costs. No other major country in the world has done this. It is an act of crass philistinism, from a government of millionaires who never needed public educational provision and whose social circles do not need it now.

It is an act of class war, pure and simple.

That level of existing debt as graduates launch their careers (those who can find one) is also going to contribute to the inevitable major collapse of the housing market. To add to the mountain of lunacy that this policy comprises, it is further evidence of the ludicrous fallacy to which this government is so attached, that it is only public debt which damages the economy.


36 thoughts on “The Destruction of Higher Education

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  • Sam

    If you really want to improve education without a great deal of cost, just shut off the TV networks one day a week. At least a few people will read books instead! 🙂

  • John Goss

    Abc123456 I signed it, posted it on Facebook, but agree it is probably futile. Governments, all governments, can always find money for weapons, which provides an income for nasty people like Mark Thatcher. It shows a failing in the education system.

  • larry Levin

    why not go to universities abroad, why not use globalisation to your advantage, you could do a degree in India for £5000 for three years.

  • Canspeccy

    Re: petition calling for reductions in ‘defence’ spending and increases in education spending”
    *
    Why would anyone think that defense and education spending are somehow reciprocal?
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    And why would anyone think that signing a petition would end a war. I mean, didn’t they think of that during WW1, WW2, etc.?
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    And what was the reason, again, for using public money to enable grown-up people, allegedly from the more intelligent half of the population, to socialize at Uni for four or more years, when those same more intelligent people could get any useful information that they may need off the internet or from their local library for nothing?
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    And is not the demand for free eternal higher education not the clearest proof possible that the present generation of university graduates has been brainwashed and brain deadened by the academic establishment under whose sway they spent the most creative 16 or so years of their lives?
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    The relationship between the educational establishment and the educated class suggests a linking agency that works the same way as that parasitic organism which cycles between cats and rats. Infection of the rat causes it to approach the cat, rather than flee from its natural enemy. Consuming the rat infects the cat, which by some means that I don’t recall and is probably too disgusting to relate, infects the next generation of rats. Yes, I’m afraid that’s it. Poor Craig and all his liberal followers are horribly infected with the rat-cat educational parasite.

  • Education Solicitors

    “Not only will it deprive graduates of the ability to buy a home particularly if they’ve both been to university, it’ll also make it very difficult for them to afford children”.

    How exactly will the above statement be affected by the new tuition fee system. Someone earning £25,000 a year will be paying back £360, only £30 a month. That’s not the sort of money that’s going to mean you can’t have children. Plus, their education would probably mean earning more than £360 extra a year than if they didn’t have this education. The same person would be currently paying £900 a year.

    I don’t agree with the changes but it won’t be as much of a “burden” as people seem to think. Yes, graduates will be paying for longer than they currently do, but they’ll be paying less at whichever level they are earning.

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