No fee cap, just a levy on fees above £600. I suppose… well, it could have been worse. (this is about the Browne report that will probably inform Government policy.)
That doesn’t make it right. The fact that the prestigious universities could charge these huge fees – up to £1200 is talked of in the review – while the ‘lesser’ ones would probably go bust due to a lack of students if they did, could lead straight to class segregation in education. I’ll do a nice little diagram in two columns if I can make WordPress.com do it… (very messy, but oh well – it gets my point across…)
PRESTIGIOUS UNIVERSITIES THE REST
Charge lots of money Can’t charge too much
Rich students go there Everyone else goes
Higher fees = more funding Lower fees = less funding
More funds = better facilities Less funds = worse facilities
Students get good degrees Students get less good degrees
University becomes more prestigious University becomes less prestigious
More prestige = can charge more Less prestige = can’t charge as much
And the cycle begins again! Is that what they want? (They’re Tories, I suppose…) Decreased social mobility, less available brilliant minds, less available well-educated folks, less people with the qualifications to get the higher-paid jobs…
Not everything is made good by competition. Market forces aren’t actually a very good indicator of the most beneficial thing to do.
The people who will be affected by this aren’t the politicians making the rules, or the huge network of university administrators hiking their pay-cheque up a mile or two – it will be the people on the front lines. The professors. Most of all, the students. The students who didn’t get the country and the education system into this mess to start with. The students who are trying to start their lives. The students who will, one day, be the ones in charge. And the prospective students who will be denied their chance by these appalling changes.
* * *
In utterly unrelated news, The Times ran a story about asexuality today. It’s good to see asexual visibility increasing, and eventually hopefully it will leave the DSM and be considered a perfectly valid way of being.