Thursday, 14 October 2010

Fees and the future

I have refrained from much discussion on student loans. It does seem to me to be a complex matter where misguided policies of the past have clouded the issues today. I was pleased to read Kiron Read's take on these issues and grateful to Liberal England for pointing me to it:

 'The genuinely talented or higher education inclined should be able to go and not be put off by fees. Hopefully ideas of how to achieve that will come out from the debate - I don't have an easy answer and would love if other people did. Cutting student numbers would be a start - there is no right that the tax payer should pay for everyone to have a degree. There is no right that the tax payer should fund a HE job creation sector for the sake of it, just as those of us who have reformed local government have pointed out that local government is not the same as a job protection scheme. Universities are a public good however, Labour and Tories who are obsessed with big business who benefited from the education they provide (for free) should remember that. Vice Chancellors should be reigned in treating Universities as a business and students reminded that they do not get a degree simply because they pay fees. As Jonathan Calder says "making universities behave more like universities and less like international corporations will be a far harder task." However all of us in Universities have to accept we are paid via public money and student contributions and that means we have to do our bit to help in this crisis.'

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