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    Blair argues that 50% should be in higher education, which to me is complete nonsense. Why even set a target like that? I will follow the words of Digby Jones, there is no point in it at all. The Blair Government needs to focus on the real issue, which should be further education- more people in further education is a lot better- given they have the chance to further their own educations. Where I live they are running the pilot schemes for Community Outreach. This is where schools open up at night on loan to local authorities for further education classes in whatever- from skills to sports to academia and computing. This has proved to be very successful in the less academically well-off places in my town.

    As for respecting people with or without a degree- I respect them regardless, and no that is not just because I am a rainbowchild. I have more respect for the person who has lived his or her life over the person who has not- for example my mother came to this country from Kenya and worked her way up by starting a family business with my father. t was only later on in life she wanted to have a degree because she valued education, not because she wanted respect. Society respected her because she was worth respecting. I think it is a rather sweeping statement to suggest society as a whole owes more respect to people with degrees- that may be true of the more elitist societies in question.

    Every university should encourage a degree of independent thought- it is cultures relativity that can cause the stealthy indoctrination of custom. It has been proved by an American university that reading different newspapers throughout the week will help you develope your own personal take on current affairs rather than the elite views of your own brand. If one goes to any of the named elitist universities, I perceive it dangerous to walk in fully open to their influence, rather I would like to be encouraged to "think out of the box" and find my own platforms. I live in a very Conservative and conservative town, with my positions at town, district and local government I am bombarded with offers for references and reccomendations to the Conservative party. I am a Liberal Democrat, although it is not my ideology that is in question here.

    I do not know about the rest of your schools so I will not generalise them, but I will tell you of my school. I go to a state comprehensive. We have three rules at my school which all start with respect. Our school has developed well over the years because it is open to people of all abilities, students develope their own rules out of respect for what they are given.

    Also, as an end note- there is sometimes not enough emphasis on academic ability in society than there should be. There are numerous sporting competitions, poetry etc but nothing to really reward people who have used their head. Sure there are debates and science awards such as CREST but no real achievement for independent thought, just reproccessed material.
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    sorry pressed the wrong button this was meant to be a reply to another post.
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    (Original post by rainbowchild)
    It has been proved by an American university that reading different newspapers throughout the week will help you develope your own personal take on current affairs rather than the elite views of your own brand.

    No that is what you do in History.
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    the man is an idiot, 50% is not a sensible thing to do, it devalues degrees and by the way costs the taxpayer around £500 million a year to send all the extra people there. i'm not descriminating against the poor but too many people go to university because they can.
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    While i may not agree with his ideas, he is a good leader and leads people well, despite what people say, he is relativly truthful and i respect him as he leads for what he thinks is right not just doing things for a good reputation
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    He was a good leader but a leader listens to ideas and takes actions based on advice aswell as his own instincts, unlike blair, everything people say is greeted with a sincere face, and an unintelligeble answer along the lines of 'tough, im the pm'
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    i appreciate that he did law at oxford but i am uninspired by him and distrust his judgement and the reasons for some of his actions. I couldn't vote for him, then i would find it difficult to vote for any labour leader. tuition fees takes the piss, it's stupid and it's economically impossible in the long term. trust me, i do economics.
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    (Original post by cobra01977)
    While i may not agree with his ideas, he is a good leader and leads people well, despite what people say
    The Bill over Top-Up Fees and his handling of the Hutton Report should show us what he's really made of.
    (Original post by cobra01977)
    he is relativly truthful
    Relatively truthful... Well, when the coalition forces find WMDs in Iraq, then I'll maybe side with you... But it's going to be more difficult to find them now that 400 personnel detailed to do just that have left Iraq last week. Saying things like 'Regime change is categorically not a reason for going to war' and then, after failing to have found any WMDs (thus far) shifting his rhetoric and also announcing 'Well at least we removed the head of an oppressive regime'... Yes, it's a good thing that Saddam has been removed, but Blair and Bush have used that to obscure what they said were the reasons for going to war. The thing is I wouldn't have minded if they had kept on saying that WMDs would be found and stuck by their original ius ad bellum, because Iraq is a bloody big country - but to go back on what they said about regime change etc doesn't fill me with confidence and reeks of spin.
    (Original post by cobra01977)
    and i respect him as he leads for what he thinks is right not just doing things for a good reputation
    All leaders lead for what they think is right, otherwise they wouldn't do it.
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    A good leader will lead by example. When I saw the PM in QT he had the whole chamber laughing- at the first wave of bombing in Iraq? That is not a funny issue.

    Relatively truthful? I beg to differ, if you watch Blair talk he hardly ever answers the question thrown at him, but hides behinds some statistics of no relevance.

    One cannot stand on a platform and argue under all circumstances the PM is supreme. He is only PM by convention, he should pardon to his cabinet. If he thought what he was doing was right then he wouldn't be the most right-wing socialist to of ever served in the Commons. And what do you think Alistair Campbell's job was? To give the PM strategies to do things to look good? A good rep. I am sure Sherie must be tired of smiling so damn much, it is possibly better to frown than expose a deceitful smile in this instance.
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    (Original post by rainbowchild)
    Relatively truthful? I beg to differ, if you watch Blair talk he hardly ever answers the question thrown at him, but hides behinds some statistics of no relevance.
    The problem is that PMQs is never taken seriously. If it was, half the questions that have been asked, if answered properly, would have blown the gov. out of the water a long time ago.. And, though I hate to say it, it would be the same with any other PM. They aren't going to make policy on the hoof, and sometimes they dont have all the facts to hand - hence they literally resort to one-upmanship.
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    (Original post by elzeroworm)
    trust me, i do economics.
    haha that's a good one, i'll tell my economics teacher that - hey maybe i can write that in my transport economics exam i have next week! ha, care to elaborate?
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    (Original post by OldBailey)
    The problem is that PMQs is never taken seriously. If it was, half the questions that have been asked, if answered properly, would have blown the gov. out of the water a long time ago.. And, though I hate to say it, it would be the same with any other PM. They aren't going to make policy on the hoof, and sometimes they dont have all the facts to hand - hence they literally resort to one-upmanship.
    Duely noted but that was not the matter of fact; the principle stated was that he was making a mockery out of the pain of others- of which he is meant to be a victorious liberator.
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    (Original post by rainbowchild)
    Duely noted but that was not the matter of fact; the principle stated was that he was making a mockery out of the pain of others- of which he is meant to be a victorious liberator.
    Fair point - it wasn't clear to me that the two paras were connected, which was why I only commented on the second one. And although I'm not a Blair fan I've never seen him laugh at the pain of others (well, maybe IDS).. Must have missed that one.
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    (Original post by rainbowchild)
    It has been proved by an American university that reading different newspapers throughout the week will help you develope your own personal take on current affairs rather than the elite views of your own brand.
    I fail to see how that could be proved in a logically rigorous way, although the conjecture would appear to be sound. I tend to read the grauniad, the times and the indpendent to try an balance overtly opinionated pieces.

    On the whole I agree with your post, although I suspect Blair has good intentions with the idea that the majority should be in higher education it should be made clear that this is not the position of industry or even necessarily good for the HE sector. It pains me to say it, however, I feel the HE sector would appear to make more sense as a two tier system supported by progressive taxation. Local based short courses with a stronger vocational element would be more advantageous to industry and also promote diversification in access. Academic courses at research based unis would benefit from increased funding and a concentration of able students, we need not restrict the elite group to oxbridge only, much further diversification is required.

    Blair is a muppet, if he can't see that his schemes are a fundamentally bad stop gap 4 year fix, perhaps he should step aside.

    Alaric.
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    we should be aiming for increasing the presence of voactional subjects, not just increasing the numbers in university
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    why he wants to increase uni students numbers is beyond me. what he doesnt understand is that as soon as you increase student numbers, the value of a degree goes down. more people have degrees, so the pay which a graduate will receive goes down. Its not as if weve got a shortage of graduates ; far from it, the excess graduates are putting strain on the system (hence top up fees).

    If he looked at the figures hed realise that the shortage is acually in trades such as building, electricians etc not in technical fields like engineering.
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    (Original post by Alaric)
    I fail to see how that could be proved in a logically rigorous way, although the conjecture would appear to be sound. I tend to read the grauniad, the times and the indpendent to try an balance overtly opinionated pieces.

    On the whole I agree with your post, although I suspect Blair has good intentions with the idea that the majority should be in higher education it should be made clear that this is not the position of industry or even necessarily good for the HE sector. It pains me to say it, however, I feel the HE sector would appear to make more sense as a two tier system supported by progressive taxation. Local based short courses with a stronger vocational element would be more advantageous to industry and also promote diversification in access. Academic courses at research based unis would benefit from increased funding and a concentration of able students, we need not restrict the elite group to oxbridge only, much further diversification is required.

    Blair is a muppet, if he can't see that his schemes are a fundamentally bad stop gap 4 year fix, perhaps he should step aside.

    Alaric.
    Shame about your last sentence it wrecked interesting comments about the structure of HE.

    Why do you think many developed countries are trying to increase participation in HE and why do many of our international competitors already have more than 50% in HE. Maybe they are all run by 'muppets'?

    It's not true that industry is against higher participation in HE - in fact there is a lot of support for the current main increase around foundation degress.The Government's mistake was probably to set a target for participation in HE rather than accept more variable but organic growth.

    I think you've mossed the point about Blair. Irrespective of whether you generally agree or disagree with him, like him or dislike him, the one thing he is not is short termist. The curent HE proposals offer him nothing in terms of short term gain but are an important change in long term HE policy. Why does he do it? Blair is one of the few politicians in this country who has some grasp of the changes that will happen in the next 20 years with the continued development of the 'knowledge economy' and the threats of global competition. That in part is what is driving the HE policy a the moment. It's rare for a British politician to have some vision.

    You make a point about progressive atxation. The Institute of Fiscal Studies evalaution of the three three main parties plans for HE shows that Labour's remains the most progressive and redistributive.
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    Totally agree.
    Blair should step aside and listen to the comments of so many people in his country.
    Tuition fees descriminate against the working classes.
    The poor will get grants
    The rich can afford top up fees
    The middle classes have to pay and yet cannot really afford the ridiculous costs.
    I personally feel that too many are pushed into higher education, the tax payer pays for many students to do degrees that are worthless once completed; Beckham Studies, Simpsons Studies?

    WHY????

    If more people went into apprendeships once leaving school then uni would be reserved for those that really wanted to attend. Also, i quote a post from the Downing JCR Cambridge forum that stated that if unis such as Thames Valley were abolished then the money put into them by the gov could be used to great effect in giving grants to bright students from poorer backgrounds.
    Abolish unis that are performing poorly in the league tables
    Contact your PM
    Join in polls about the subject

    Only together can we all make a difference and stop the rediculous proposals

    Lyndon
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    (Original post by LBF)
    Totally agree.
    Blair should step aside and listen to the comments of so many people in his country.
    Tuition fees descriminate against the working classes.
    The poor will get grants
    The rich can afford top up fees
    The middle classes have to pay and yet cannot really afford the ridiculous costs.
    I personally feel that too many are pushed into higher education, the tax payer pays for many students to do degrees that are worthless once completed; Beckham Studies, Simpsons Studies?

    WHY????

    If more people went into apprendeships once leaving school then uni would be reserved for those that really wanted to attend. Also, i quote a post from the Downing JCR Cambridge forum that stated that if unis such as Thames Valley were abolished then the money put into them by the gov could be used to great effect in giving grants to bright students from poorer backgrounds.
    Abolish unis that are performing poorly in the league tables
    Contact your PM
    Join in polls about the subject

    Only together can we all make a difference and stop the rediculous proposals

    Lyndon

    That is just about the stupidest post I've read on this forum. Correcting it all would take too long but just three points:

    - top up fees do not hit the least well off - they are given help. The policy affects the middle class most hence much of the opposition. All up front fees are abolished - it makes it easier not more difficult to go to university.

    - there are no degrees in Beckham Studies or Simpsons Studies - these are usually small modules from media studies degrees. Find out more before sounding off.

    - close down poorly performing unis?? - TVU was a mess but is apparently much improved and many of the lower rated unis are actually concentrating on the types of course you seem to favour - vocational. It's people who are qualified vocationally we need not tens of thousands of plumbers as the papers would have you believe.

    - most of the recent opinion polls show a majority in favour of fees - so how is balir not listening to so many people. Thank goodness he is not listening to the odd coalition against fees - bitter ex minsiters who were sacked, career rebels, Tories ( no policy of their own), Lib Dems( a dishonest policy that no-one believes could work) and the NUS.
 
 
 
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