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Should courses useful to the country be free? Watch

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    Theres a lot of a debate about mickey mouse courses and the cost of going to uni.

    I think we should define what the useful courses are and they should be free i.e. no course fees but you still have to pay living costs via a loan or grant. Usefulness to the country is a good criteria because the taxpayer subsidises higher education and should expect something useful from its investment.

    None useful courses would have high fees to subsidise the useful courses. People can still study none useful subjects that interest them but they will have to pay for it.

    Engineering is a useful course because its graduates are needed to create things that can make money. English is not a useful subject since its graduates do not have skills useful to the country. Therefore engineering should be free while English should have high fees.
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    Lots of subjects are useful.

    Golf Management is useful in the golfing world, yet History isn't necessarily useful directly. A lot of the traditional (non-vocational) degrees are 'useless'.
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    I think I remember seeing a course at St Helens college, the description of which involved learning about Take That, Steps and The Spice Girls and their impact on British Culture. I can also remember seeing other equally "mickey-mouse" courses. Then again, I did Sports Science and spent the whole year mopping the showers in the gym.

    Right now I'm doing iQT and paying £50 for the course.

    Great, but I am told it won't get me a job. It's probably very useful to learn about Microsoft products, spreadsheets and data bases and all that stuff, but in an age of austerity, social crisis, competition for job, poverty-fear, and the advancement of the New World Order by our politicians, what difference will learning all this make if employers are very selective who they take on (and you may think they should be), or are not taking on at all?
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    If your course is 'useful' you'll probably benefit in the form of higher income. It's not fair to put some people in massive debt and others in none just because they took a different subject. If academic subjects were free then effectively the poorer would be subsidising the future-rich.
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    Some courses already are. My radiography course is being funded by the NHS.
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    (Original post by Master Roshi)
    If your course is 'useful' you'll probably benefit in the form of higher income
    ... Which will then benefit the treasury in the form of higher tax levels.

    Anyway, this is a fairly stupid idea. Useful courses like medicine and engineering also happen to be pretty expensive ones to run so they are actually already being subsidised more by the government than humanities. Also your mickey mouse students would have to be paying more than it actually costs to run their degree to be subsidising another degree. That seems pretty stupid to me.

    System that seems to make most sense to me is cutting some mickey mouse courses (although only the really stupid ones, not massive wide ranging cuts) and not replacing them, allowing more money to be spent on valuable courses and possibly adding more value to a degree, although that would be a side effect.
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    A university is a business, and it is up to the university what subjects they run. If your so called 'useless' subjects (although I don't believe that you can truely denote anything as useless as you have done) attract students who are paying the university money to study there, then they're going to run the course. And it is up to the university and not the government what courses they run.

    The government provide loans for tution fees which get paid back with a small amount of interest, hence the government do not lose out substantially. Whilst I'm not sure how much government funding goes to universities, I'm sure the majority of it compensates towards courses such as medicine that requires a great deal of training for an important job. The only money the government gives away to students are maintenance grants which are part of living costs, and not related in any way to the course that they are on.

    Every degree builds important skills and work ethic, so surely cannot be deemed as useless. It may not be as important as other degrees, but it still encourages a more educated country, and a more educated country can only be a good thing.
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    (Original post by spasmos)
    A university is a business, and it is up to the university what subjects they run. If your so called 'useless' subjects (although I don't believe that you can truely denote anything as useless as you have done) attract students who are paying the university money to study there, then they're going to run the course. And it is up to the university and not the government what courses they run.

    The government provide loans for tution fees which get paid back with a small amount of interest, hence the government do not lose out substantially. Whilst I'm not sure how much government funding goes to universities, I'm sure the majority of it compensates towards courses such as medicine that requires a great deal of training for an important job. The only money the government gives away to students are maintenance grants which are part of living costs, and not related in any way to the course that they are on.

    Every degree builds important skills and work ethic, so surely cannot be deemed as useless. It may not be as important as other degrees, but it still encourages a more educated country, and a more educated country can only be a good thing.
    People can still study useless courses if they are willing to pay, the unis will be happy to run them if its profitable.

    By making useful subjects free, students who have the ability but not the money would be incentivised to study them. Better off students can study useless subjects if they want to pay. The taxpayer would only pay for subjects that are useful to the country, not necessaily the individual.
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    (Original post by Maker)
    Engineering is a useful course because its graduates are needed to create things that can make money. English is not a useful subject since its graduates do not have skills useful to the country. Therefore engineering should be free while English should have high fees.
    Yeah, English is completely useless. It's not like English teachers benefit the country at all, right? :rolleyes:

    Whilst many arts/humanities do not have a set career path like medicine/engineering, the degrees do show employers transferable skills. This will mean they will get better paid jobs and benefit the country through their higher income tax.

    All degrees should cost the same no matter what subject or university. This will mean everyone will pick their degree based on what they want to do at uni/for the rest of their lives, not what is cheapest. It's not very effecient if someone who would go on to get a first in History instead goes on to get a 2:2 in Chemistry because of the lower cost.

    Then there's the fact that the 'importance' of particular degrees is so hideously subjective it isn't funny, so attempting to somehow rank them in this way is stupid.
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    Nursings free and a lot of other healthcare courses
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    I think there ARE quite a few that are already free because they're useful. The NHS pays for nursing degrees and lots of other NHS related courses.
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    Yes they should be. Controversial as it probably sounds, I'd prefer fewer students, courses properly funded and free.
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    (Original post by lizlaz350)
    I think there ARE quite a few that are already free because they're useful. The NHS pays for nursing degrees and lots of other NHS related courses.
    And I've been hearing of people that only do a nursing degree because it's cheap and they can get grants for it. Afterwards they don't end up becoming nurses and some don't even bother to finish the course.
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    Different courses are usefull for different purposes. Like english, science, history, nursing, engineering- there all useful in there own ways. Most degrees lead to the opportunity of teaching which is useful to society.

    Anyway, degrees deemed important to society are often reimbursed anyway- e.g nursing, or the wage makes up for it.. e.g law
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    All undergraduate courses should be free.
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    technically, all courses are useful! that's why we study them.
    but higher education should be free man.
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    A university is a place of academia and higher education and they have been that way for more than 1000 years. They're not technical colleges, they never have been, never should be.

    That's not to mention the glaring fact that everybody (+ thousands and thousands from the EU, and especially even further abroad depending on how their fees are set) would flood to these free 'useful' courses. Resulting in an oversupply of engineers etc, massive competition in the jobs market for such fields and people like you complaining about how there should be fees to thin the herd or whatever.
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    The tutition price should depend on the degree's application in the real world. Highly useful degrees being cheaper, with the government subsidising the major costs.
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    (Original post by Tefhel)
    That's not to mention the glaring fact that everybody (+ thousands and thousands from the EU, and especially even further abroad depending on how their fees are set) would flood to these free 'useful' courses. Resulting in an oversupply of engineers etc, massive competition in the jobs market for such fields and people like you complaining about how there should be fees to thin the herd or whatever.
    You do know that Scottish Universities are already free to EU residents, right? English, Welsh and Northern Irish students are the only people in the EU that actually have to pay tuition fees there.
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    (Original post by Silly Goose)
    Yeah, English is completely useless. It's not like English teachers benefit the country at all, right? :rolleyes:

    Whilst many arts/humanities do not have a set career path like medicine/engineering, the degrees do show employers transferable skills. This will mean they will get better paid jobs and benefit the country through their higher income tax.

    All degrees should cost the same no matter what subject or university. This will mean everyone will pick their degree based on what they want to do at uni/for the rest of their lives, not what is cheapest. It's not very effecient if someone who would go on to get a first in History instead goes on to get a 2:2 in Chemistry because of the lower cost.

    Then there's the fact that the 'importance' of particular degrees is so hideously subjective it isn't funny, so attempting to somehow rank them in this way is stupid.
    Degrees in other more useful subjects than English also have transferrable skills as well as useful knowledge. Knowing novels is interesting but useless to the country. People can read Shakespeare or Dickens whenever they like for free so why bother paying thousands to read them at a uni?

    Subjects where unis are needed are things like engineering and science where you need the facilities you can't get at home. As people have already pointed out the NHS already pays for some degrees because they are useful to the country.
 
 
 
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