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    Sir,

    Do you believe that HE is a right that all may freely enjoy; or is it a privilege that should be given to those only who qualify for it in some manner?
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    Bumping this question - would be good to hear David Willetts thoughts on this.
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    Education is a Right, be it nursery, primary school, secondary school, sixth form, college or university.
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    Speaking as one anti-marxist to another I do not believe that everyone can gain from going to university - it remains a competitive process. I do not believe in artificial targets for the number of people who should go. But I do observe that there is strong trend around the Western world for more people to go.
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    Thanks for the bump CJ & David Willetts for the response.
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    Well, I quite agree with that.
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    (Original post by David Willetts)
    Speaking as one anti-marxist to another I do not believe that everyone can gain from going to university - it remains a competitive process. I do not believe in artificial targets for the number of people who should go. But I do observe that there is strong trend around the Western world for more people to go.
    So you're saying it's a privilege for the few?
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    Couldn't agree more.
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    (Original post by Bagration)
    Sir,

    Do you believe that HE is a right that all may freely enjoy; or is it a privilege that should be given to those only who qualify for it in some manner?
    Privilege.
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    have to say I agree..
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      I agree with Nick.
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      (Original post by .Ali.)
      Privilege.
      Could I ask what you think the difference is between higher education and secondary/primary education in terms of being a right or a privilege?

      (Genuine question, not necessarily trying to make a point).
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      (Original post by Silly Goose)
      Could I ask what you think the difference is between higher education and secondary/primary education in terms of being a right or a privilege?

      (Genuine question, not necessarily trying to make a point).
      Because for economic growth, everyone needs a basic level of literacy. However, some people just aren't academically gifted for university, and there aren't that many places. They should be primarily academic institutions for the academically elite.
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      (Original post by Silly Goose)
      Could I ask what you think the difference is between higher education and secondary/primary education in terms of being a right or a privilege?

      (Genuine question, not necessarily trying to make a point).
      Personally, I would have said that there is no difference at all - they are all priviledges.

      We happen to live under a government which is nice enough to provide the money for people to receive some of these priviledges if they cannot afford it themselves (because of its value to the economy of the country). It may be beneficial for the government may treat some of them as though they are rights, but that doesn't mean they actually are rights.

      The reason I consider them to be priviledges and not rights is because, in order to receive education (whether primary, secondary, or higher), someone else has to go out of their way to provide you with that education. That, and the fact that I think that it is perfectly possible to have a basic, acceptable quality of life without any of these things. There are plenty of people across the world who haven't been to school at all, and are surviving and living their lives just fine.
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      (Original post by .Ali.)
      Because for economic growth, everyone needs a basic level of literacy. However, some people just aren't academically gifted for university, and there aren't that many places. They should be primarily academic institutions for the academically elite.
      Do you think that a university education is a right for those who are 'academically gifted' enough for it?

      Or is the situation OK where you have some people who would like to go to university and are as academically gifted if not more so than some people who do go, but for whatever reason there are circumstances outside their personal control that stop them going. Is this right?

      What if those circumstances are very much preventable by the Government of the time? Is it right then that this person cannot go?

      Not really thinking of any specific case, but just interested in your answer (same goes for the opinion of anyone else in here on this post).
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      (Original post by Silly Goose)
      Could I ask what you think the difference is between higher education and secondary/primary education in terms of being a right or a privilege?

      (Genuine question, not necessarily trying to make a point).
      In short, education to GCSE standard (i.e. literacy, numeracy, basic communicative and mathematical skills, standard scientific knowledge) is necessary to almost any career path. Without these crucial skills, a person would find it hard to find their way in life. It must be remembered that, in spite of what seems to be the common attitude at this time, there are many excellent career opportunities open to people at this point - in apprenticeships and similar areas, and that not everybody is suited to studying at a higher level. So basically, education to this level is a right because it is the necessary level for skilled work, and it also pays off economically because it's nonsensical to have uneducated, illiterate citizens.

      So why is higher education not a right? Well firstly, you have to prove capable and willing to be worth spending the time and money it will cost to educate you (this applies for college and that you need a certain number of GCSE passes to access it), and so shouldn't be expected to be granted college education if you fail all your GCSEs. Secondly (for university), because at this point, there is a section of society (i.e. those that leave education at 16) that is presumably now paying tax - part of which contributes to higher education. For this reason I think it's only fair that graduates contribute to the cost of their education. They will probably have access to higher salaries and career opportunities in the future, after all. Otherwise, those who start work earlier, and indeed everybody in society that hasn't gone to, or paid for, university, ends up paying for graduates and universities in tax - the very group that is likely to surpass them in the socioeconomic food chain after they graduate.

      Why should people that don't go to university have to pay for others to do so? That's the crux of my argument. Certainly graduates contribute to the economy in a variety of ways, and are thus a "good investment" for the non-university educated taxpayer, but why shouldn't graduates pay from their own pockets if they are going to benefit personally from higher education regardless?

      (Original post by RK)
      Do you think that a university education is a right for those who are 'academically gifted' enough for it?

      Or is the situation OK where you have some people who would like to go to university and are as academically gifted if not more so than some people who do go, but for whatever reason there are circumstances outside their personal control that stop them going. Is this right?

      What if those circumstances are very much preventable by the Government of the time? Is it right then that this person cannot go?

      Not really thinking of any specific case, but just interested in your answer (same goes for the opinion of anyone else in here on this post).
      The one caveat to my argument above is that I believe it highly important for academically capable students from poor backgrounds be able to afford the costs. But under the proposed system, this would be the case, despite the scaremongering of the NUS. You don't have to start paying until you start earning, and indeed won't pay at all if you don't start earning.
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      (Original post by RK)
      Do you think that a university education is a right for those who are 'academically gifted' enough for it?

      Or is the situation OK where you have some people who would like to go to university and are as academically gifted if not more so than some people who do go, but for whatever reason there are circumstances outside their personal control that stop them going. Is this right?

      What if those circumstances are very much preventable by the Government of the time? Is it right then that this person cannot go?

      Not really thinking of any specific case, but just interested in your answer (same goes for the opinion of anyone else in here on this post).
      I think everyone should have the chance to go, but I don't think it should be government funded. Yes there should be a cap, but at least some should be paid by the individual. If they're from a low income family, they can take a loan, simple.
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      (Original post by milkytea)
      In short, education to GCSE standard (i.e. literacy, numeracy, basic communicative and mathematical skills, standard scientific knowledge) is necessary to almost any career path. Without these crucial skills, a person would find it hard to find their way in life. It must be remembered that, in spite of what seems to be the common attitude at this time, there are many excellent career opportunities open to people at this point - in apprenticeships and similar areas, and that not everybody is suited to studying at a higher level. So basically, education to this level is a right because it is the necessary level for skilled work, and it also pays off economically because it's nonsensical to have uneducated, illiterate citizens.

      So why is higher education not a right? Well firstly, you have to prove capable and willing to be worth spending the time and money it will cost to educate you (this applies for college and that you need a certain number of GCSE passes to access it), and so shouldn't be expected to be granted college education if you fail all your GCSEs. Secondly (for university), because at this point, there is a section of society (i.e. those that leave education at 16) that is presumably now paying tax - part of which contributes to higher education. For this reason I think it's only fair that graduates contribute to the cost of their education. They will probably have access to higher salaries and career opportunities in the future, after all. Otherwise, those who start work earlier, and indeed everybody in society that hasn't gone to, or paid for, university, ends up paying for graduates and universities in tax - the very group that is likely to surpass them in the socioeconomic food chain after they graduate.

      Why should people that don't go to university have to pay for others to do so? That's the crux of my argument. Certainly graduates contribute to the economy in a variety of ways, and are thus a "good investment" for the non-university educated taxpayer, but why shouldn't graduates pay from their own pockets if they are going to benefit personally from higher education regardless?



      The one caveat to my argument above is that I believe it highly important for academically capable students from poor backgrounds be able to afford the costs. But under the proposed system, this would be the case, despite the scaremongering of the NUS. You don't have to start paying until you start earning, and indeed won't pay at all if you don't start earning.
      Do you appreciate though that the idea of being in £30,000 of debt once they graduate may alone make some people think twice then you realise they are coming from a family living off £10,000 a year. It makes the whole £30,000 seem to be an astronomical amount to them and something that can be very scary and off putting.
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      Good answer. I think it has to be accepted that not everyone can or should go to uni. Uni should be elitist though in terms of academics money should not come into it for those who are gifted.

      Saying that if a system like that was to be formed work would have to be done to make sure that those who only have GCSE's also have oppitunities in the form of technical colleges apprentships and such.
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      (Original post by RK)
      Do you appreciate though that the idea of being in £30,000 of debt once they graduate may alone make some people think twice then you realise they are coming from a family living off £10,000 a year. It makes the whole £30,000 seem to be an astronomical amount to them and something that can be very scary and off putting.
      Certainly I do, because my parents do not earn very much money either. But the point is, anyobdy that doesn't check the facts and ask for advice on the subject of fees before saying "well there's no way I can afford that, I'm not going to apply." clearly doesn't have the initiative required to study at a higher level anyway.

      I would personally advocate the government spending some money on a system through which college students can ask for professional advice regarding fees, though.

      I do not think that "x seems like a lot of money" is even a logical argument against a fee rise, though, I must say.
     
     
     
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