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    Oh no now we actually have to pay for our own higher education. Wake up Britain isn't the economic superpower it once was. Why should people get anything for free?
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    When the Tories were last in office, it was a cosy club. Everything was stitched up in the Committee of Vice-Chancellors. The Russell Group was originally a secret group to win the arguments in that committee.

    I think they thought a tariff would be agreed behind the scenes. They knew the average would be more than £6K. They budgeted for that and they wanted that, because £6K had no Access strings at all. I don't think it occurred to them that the universities would totally ignore what they said about the available money pot and just adopt a "beggar my neighbour" approach.

    It had all been announced in a low key way in November but by January Willetts was bellowing through a foghorn. It made no difference. You will recall that Clegg slapped down Cambridge when they were the first to announce because they didn't even make a pretence of this being subject to the OFFA process.
    So in other words, yes, the government was very naive, and refused to listen to other people who could see how obvious it was.

    And yes, the fees are subject to OFFA. But all that has been said is that they must widen access. That is so vague and meaningless, that is it essentially the same as saying that there are no conditions on it. Also remember that "widenning access" was also a condition on charging the full £3k fees, so we can assume all universities do that anyway, and so again have no further conditions on charging £9k
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    (Original post by Lewis :D)
    So much for only 'a selected amount of universities will able to charge £9,000"

    20 already confirmed to be charging £9,000 per annum... http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-12880840
    Well this is not set in stone yet. They still have to be allowed to do it.

    Also this is 20 out of over 100
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    (Original post by Stefan1991)
    Oh no now we actually have to pay for our own higher education. Wake up Britain isn't the economic superpower it once was. Why should people get anything for free?
    1 - We have had to pay for higher education for 12 years. So its not really "now we actually have to"

    2 - Having an educated population benefits the country. People who do certain health and medicne related courses get their fees paid for by the NHS - do you think that is wrong too?

    (Original post by HistoryRepeating)
    Make Universities bid for funding of courses based on the excellence, importance and worthiness of the curriculums they want to teach. Have an independant body assess these factors and dish out funding accordingly.

    Seriously, **** mickey mouse degrees and 10,000 "Computer Games Design" and "Fashion Studies" students competing for 6 jobs.
    Right. And how do you decide if a degree is a mickey mouse one or not?

    And you may be interested to know that The University Of Abertay Dundee has a very good computer games course that is well respected and accredited by the industry. The problem in that area is other countries like Canada are giving huge tax breaks to games companies, so we are in danger of losing an entire industry that we are good at, and that brings in a lot of money.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    When the Tories were last in office, it was a cosy club. Everything was stitched up in the Committee of Vice-Chancellors. The Russell Group was originally a secret group to win the arguments in that committee.
    Strange how we see things so differently. THe Dearing report was published after Labour came into power in 97 and it was Blunkett who first pushed through the
    £1k fee (stating this was close to 25% of the average cost the uni incurred for a student over a year - which, through inflation equates to approx £6k in total nowadays ....which is about right) and it was Labour who then jacked fees up to £3k in 2003.

    On the other hand, it was the tories who opened up the universities to the masses and who were in power when all the ex polys/ technical colleges were granted their charters in the early 1990's
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    (Original post by WelshBluebird)
    So in other words, yes, the government was very naive, and refused to listen to other people who could see how obvious it was.
    Yes

    And yes, the fees are subject to OFFA. But all that has been said is that they must widen access. That is so vague and meaningless, that is it essentially the same as saying that there are no conditions on it. Also remember that "widenning access" was also a condition on charging the full £3k fees, so we can assume all universities do that anyway, and so again have no further conditions on charging £9k
    Whether OFFA is going to be a chocolate fireguard or not (as it has been up to now) essentially depends on whether the government chooses to use it as the tool to curb expense.

    If it does, all OFFA needs to do is send back the plans of some Russell Group universities covered in red ink and with either "suggestions" for improvement that would cost too much or "more ambitious targets" that the universities haven't a hope in hell of acheiving and which would expose the universities to a risk of penalties that they would not be prepared to run. OFFA is virtually judicial review proof because it decides what universities need to achieve as well as whether their plans are likely to achieve it.
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    (Original post by WelshBluebird)
    1 - We have had to pay for higher education for 12 years. So its not really "now we actually have to"

    2 - Having an educated population benefits the country. People who do certain health and medicne related courses get their fees paid for by the NHS - do you think that is wrong too?
    Sure it benefits the country, but why are working class people working for minimum wage paying so we middle class adults from comfortable backgrounds can go on a 3 year holiday camps to get fancy degrees from expensive world class universities so we can go get cushy jobs working for Barclays or PriceWaterhouse?
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    (Original post by Stefan1991)
    Sure it benefits the country, but why are working class people working for minimum wage paying so we middle class adults from comfortable backgrounds can go on a 3 year holiday camps to get fancy degrees from expensive world class universities so we can go get cushy jobs working for Barclays or PriceWaterhouse?
    Except they aren't.

    If you are on minimum wage (or any wage that is usually classed as "working class"), then you will use much more public money (in terms of public services etc etc), than you will pay in tax.
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    (Original post by WelshBluebird)
    Except they aren't.

    If you are on minimum wage (or any wage that is usually classed as "working class"), then you will use much more public money (in terms of public services etc etc), than you will pay in tax.
    How exactly?
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    (Original post by wdywuk)
    Strange how we see things so differently. THe Dearing report was published after Labour came into power in 97 and it was Blunkett who first pushed through the
    £1k fee (stating this was close to 25% of the average cost the uni incurred for a student over a year - which, through inflation equates to approx £6k in total nowadays ....which is about right) and it was Labour who then jacked fees up to £3k in 2003.

    On the other hand, it was the tories who opened up the universities to the masses and who were in power when all the ex polys/ technical colleges were granted their charters in the early 1990's
    I am not sure we are addressing the same point.

    My point is that the universities and polytechnics (it was the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals after all) managed the university sector directly and through their representation on the University Grants Committee. Issues were resolved internally. The Russell Group was original a voting bloc of universities who met up secretly at the Russell Hotel to agree a line to take at the committee meetings (primarily a line to keep as much of the cake for themselves) later that afternoon.

    Looked at from the perspective of the Russell Group, all very appropriate and professional. Looked at from the polys, they were expected to know their place.

    The reality now is that universities fight amongst themselves like cats in a sack. The Poppletonian goes on about Universities UK (the successor to the Committee of VCs) being entirely supine. The truth is that a majority couldn't be assembled for the question "coffee or tea". Likewise there were six university groups in front of the select committee earlier in the week because none of them trust the others an inch.

    I think the government simply hadn't grasped that this wouldn't be sorted out by gentlemen's agreement. DMU can be £250 cheaper the Trent; Manchester and Leeds can spar over who has the better bursary scheme but the basic outlines of the charging scheme would be carved up. The government have been left floundering when there is no-one in the sector with any authority able to talk to government without "me Sir, me Sir, please Sir"
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    (Original post by Stefan1991)
    How exactly?
    As I said, the public services they use mainly.
    Schools, hospitals, public transport, local government schemes that benefit them, etc etc.

    Granted some of those do not apply to some people, but on average, someone on minimum wage will "use" more public money than what they pay in tax.

    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    Whether OFFA is going to be a chocolate fireguard or not (as it has been up to now) essentially depends on whether the government chooses to use it as the tool to curb expense.

    If it does, all OFFA needs to do is send back the plans of some Russell Group universities covered in red ink and with either "suggestions" for improvement that would cost too much or "more ambitious targets" that the universities haven't a hope in hell of acheiving and which would expose the universities to a risk of penalties that they would not be prepared to run. OFFA is virtually judicial review proof because it decides what universities need to achieve as well as whether their plans are likely to achieve it.
    They may tell the unis to "go back and improve" on the targets or whatever, but I really can't see OFFA actually stopping unis charging x amount. If there were such strict controls on it, surely they would have announced them already? The only detail actually announced is that possibly £900 of the £9000 fee would have to be spent on "projects to support and recruit students from poorer backgrounds".
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    (Original post by WelshBluebird)
    The only detail actually announced is that possibly £900 of the £9000 fee would have to be spent on "projects to support and recruit students from poorer backgrounds".
    Is it not 10% of the difference between the fee charged and £6k?
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    (Original post by FlobberDobber)
    Stop people going to University to take pointless degrees? Saves the taxpayer money.
    Totally agree. There's just far too many people going to uni for no real reason, except that it seems neccesary for people to go there once A-Levels are finished. A lot of people will end up in jobs which in no way need the degree that they have studied. It's a waste of money for the student and the taxpayer. They would be better off in work earning money and paying taxes, or in some kind of apprenticeship scheme where they actually learn skills for a job rather than a pointless degree.
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    (Original post by wdywuk)
    Is it not 10% of the difference between the fee charged and £6k?
    I think its between 15% and 30% of the difference. So the maximum that they would have to pay for widening access is £900 (30% and charging £9k). Doesn't really sound like a huge criteria to meet.
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    (Original post by WelshBluebird)

    Right. And how do you decide if a degree is a mickey mouse one or not?
    I explained that in the post you quoted - an independant body would be set up by statute. If you are asking what criteria they would take into account - obviously that would have to be the subject of some serious thought and research, but I would have thought the economic needs of the country (for example there are currently 2 graduate engineering jobs available for every one uk engineering graduate), degrees with a clear social purpose (teaching, medicine) and degrees that lend themselves to economic development (sciences, more highly recognised globally competative courses) would be a start. This is obviously something that would require a good deal of debate and research, but it IS clearly possible to come up with applicable criteria.
    And you may be interested to know that The University Of Abertay Dundee has a very good computer games course that is well respected and accredited by the industry. The problem in that area is other countries like Canada are giving huge tax breaks to games companies, so we are in danger of losing an entire industry that we are good at, and that brings in a lot of money.
    The computer games industry is awesome, but the vast majority of the people it employs are maths and comp sci -related subject graduates, not "computer games design" which tends to attract weaker candidates. Even the Abertay course I think you are referring to is a MSc - you need a bachellors in a programming-heavy degree and clear maths competency to apply. Computer Games undergrad degrees are comparatively worthless.
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    (Original post by HistoryRepeating)
    I explained that in the post you quoted - an independant body would be set up by statute. If you are asking what criteria they would take into account - obviously that would have to be the subject of some serious thought and research, but I would have thought the economic needs of the country (for example there are currently 2 graduate engineering jobs available for every one uk engineering graduate), degrees with a clear social purpose (teaching, medicine) and degrees that lend themselves to economic development (sciences, more highly recognised globally competative courses) would be a start. This is obviously something that would require a good deal of debate and research, but it IS clearly possible to come up with applicable criteria.
    You make it sound so easy. In reality it isn't of course.
    And you also seem to be assuming everyone who does a degree will go into that industry when they graduate. That is not the case. Especially when we have employers asking for "a degree" to get an interview.
    What about something like PPE? No jobs specifically want that, yet it has proven very successful in "training" our MP's etc (although I suppose you could debate how "successful" it has been with what MP's seem to be like these days).

    (Original post by HistoryRepeating)
    The computer games industry is awesome, but the vast majority of the people it employs are maths and comp sci -related subject graduates, not "computer games design" which tends to attract weaker candidates. Even the Abertay course I think you are referring to is a MSc - you need a bachellors in a programming-heavy degree and clear maths competency to apply. Computer Games undergrad degrees are comparatively worthless.
    Nope. Its a BSc. No prior degree needed.
    While I'd agree most computer games degrees are worthless, there are always exceptions, and the Abertay Course is one of them. People have to be careful when they label courses as "mickey mouse" because of examples like this.
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    (Original post by WelshBluebird)
    As I said, the public services they use mainly.
    Schools, hospitals, public transport, local government schemes that benefit them, etc etc.

    Granted some of those do not apply to some people, but on average, someone on minimum wage will "use" more public money than what they pay in tax.
    Do you have a source for this?

    Are you looking at this over a lifetime or on an annual basis?

    Whilst I accept it may be true annually for those on minimum wage, many of whom will be on tax credits, I am deeply sceptical about this being true for most people in working class occupations, which is what you originally said.

    Working people make little call on the NHS; those with children do have the cost of their medical care and education, but the working classes make relatively little call on subsidised public transport and contribute heavily by the surplus that motorists pay over the facilities provided for them. They rarely use any local government services beyond refuse collection and generally don't get value for money from Council Tax. They tend also to spend a higher proportion of their income on VAT.


    They may tell the unis to "go back and improve" on the targets or whatever, but I really can't see OFFA actually stopping unis charging x amount. If there were such strict controls on it, surely they would have announced them already? The only detail actually announced is that possibly £900 of the £9000 fee would have to be spent on "projects to support and recruit students from poorer backgrounds".
    They have actually put out an amazing amount of waffle that could be used to justify anything they have a mind or are inspired by the government to do.

    I am totally cynical about this. If it happens it will be nothing to do with access and everything to do with funding.
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    I heard about Sussex but I did not know about Essex. Rats!:eek: No wonder I have not heard from Stirling.:gasp: I can see Scotland being invaded again by the English in the form of students.:viking:
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    (Original post by WelshBluebird)
    As I said, the public services they use mainly.
    Schools, hospitals, public transport, local government schemes that benefit them, etc etc.

    Granted some of those do not apply to some people, but on average, someone on minimum wage will "use" more public money than what they pay in tax.
    That's great but how do they benefit from funding middle class teenagers' qualifications? The only people that benefits are the well to do middle class teenagers whose families can afford to pay for it anyway.

    Also last time I checked public transport was not free, and middle class people use schools and hospitals as well.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    Do you have a source for this?

    Are you looking at this over a lifetime or on an annual basis?

    Whilst I accept it may be true annually for those on minimum wage, many of whom will be on tax credits, I am deeply sceptical about this being true for most people in working class occupations, which is what you originally said.

    Working people make little call on the NHS; those with children do have the cost of their medical care and education, but the working classes make relatively little call on subsidised public transport and contribute heavily by the surplus that motorists pay over the facilities provided for them. They rarely use any local government services beyond refuse collection and generally don't get value for money from Council Tax. They tend also to spend a higher proportion of their income on VAT.
    No specific source sorry, it is something that has been mentioned by an awful lot of people I have talked to (IRL and online). Never been able to find a definite source though. But the logic does follow. Especially if we are talking about people on lower wages, as they will be more dependent on government handouts, public transport and the NHS (the poorer generally have worse health).
 
 
 
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