Farage to Scrap Tuition Fees for STEM Subjects

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Just scrolling on Facebook and came across this:

"Today we learned that 4 in 5 new NHS nurses have been recruited from abroad in the past year. While we should be grateful that there are people willing to come and work in our NHS, it speaks volumes as to how successive governments have let down British people aspiring to jobs in healthcare.

So share these facts:

-- In order to ensure the NHS is well staffed, and that jobs are filled by domestic workers and topped up by foreign labour – not relying upon it – UKIP will scrap tuition fees for people studying STEM subjects, which includes medical degrees.

-- UKIP will ensure foreign health service professionals are properly qualified, and are able to speak English to a standard acceptable to the profession.

-- UKIP would reinstate the State Enrolled Nurse, utilising the current pool of auxiliary staff, allowing them to work and train on the wards whilst gaining accreditation.

UKIP will fight for the NHS, and for NHS workers, now and in the future. Share the facts."

^ From the Nigel Farage Facebook Page.

So I think we'd all agree getting rid of tuition fees is a good thing, right? The question is, do any of us believe UKIP will actually do this and pursue this policy? Will it encourage other parties to follow like they have with other policies?

I've always thought STEM should be exempt since it is so crucial to future prosperity of this country. Does it sway your voting intentions?
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HigherMinion
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This is perhaps the best move they could ever make. Promoting STEM and removing tuition fees in one go will do so much for the economy and the country in general. Less crazy by promoting science and engineering- benefits everyone.

As to whether they would go through with it- I am positive they would. UKIP care about business, and STEM fields are the most important for any real growth. It would also reduce the amount of people going for pointless Liberal Arts degrees. Kills two birds with one stone.

Secondly, they have seen what happens when you don't come out on your promises of tuition fees (see: Lib Dems tanked)
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Rakas21
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Great. Now how do they plan to pay for it and how do they plan to rectify the issue that STE graduates will still be leaving uni with questionable literacy and numeracy and no experience.

Skills shortage does not solely mean graduate shortage.
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Harvey Dent
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If it'll encourage people to actually take meaningful degrees instead of wasting public money on tuition fee loans for a Media Studies 2:2 then yep, fantastic move.
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saayagain
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(Original post by will2348)
Just scrolling on Facebook and came across this:

"Today we learned that 4 in 5 new NHS nurses have been recruited from abroad in the past year. While we should be grateful that there are people willing to come and work in our NHS, it speaks volumes as to how successive governments have let down British people aspiring to jobs in healthcare.

So share these facts:

-- In order to ensure the NHS is well staffed, and that jobs are filled by domestic workers and topped up by foreign labour – not relying upon it – UKIP will scrap tuition fees for people studying STEM subjects, which includes medical degrees.

-- UKIP will ensure foreign health service professionals are properly qualified, and are able to speak English to a standard acceptable to the profession.

-- UKIP would reinstate the State Enrolled Nurse, utilising the current pool of auxiliary staff, allowing them to work and train on the wards whilst gaining accreditation.

UKIP will fight for the NHS, and for NHS workers, now and in the future. Share the facts."

^ From the Nigel Farage Facebook Page.

So I think we'd all agree getting rid of tuition fees is a good thing, right? The question is, do any of us believe UKIP will actually do this and pursue this policy? Will it encourage other parties to follow like they have with other policies?

I've always thought STEM should be exempt since it is so crucial to future prosperity of this country. Does it sway your voting intentions?
It's *******s. The job market is not state controlled therefore the extra graduates will saturate the market, if it isn't already saturated, and these graduates will end up emigrating or being used in alternative sectors like what happens now.
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james22
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There are plenty of people doing STEM degrees, the problem is there aren't enough good candidates taking them.

This is a stupid move, the money for these degrees has to come from somewhere and UKIP seems to be all about cutting taxes and raising expendeture.
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Smack
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Whilst it's a nice sound bite there are a number of problems with this approach.

Firstly, people always seem to lump STEM together as if as a collection of degree subjects they all have identical career prospects. They don't. They're quite markedly different. You're not going to become a marine biologist with a degree in engineering. You're not going to become an electrical engineer with a degree in chemistry. We need to look specifically at where the skills shortages are, not just the broad brush of "STEM", and see how we can tackle them.

Secondly, regarding the NHS, don't they already pay for the tuition fees of people studying medicine, nursing and other subjects allied to healthcare? If there's a shortage of doctors, it's certainly not because nobody wants to become a doctor...

Thirdly, on average STEM graduates have better prospects than other graduates. Therefore I think because of this we certainly shouldn't be paying less than our arts, humanities, social sciences etc. counterparts for our degrees. I think the system we have at the moment, where all degrees cost the same, is the fairest in that it does not persuade people to study something or not study something on the basis of cost alone.
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chrisawhitmore
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(Original post by Smack)
Whilst it's a nice sound bite there are a number of problems with this approach.

Firstly, people always seem to lump STEM together as if as a collection of degree subjects they all have identical career prospects. They don't. They're quite markedly different. You're not going to become a marine biologist with a degree in engineering. You're not going to become an electrical engineer with a degree in chemistry. We need to look specifically at where the skills shortages are, not just the broad brush of "STEM", and see how we can tackle them.

Secondly, regarding the NHS, don't they already pay for the tuition fees of people studying medicine, nursing and other subjects allied to healthcare? If there's a shortage of doctors, it's certainly not because nobody wants to become a doctor...

Thirdly, on average STEM graduates have better prospects than other graduates. Therefore I think because of this we certainly shouldn't be paying less than our arts, humanities, social sciences etc. counterparts for our degrees. I think the system we have at the moment, where all degrees cost the same, is the fairest in that it does not persuade people to study something or not study something on the basis of cost alone.
Only going to address the third point.

Why should degrees which give better return to the government get the same investment as those with poor return? STEM have better career prospects, get paid more, pay more tax. So they should get more government funding to start with. That's how you get value for money on university education. You give money to the stuff with the most value.
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AntiMonarchist
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But they're racist sexist homophobic fascist nazis!!!!!!!1111 and %%@@%%& and Murdoch and bankers ^^$££@((
and vote Milliband or Green and they'll sort it out
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Smack
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(Original post by chrisawhitmore)
Only going to address the third point.

Why should degrees which give better return to the government get the same investment as those with poor return? STEM have better career prospects, get paid more, pay more tax. So they should get more government funding to start with. That's how you get value for money on university education. You give money to the stuff with the most value.
The short answer is that the government does invest far more into STEM degrees. STEM degrees are (sometimes vastly) more expensive to run than other degrees, and are effectively subsidised by humanities students and the like paying equal fees to STEM students, hence not forcing STEM students to bear the full financial burden.
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MagicNMedicine
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So will Farage come out before the election and say to David Cameron that he will only prop up a minority Conservative government or join a Coalition if he agrees to scrap tuition fees for STEM subjects?
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MagicNMedicine
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(Original post by chrisawhitmore)
Why should degrees which give better return to the government get the same investment as those with poor return? STEM have better career prospects, get paid more, pay more tax. So they should get more government funding to start with.
If STEM degrees have better career prospects and lead to people earning more then government doesn't need to subsidise them to make people take them up. People will naturally take STEM degrees because of the better earning potential.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by Smack)
Whilst it's a nice sound bite there are a number of problems with this approach.

Firstly, people always seem to lump STEM together as if as a collection of degree subjects they all have identical career prospects. They don't. They're quite markedly different. You're not going to become a marine biologist with a degree in engineering. You're not going to become an electrical engineer with a degree in chemistry. We need to look specifically at where the skills shortages are, not just the broad brush of "STEM", and see how we can tackle them.

Secondly, regarding the NHS, don't they already pay for the tuition fees of people studying medicine, nursing and other subjects allied to healthcare? If there's a shortage of doctors, it's certainly not because nobody wants to become a doctor...

Thirdly, on average STEM graduates have better prospects than other graduates. Therefore I think because of this we certainly shouldn't be paying less than our arts, humanities, social sciences etc. counterparts for our degrees. I think the system we have at the moment, where all degrees cost the same, is the fairest in that it does not persuade people to study something or not study something on the basis of cost alone.
On the medicine point I was reading in one of the immigrant bashing threads that there are only 20,000 training places for medicine graduates. The implication being that government would rather employ cheaper labour than employ all medicine graduates,
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welcometoib
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as someone who studies a non stem subject, I still agree with those plans. So many degrees should not be open, and im not bashing media studies like everyone else, its boring to hear that one degree again and again, there are whole universities that shouldn't be opened in the first place nvm just specific degrees.
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Chlorophile
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Ignoring for a moment the flagrant hypocrisy of the UK's most anti-science party promoting STEM degrees, I don't understand this demonisation of non-STEM degrees or perhaps instead, this worship of STEM degrees. Taking a STEM degree does not instantly make you valuable to society and not taking a STEM degree doesn't remove your ability to be constructive to society. We should be promoting the intrinsic importance of independent thought and academia rather than simply deciding that only one flavour is worth learning. STEM subjects contribute more to the economy - great. Education isn't a business decision. We don't educate people so they can make a killing in the city, we educate people to help them to think and develop. If that has positive economic consequences then that's great, but it is not the prime motivator.

A lot of people seem to be supporting this because of some of the "easy" degrees they've read about in the popular press. These people do not seem to realise that there is a middle ground between effectively removing all value from non-STEM degrees and allowing the proliferation of "easy" degrees.
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chrisawhitmore
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(Original post by Chlorophile)
Ignoring for a moment the flagrant hypocrisy of the UK's most anti-science party promoting STEM degrees, I don't understand this demonisation of non-STEM degrees or perhaps instead, this worship of STEM degrees. Taking a STEM degree does not instantly make you valuable to society and not taking a STEM degree doesn't remove your ability to be constructive to society. We should be promoting the intrinsic importance of independent thought and academia rather than simply deciding that only one flavour is worth learning. STEM subjects contribute more to the economy - great. Education isn't a business decision. We don't educate people so they can make a killing in the city, we educate people to help them to think and develop. If that has positive economic consequences then that's great, but it is not the prime motivator.

A lot of people seem to be supporting this because of some of the "easy" degrees they've read about in the popular press. These people do not seem to realise that there is a middle ground between effectively removing all value from non-STEM degrees and allowing the proliferation of "easy" degrees.
In what way are they anti-science? They have a poor history on climate change, but still manage to propose an energy policy which would be better for reducing pollution than any other party. Apart from that they've been robust in their support of science (they're also the only party I've seen backing the idea of thorium reactor research).

If you want anti-science parties, try the Greens. They'd pull funding from drug tests involving animals, ban GM and stop new nuclear plants.
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HigherMinion
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(Original post by Chlorophile)
Taking a STEM degree does not instantly make you valuable to society and not taking a STEM degree doesn't remove your ability to be constructive to society. We should be promoting the intrinsic importance of independent thought and academia rather than simply deciding that only one flavour is worth learning. STEM subjects contribute more to the economy - great. Education isn't a business decision. We don't educate people so they can make a killing in the city, we educate people to help them to think and develop.
Actually, you're wrong. I don't understand why you believe STEM subjects=inner city business, because that's not the case. We're not talking about business studies or accountancy.

The reason liberal arts degrees are so disliked is their utter uselessness outside academic circles. Hell, going in to plumbing, IT or carpentry is more useful than liberal arts degrees. They function on a parasitic level; no ability to create anything on their own- only criticise what already exists.

This isn't to say, by the way, that the people trained in STEM would not also branch out into academic paths. They would more likely be able to discuss reality in a less ideologically blinding way, however, unlike the individuals who take sociology or women studies.
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AstroNandos
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Taken straight from the UKIP website:

"– Subject to academic performance UKIP will remove tuition fees for students taking approved degrees in science, medicine, technology, engineering, maths on the condition that they live, work and pay tax in the UK for five years after the completion of their degrees."

he removal of the tuition fees is subject to academic performance and in approved degrees in the STEM field. It encourages more people taking more important STEM degrees who will be more likely to succeed at them.
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addylad
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(Original post by Rakas21)
Great. Now how do they plan to pay for it and how do they plan to rectify the issue that STE graduates will still be leaving uni with questionable literacy and numeracy and no experience.

Skills shortage does not solely mean graduate shortage.
This is the thing. We need to be pushing for more STEM skilled people, not more STEM graduates. Basically: apprenticeships.

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Chlorophile
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(Original post by chrisawhitmore)
In what way are they anti-science? They have a poor history on climate change, but still manage to propose an energy policy which would be better for reducing pollution than any other party. Apart from that they've been robust in their support of science (they're also the only party I've seen backing the idea of thorium reactor research).

If you want anti-science parties, try the Greens. They'd pull funding from drug tests involving animals, ban GM and stop new nuclear plants.
First of all, I don't see why you're trying to sweep their climate change policy into the corner - that's a pretty big deal! I'd be very interested in seeing why you think their energy policy is better for reducing pollution since I can't see anything on their list of policies on their website that supports that assertion in the slightest? Thorium Power is a buzzword and I'm fairly certain that this is precisely why UKIP are supporting it (if they even are, I can't find it mentioned on their website) - so many people are acting as if nuclear fusion or thorium power are some kind of energy panacea but they really aren't. And the Green Party are absolutely not anti-science in the slightest. First of all, they're the only party actually advocating significant increases in science and research funding whereas the other parties are probably going to continue the trend of depriving science of money. They are the only party that actually supports a sustainable energy policy. I don't completely agree with them being anti-nuclear but I'd much rather have an anti-nuclear party in power than parties that continue to advocate investment into fossil fuels (a.k.a. UKIP).

With regard to GM food, I also don't 100% support the idea of totally banning them, but I also don't think it's a terrible idea. A lot of people have built up this picture of the Green Party as being some kind of amish group terrified of messing with God but that's absolutely wrong and not why they oppose GM food. There are two main (sensible) reasons why opposition to GM crops makes sense. First of all, they can cross-breed with existing wildlife which could be incredibly dangerous. For instance, the last thing we want is having some kind of pondweed getting pesticide immunity and causing mass-anoxia in our lake and river systems. Secondly, whilst GM looks great in principle and people are very fond of talking about drought resistant crops that are saving "millions of lives", a lot of people don't seem to be aware of the fact that, as the Green Party says, "GMOs tend to secure large profits for a few multinational companies, rather than making farming easier or more efficient". If GMOs were there for the sole good of humanity and the environment then I'd completely agree with them. But they're not, and I've heard too many cases of corporations using them simply to further exploit people, to accept them. A classic case is a US corporation selling drought-resistant seeds to farmers in Africa, except those seeds have a "kill-gene" in them which makes the plant commit suicide every year so the farmer has to go back to the corporation to get more seeds, bearing in mind that most of them are in crippling poverty to the point of starving to death. If we're not able to use GMOs responsibly then I'd rather we not use them at all.

(Original post by HigherMinion)
Actually, you're wrong. I don't understand why you believe STEM subjects=inner city business, because that's not the case. We're not talking about business studies or accountancy.

The reason liberal arts degrees are so disliked is their utter uselessness outside academic circles. Hell, going in to plumbing, IT or carpentry is more useful than liberal arts degrees. They function on a parasitic level; no ability to create anything on their own- only criticise what already exists.

This isn't to say, by the way, that the people trained in STEM would not also branch out into academic paths. They would more likely be able to discuss reality in a less ideologically blinding way, however, unlike the individuals who take sociology or women studies.
I'm not entirely sure why you're talking about liberal arts degrees, barely any universities offer liberal arts programs in the UK...
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