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Author Topic: Tution fees  (Read 1139 times)

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Offline boxersforeverTopic starter

Tution fees
« on: November 06, 2010, 08:05:09 AM »
Those of you who are in the UK, what do people think? SHOULD tution fee's be allowd to teble in size? I'm not being condensending but, from what i can tell, these are the two opposing arguments:

For the rise
The last Labour government didnt save when times were good, this means the current government has to do major cut backs, part of this has to be the education system. As a result Universities have to cut back too. To counter this raising tution fee's means more revenue for the universities to be able to spend on new technologies and what not.

Against the rise
Students are already leaving Universitiy with 20,000 worth of debt, a rise in tution fee's means they'll be in even more debt, PLUS the tax payer helps give these students loans and do people want their well earned cash being spent on students?

I, as a student are of course against the rise, they'll come in in my final year at Univerisity, I don't know if they'll be counting my year but we'll see
« Last Edit: November 21, 2010, 11:23:13 AM by Neroon »

Offline Silk

Re: Tution fees
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2010, 03:36:46 AM »
I believe it will only account for students who start in 2012 and onwards, if you started before then your exempt from the fee increase
« Last Edit: November 21, 2010, 11:23:28 AM by Neroon »

Offline Alsheriam

Re: Tution fees
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2010, 04:07:38 AM »
Be thankful - at least your government doesn't give free tuition and lodging to foreign students from China and India who are not obligated to stay on after they satisfy their short 5-year bonds, and justify it by claiming to try to attract long-term 'foreign talent' when it's just kidding itself.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2010, 11:23:43 AM by Neroon »

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Tution fees
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2010, 07:02:59 AM »
Your then going to join the wonderful ranks of Americans who leave school with big debts. But since attending higher education in neither country seems to be a right but a privilege that is fair. Maybe you need to look at expanding scholarship options, have two year community colleges and other options other than university now if that is going to be the case.

« Last Edit: November 21, 2010, 11:23:56 AM by Neroon »

Offline Noelle

Re: Tution fees
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2010, 01:46:12 PM »
Sending people to college is in not only your, but everyone's benefit. Saying "you chose to go, it's a privilege, so deal with it," is very dangerous and extremely ignorant thing to say, given the very people that not only support, but improve your quality of life and also extend it by years are college-educated individuals. Unskilled labor may be important to maintaining basic functions, but unskilled laborers aren't performing surgery or representing you in a court of law. The point of keeping tuition low is so that college not only becomes more accessible for all (and if I recall, Ruby, you do tend to show sympathy for those in poverty), but so that those who DO use their college education to contribute back into society aren't burdened by debt to the point that they can't support themselves.

With that said, though I don't live in the UK, I think it's always in a country's best interest to support their students and do everything they can to encourage their success since theirs basically in turn predicts the country's future success. College isn't an elitist society anymore, it's practically a standard for many kids to be able to get a decent job. With loans and scholarships, I was able to get into a decent university despite the fact that I come from modest means, but that doesn't mean that the debt burden is going to be easy. Education should never be cut off from those who want to pursue it.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2010, 11:24:18 AM by Neroon »

Offline Neroon

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Re: Tution fees
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2010, 08:28:37 AM »
There are lots of good points here, though I fear that the basic premise underlying it (and the whole expansion of higher education in the last quarter century) is becoming out of date.  Forgive me if I'm misinterpreting what you're saying or putting words into your mouth, that's not my intention.  I think that we (and society in general) needs to be aware of a shift in how higher education is perceived by large corporations, particularly in the UK.

As recently as the 1980s, it was true that a degree was a passport to a better life.  On average, graduates earned more than non-graduates and were more socially mobile.  Admittedly, graduates were also a small part of the population: in 1985 less than 20% of eighteen year-olds started degree courses.  Those that did so were either privileged (I'm afraid that the rich always gt things easy) or had to really work to get past the problems of their backgrounds to compete, since the A' level exams on which the universities made their offers were norm-referenced rather than criterion referenced.  Similialrly so too was the university grading system.  Thus a first class degree meant that you were in the top ten percent of the eighteen or so percent of people that went to university.

Currently, it is about 53% of eighteen year-olds in the UK that start degree courses and the degrees themselves are criterion referenced (rightly so in my opinion). So the value of the degree is diminished in the eyes of most employers who remain elitist in their beliefs about whom they should employ.  Simply, they want the best and so are increasingly looking to higher degrees as a baseline for jobs which, in the past, a bachelors degree would have sufficed.  In other words a form of qualification inflation has set in, which explains why the UK faces unprecidented rates of graduate unemployment at the moment.

This situation is sadly exacerbated by the ridiculous way by the fact that universities are paid by students for their tuition.  Given the way that these costs are increasing, each student asks himself (or herself) if it is worth going into debt to pay for a course where the pass rate is lower than that for another degree.  There are reasons for saying yes to that: a genuine love of the subject, the desire for the prestige of having gone to a particular university or the simple need for a particular degree to pursue a chosen career are good examples.  However, it is not unreasonable to see that the universities are faced with a conflict of interest.  If they adopt high standards when awarding degrees, fewer students will pass/get the class of degree they desire.  Consequently, fewer students will apply to the university in future years and so the university will face a large loss in income.  Even if universities do not succumb to the temptation to make their degrees easier (and there is no evidence that they do, quite the opposite in fact), there is a problem in that the commercial world has the perception that they are.  Thus degrees now are diminished career-buying currency.

Moreover, back when universities were funded by capitation (i.e. a direct grant from the government per student), students didn't feel like they were paying for their degrees and so were more likely to take courses that were more challenging.  For example, in the 80s, Keele University was known for having the highest proportion of first class degrees of UK universities.  The effect of this was that students avoided the place because the perception was that a first from Keele was worth less than an upper second from other universities.  In the years since tuition fees have been introduced, Keele has become one of the more popular universities for undergraduates.  Similarly, physics was a well subscribed course in the 80s whereas now schools careers advisors are told to push students into considering physics because it is so unpopular.  The statement they quote is that even if every physics graduate were to enter teaching for the next nine years, there will still be a shortage in qualified physics teachers in schools.  Which is why I, a virologist by training, have to teach physics to the 16-18 year-olds at my school as well as subjects more in keeping with my experience.

Of course, with so many students going to university today, the old system of grants and capitation is simply not sustainable.  It was barely sustainable in the 80s.  One answer is to reduce the number of places; it will certainly reduce costs and make employees wih degrees more desirable.  However, it will also mean that access to degrees is going to be less likely for working class students and there will be a large cutback in employment at universities.  With fewer students, fewer lecturers and administrative staff will be needed.  Somehow, I doubt that this will be a politically acceptable solution.

One simple thing might be to have a single authority which sets standards for degree courses.  This would remove the perceived conflict of interest with universities being paid by those to whom they award degrees.  If an outside body judges the students, there is no conflict.  Admittedly, with the coalition's "onfire of the quangos" I can't see that this will happen either.

So the UK is faced with a higher education system which is a) becoing less and less fit for purpose and b) becoming more and more inaccessible to students of modest means.  My daughter is starting to look at universities to go to when she finishes her A levels.  The advice I'm giving her is to look at those in the Netherlands.  Aside from it doing her good to live abroad for a few years, the quality of tuition is as good, the degrees are less likely to be perceived poorly and the fees are a lot less. 
« Last Edit: November 21, 2010, 11:24:30 AM by Neroon »

Offline Alsheriam

Re: Tution fees
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2010, 04:07:32 PM »
Netherlands eh?

How do you rate the universities there? While I'm in a US college system, the tuition is kind of exorbitant and looking at the tuition rates in the Netherlands, it really shocked me. But the crux of the matter is: are the universities credible? Which universities in the Netherlands in particular are you looking at? Because I know next to nothing about the education in the Netherlands and some guidance would be awesome.

Offline Neroon

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Re: Tution fees
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2010, 12:21:45 PM »
This report was what has made me consider it. My daughter is looking in detail and was quite impressed with the idea of Maastricht, mentioned in the report, though I have to say that I wan't particularly impressed with the town when I visited ten years ago.  The other one she liked the look of was Eindhoven.

The site she's been using for her research was: http://www.topuniversities.com/country-guides/netherlands

Offline mystictiger

Re: Tution fees
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2010, 05:38:10 PM »
Depending on subject - and speaking from personal experience - KU Leuven is one of the finest educational establishments on the continent. Granted it's slightly off-topic given that it's Belgian - certain classes are purely taught in English and would have comparable fees to any Dutch uni.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2010, 06:14:52 PM by mystictiger »

Offline Fizz

Re: Tution fees
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2010, 03:49:07 PM »
I think that it's not very fair for students to pay excessive amounts of money for what is going to be a large part of getting ahead in a career, education should not exclusively be the domain of the wealthy.

I don't agree with the government paying all the fee's flat out however, seeing as the minority of the population go to uni, it would be benefiting the few in an economic crisis.

Offline Alsheriam

Re: Tution fees
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2010, 01:42:19 PM »
But then again it's the graduates you need to start pushing the economy forward once again.

The situation is made worse in the UK when it's a combination of denying higher education to people because of much higher costs, and bowing down to public emotivist pressure and cut off immigration of skilled and qualified immigrants who possess the skills that many Britons do not, because so many of its youth are too preoccupied with being chavs/yobs/scum of the earth.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Tution fees
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2010, 04:01:58 PM »
I don't agree with the government paying all the fee's flat out however, seeing as the minority of the population go to uni, it would be benefiting the few in an economic crisis.

Errrr.

I don't know which country you're referring to, but in the U.S., more need to be encouraged to finish college - and this includes taking care of the cost. The majority of the population (90%) graduates high school but only 30% graduates college? That's actually somewhat shameful.

Source:

Offline Star Safyre

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Re: Tution fees
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2010, 05:15:50 PM »
I would love for my country (the United States) to fund my continued education.  I had no issue getting funding to earn my AA and BA, but finding funding for a MA is seriously seeming impossible.  The closest university that offers my degree wants $1,000 a credit hour.  I know education is an investment; I'm an educator myself.  But a $62,000 investment?  That's about two year's salary for me.  Speaking from an economic perspective, I would imagine that the difficulty of the coursework would be enough to lower demand to the point where the cost would be more affordable than that, but clearly this isn't so.

If grading were not as often subjective as it is, I would encourage government aid for students who pass their courses with rising fees based on poorer grades.  Non-standardization of course materials and assessments make this a bit of a pipe dream, and I am not about to advocate for the restriction of academic freedoms based on cost.

Offline Alsheriam

Re: Tution fees
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2010, 05:31:26 PM »
62 grand over two years? I'm looking at an average of 35 grand per year for US college as an international student. :P And that's just for my BA. Dad wants me to stick around and get a MA too if possible, but I'm not so sure.


Offline Star Safyre

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Re: Tution fees
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2010, 08:02:04 PM »
62 grand over two years? I'm looking at an average of 35 grand per year for US college as an international student. :P And that's just for my BA. Dad wants me to stick around and get a MA too if possible, but I'm not so sure.

In hindsight, I should have moved directly from my BA to an MA program while I still had my family's full backing (and free room and board) rather than now when I'm an independent adult and will have to rely on my and my husband's income.  Also, I should have picked a field and stuck with it.  This would be my third change in field.  Not just job, not just career, a third change in field.  It felt like an organic interest growth pattern at the time, but it's hard to explain to an admissions councilor how organic a move from Mass Communications to English Literature to School Psychology actually is for me.