England's coming revolution in university funding-profs and students quaking!

patslatt

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Today's Daily Telegraph has a headline story about the main recommendations of the government commissioned Browne Report on university funding http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/8057885/Lord-Browne-review-cost-of-university-tuition-will-hit-36000.html . Those recommendations are revolutionary:
-Virtually all direct taxpayer funding of universities will be removed,making universities self reliant instead of wards of the state
-To make up for the loss of funding,universities will probably have to charge tuition fees of £7,000 a year,with "elite degrees" charging £12,000
-Mortgage style loans will be available at interest rates of 2% above inflation [cheap given the high default rates] and repayments will be at 9% of earnings above £21,000
-To protect graduates on low incomes,only about 40% of university graduates will pay off their entire loans
-Low and middle income households earning up to about £60,000 will qualify for government grants to help with tuition costs [mimics generous "bursaries" of US Ivy League colleges]
-Only students meeting a minimum entry standard will qualify for loans [to be diluted by Labour!]
-Weak universities expected to contract or close down
-Universities will have to publish figures showing average salary and employment prospects [room for fudging eg Philosophy graduate who becomes a bond trader in his 30s and makes millions]
-System would discourage universities from charging more than £6,000 or £7,000 annually by forcing them to return a large portion to the government [Very negative for top universities which have most to lose in direct funding]
-What remains of central government funding is likely to be heavily targetted to medicine,science,technology and other specialist areas [a philistine attitude that spells the end of subjects of cultural interest such as Classical Studies?]

The Association of Lecturers says the measures would "severely damage higher education in the UK..." It didn't mention the prospect that many of its members would be sacked!

Will the Irish universities and third level colleges with their magnificent salaries and pensions be forced to face the rigours of the marketplace like the English,albeit a subsidised market demand?
 
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Squire Allworthy

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Those recommendations are revolutionary:
-Virtually all direct taxpayer funding of universities will be removed,making universities self reliant instead of wards of the state
That sounds reasonable



-Low and middle income households earning up to about £60,000 will qualify for government grants to help with tuition costs [mimics generous "bursaries" of US Ivy League colleges]
Essential, the system must encourage the able from all backgrounds.


-Only students meeting a minimum entry standard will qualify for loans [to be diluted by Labour!]
Common sense you would think, I could go on about the children of the wealthy being educated beyond their ability and occupying places in good universities and depriving more able of opportunity.

-Weak universities expected to contract or close down
About time.

-Universities will have to publish figures showing average salary and employment prospects [room for fudging eg Philosophy graduate who becomes a bond trader in his 30s and makes millions]
How do they produce anything meaningful? It is open to all sorts of distortions. Money they earn through dent of labour or money they earn through wealth? Apart from that whilst eventual earnings is a consideration for most this sort of emphasis is at best misguided.

-What remains of central government funding is likely to be heavily targetted to medicine,science,technology and other specialist areas [a philistine attitude that spells the end of subjects of cultural interest such as Classical Studies?]
Why finance subjects that are basically hobbies?


I have heard people describe the current education and qualification regime as a qualification bubble. The more qualifications, in circulation the less any of them are worth. That of course is before we consider pointless and poorly devised courses.

The devil in this will be in the detail. Personally I believe there is an over emphasis in University education and that many who go there would perhaps be better suited elsewhere?
 

LeDroit

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I so envy the UK population at present. They have a radical and courageous coalition govt slaughtering sacred cows day after day. And we have FF/Greens. :(
 

Chrisco

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Not bad reforms. Gets rid of a lot of bloody art students.
Yeah, what we need are more people with BComms, like yer man that did so well with that oul bank there; Anglo was it called...?
 

j26

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And so continues Englands slide down the toilet...

In 20 years investors will weigh up the quality of the education system, and they won't be impressed.
 

Chrisco

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And so continues Englands slide down the toilet...

In 20 years investors will weigh up the quality of the education system, and they won't be impressed.
Yeah, putting in more money per student is going to destroy it....
 

firefighter

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People who spew crap such as "bloody arts students" are ignorant buffoons who don't know the difference between a qualification and an education. Usually it's because they don't understand the collegiate nature of university life as they've never experienced it themselves and are slightly bitter. Read Cardinal Newman's "Idea of a University".

Oxford and Cambridge won't be affected by this one bit. Trinity College, Cambridge for example has a trust fund of about £1bn. They don't spend money on anything unless they have a trust to back it up. E.g. a professor's salary of £100k per annum needs a trust of ~£5m - the 100k can be taken out each year and the trust still maintains itself against inflation. Of course the smart thing to do is to have a £6m trust that grows over time. Which is what Oxbridge do.

Education for the masses has failed. Why should taxpayers pay for it? The meaning of the word "university" has utterly changed. For the worse IMO.

Here in Ireland, the last bastions of proper university life include Trinity College, the Royal University (now UCD - I use Royal "University" because that was a proper university given the fullest sense of the word, UCC and Maynooth (which both still maintain remnants of the collegiate nature of proper universities).

UL, DCU, and all the ITs dotted evenly around the country are full of deluded people who live in the future and 3rd rate "lecturers" who haven't written a quality research paper in years and some, who have never written a paper in their lives. The pensions and tea breaks are great though.

Bill Gates has some very interesting stuff to say on universities in the modern world. In particular, the growth of e-learning and continual professional development facilitated by the internet. Organisations like the Open University are thriving and I have a lot of time for the work that they do.

Anyway, the Labour policy of the 1990s has failed. Nobody will be willing to pay €5k to €10k a year for a 3rd rate education in a local IT which will result in their inevitable decline and that, for everyone, will be a good thing.

Nothing like a good apprenticeship in an expanding organisation when you're 18. I've seen people joining the bank at 18 ending up on the trading room floor on full salary + commission at 22, alongside B€$$ and BComm entitlement graduates working for €20k on "graduate programs".
 

johntrenchard

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I so envy the UK population at present. They have a radical and courageous coalition govt slaughtering sacred cows day after day. And we have FF/Greens. :(
darn interesting stance on the universities alright.

but there is an ideological side to all of this - the conservatives fully understand that the universities are hotbeds of radical leftism and more dangerously, radical Islamism (cos the far-left are in bed with the Jihadist nutjobs)

and thats being supported by the taxpayer. its not in the conservative party's interest to have this farce go on any more. and the conservatives also believe it's not in the countries interest either.

now the universities will feel the full brunt of market forces, and will actually have to grow up and earn an living. like the rest of the population.

i for one think its a smart move - american universities are all private and they arent short of a bob or two , and have been major engines of growth in the U.S. economy e.g. Stanford or MIT - it's obvious that the conservatives want to copy this U.S. model. So, its both for ideological AND economic reasons.
 

Chrisco

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Ever hear of Penn State? University of California? Michigan etc etc etc etc :roll:
 

Squire Allworthy

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People who spew crap such as "bloody arts students" are ignorant buffoons who don't know the difference between a qualification and an education. Usually it's because they don't understand the collegiate nature of university life as they've never experienced it themselves and are slightly bitter. Read Cardinal Newman's "Idea of a University".
Not bitter just teasing, your hobby is probably about as relevant as mine. (anyone with a name from Tom Jones shouldn't be taken too seriously!)

With regards the difference between an education and a qualification, now there is an interesting subject. It is surprising what in life turns out to be educational.

By the way agree with the thrust of the rest of your post.
 

Goban Saor

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Yeah, what we need are more people with BComms, like yer man that did so well with that oul bank there; Anglo was it called...?
Didnt say that. If education is privatised then I dont care what they learn. But If I am being taxed then I want them to do sciences.

People who spew crap such as "bloody arts students" are ignorant buffoons who don't know the difference between a qualification and an education. Usually it's because they don't understand the collegiate nature of university life as they've never experienced it themselves and are slightly bitter. Read Cardinal Newman's "Idea of a University".
Take hippie nonsense somewhere else. We dont need more braindead academics ranting theories and nonsense. If you like English lit then a book and dont come to me to fund your hobby.
 

Thac0man

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The UK is basically heading down the road of US universities. In terms of international and domestic academic success one has to admit that US universities do far better.

There is in the UK and indeed Ireland a huge over production of near pointless arts graduates. On the back of a recent report that employers find graduate students communiction skills well below par, one has to further question that practice and the focus of all universities in both the UK and Ireland.

But in terms of proformance our university system has been under greater criticism, most notably from employers like Intel. The cost of producing graduates has gone up, the suitability of those graduates has gone down. On another level we do not produce enough of the right qualifications (even the flawed ones) to fuel our economy because no number of Arts grads can do the job of an African doctor brought in to fill a vacancy for which there is no suitable Irish candidate. So developing and 3rd world countries fill the gaping hole left by our university system, the administers of which have made no ackowledgement of the fact a problem exists and produced no plan to alter the current system.

Universities and indeed the degrees they produce seem to have become an end in themselves. An expensive and unproductive folly that as a nation we will pay double for.

Good luck to the UK on this. They will see the benefits that we can only dream of.
 

Chrisco

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The Association of Lecturers says the measures would "severely damage higher education in the UK..." It didn't mention the prospect that many of its members would be sacked!
Could you point to the bit in the report that indicates that?
 

Chrisco

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Didnt say that. If education is privatised then I dont care what they learn. But If I am being taxed then I want them to do sciences.
I am a taxpayer and I am happy with people studying Arts. So now what do we do?

If you like English lit then a book and dont come to me to fund your hobby.
Was it Leaving Cert English that stopped you getting into College, or were there other fails as well?
 

Clanrickard

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Usually it's because they don't understand the collegiate nature of university life as they've never experienced it themselves and are slightly bitter. Read Cardinal Newman's "Idea of a University".
.
Yes nothing beats a natter in the quad and dinner afterwords in the common room. What ho old chap! The fact that you have dredged up a 19th century religious fanatic to justify your outdated views sums it up. If you want to study hobby courses let you pay for it not the taxpayer. Hopefully this will see Women's Studies and Ethnic Studies binned for good.
 

Chrisco

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Yes nothing beats a natter in the quad and dinner afterwords in the common room. What ho old chap! The fact that you have dredged up a 19th century religious fanatic to justify your outdated views sums it up. If you want to study hobby courses let you pay for it not the taxpayer. Hopefully this will see Women's Studies and Ethnic Studies binned for good.
Firstly, there is no such discipline in Ireland as Ethnic Studies.

Secondly, there is only one Women's Studies course in the country, which is a shame really, as no matter what the WE Forum report says, Ireland does not have enough prominent women in public life and private enterprise, and an examination of why is certainly not time wasted.
 

A view from England

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I so envy the UK population at present. They have a radical and courageous coalition govt slaughtering sacred cows day after day. And we have FF/Greens. :(
The Government will be brutal in the forthcoming spending review. This is good. Personally I will lose out but am prepared to do this for the good of the economy as a whole. Under the previous Government, the Public Sector grew by millions of non-jobs and therefore billions of pounds in costs that were not required (Diversity Officers etc). The ConDem Alliance will tackle this. By looking at the bigger picture rather than just me me me I see how the UK economy can get over this period of austerity. I believe it will take 5-7 years to get back on track, dependent on growth and investment in home grown manufacturing. What we need at this time is private sector growth and public sector cuts. We can't afford our public sector at this time. Thankfully in Cameron and Clegg we have the politicans with big enough balls to do what is neccessary. In time they will be remebered for the good they did. In the short term they will be vilified by the Left and their fellow travellers (BBC, C4 ann The Guardian).
 

Delarivier

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If tuition fees in British universities are significantly higher than the EU fees for students in Ireland, we will be deluged with British applicants. Northern students in particular will head south, and Dublin would be a handy option for anyone in North Wales or the north of England.
 

Squire Allworthy

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The quality and the content of many courses, science, maths and applied included, do have to be questioned. Universities have themselves vested interests and are in many ways self serving. All degrees are not equal and I have severe doubts about courses and Universities that have very low entry criteria.

Some people may be better in a different field of training and others may be better returning to education when more mature. So there are issues involving the totality of education available.

I can also see little problem in a country deciding to prioritise certain courses, for there is no doubt in my mind that there are an inadequate number of people in many areas.

The distinction that Firefighter makes between an education and a qualification is an important one. With it comes the question of which the country should be financing and why can't a University education be both?

At school there were people who were good at classics and similar. They then went up to University to study those subjects. Very few end up in employment directly related to what they studied. They have a different and more expert outlook on some issues so the understanding of society is widened and to my mind that is good.

My own background is science and maths based and my degrees are applied. There is no doubt that many Science and Engineering courses are decidedly nerdish. The problem with education is how do you develop people with good all round interests and a sound general knowledge. This problem starts much earlier than Universities.

I also wonder if the content of some courses should be widened or greater emphasis be given on students getting involved in the various societies at University? Should it be a requirement aimed at producing more rounded individuals?


Interesting thread wish I had more time.
 


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