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Imperial fees u-turn - students to pay ?10k

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
Oct 14 2002 16:04
 

Sir Richard planning to charge ?10k top-up fees. College Council to vote on proposals this Friday.

Click Here for the Full Article

1. Tim   
Oct 14 2002 18:55
 

The American Empire System is soon taking over the British Education System.......

BRACE YOURSELF FOR AMERICANISM!

2. anon   
Oct 14 2002 19:02
 

So, Sen's done it agian.

First there was the Clayponds incident, now this. Who knows what is actually going on in that boy's head?

And now the test for the union starts. Either it responds in an intelligent and appropriate manner, or is deemed by all to be a puppet of the College and is shat upon from a great hieght. I know what option I'll be gambling on.

What sort of a statement was that on the Union website? Wishey washey management speak is helping no-body at the moment, well, that is apart from Sen's chances of getting a job with the new uber-college...

Oct 14 2002 19:38
 

Having written a lengthy reply (sorry but i enjoy ranting) on the OTHER MOTHER F*****G HUGE ISSUE. I click back and then read this one.

My heart rate is shooting through the roof..........aggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhh what a retrograde step in the role of students.

Lets make our voices know loudly. The university exsist through students. They are not the gamy leg

ps: I miss you guys maybe i will come back for a phd to rant in council more

Oct 15 2002 01:24
 

And point 15) from my article... you will get top-up fees.

Does your Union have the balls to fight this? Do you care?

Let me have my own hissy-fit at ULU... just make sure you do your bit at IC!

Oct 15 2002 09:44
 

Top up fees won't work, because communication to students in College is so poor.

I pay ?1,000+ a year and I'm not happy with the level of communication - receiving a letter about IC/UCL plans hours *after* BBC News had the story didn't impress me at all. If it's my money, I'm a customer of the new "corporate" Imperial and I expect to be kept informed.

They're 7/10 accountable to the government, 1/10 accountable to me and 2/10 to the accountants.

If I was paying ?10,500 a year I'd be absolutely furious. It's tempting to send my views to but I would actually like to finish my degree here...

Oct 15 2002 13:02
 

Dreadful idea. I can't believe it (well, I can...). I certainly wouldn't be an Imperial Alumnus if I'd had to pay ?10k top-up fees. The whole strength of Imperial is that anyone who is academically gifted enough can get a place. Huge top-up fees will mean that only those with well-off parents, or overseas students, will be able to get in. Introducing the fees would be disasterous in the long term, not just for the prospective students who would miss out but also for the college itself. I also can't see the need for the merger. UCL and Imperial are both big names with a world-class reputation. Closer co-operation might make sense, but to me a merger looks like it's aimed inflating the salaries of those at the top as much as anything else.

Oct 15 2002 13:28
 

Do you think Sykes can spell "Social Inclusion"?

Oct 16 2002 11:15
 

This is not the way for the rector to raise cash. He wants us to pay for a superior degree.

But how quickly will standards fall once the talented (but not insanely rich) students stop coming here?

In the long term, this could destroy the "brand" that he is so desperately trying to build up.

9. Jon   
Oct 16 2002 11:26
 

Americans have been paying fees for their education for years. Their parents save up and start a college fund. Perhaps people here will start doing that? Perhaps the benefit of the situation is that peopel will treat their uni courses more seriously and not fall asleep in lectures! haha

10. poor   
Oct 16 2002 11:40
 

Umm Jon, just because YOU fall asleep in lectures doesn't mean the rest of us do too!

As for college funds, what are the people who haven't got a college fund but who will want to go to university in the next few years supposed to do? What about the people who don't have enough money to start a college fund? What about potential students whose parents couldn't care less if they went to uni, yet their child is intelligent, motivated and keen to learn.

How is encouraging a system where large fees are set to dissuade keen applicants from taking places at IC going to enhance the quality of the intake, the reputation of the college and, in the end, the standard of our "knowledge-based economy"?

11. Edd   
Oct 16 2002 11:51
 

Quite true!

And US citizens have the benefit of considerably lower tax rates than over here! Which allows them to save big college funds and still buy houses, pick-ups, guns etc.

I thought the whole idea of our mummies and daddies, (and very soon all of us) paying big income tax bills was so that we could expect pretty basic human rights such as a subsidised higher education!

Sykes is a fool!

Oct 16 2002 12:52
 

I suppose it is easy to get lost in all kinds of useless details, missing the big picture at the same time. The big picture is that education is not considered a right but rather a merchandise and that people from lower incomes probably cannot make it to the best universities anyway. Remember, that it is not only a matter of intelligence, but maybe even primarily, a matter of exploiting and enhancing one's skills and talents from the very nursery school. The decision for the merging and the accompanying increase in the fees, are decisions probably serving the idea of creating a small number of very big universities in Europe, inaccessible in practice to the majority (we all know who goes to Harvard), while for the rest there will exist numerous "second class" colleges to lead to "second class" salaries and opportunities... We should all be aware of the general directions for education in Europe decided by the ministers of education of the EU countries in Bolognia last year. Of course that would be the case if the union operated as a true union and not as social meeting club...

13. Zack   
Oct 16 2002 13:07
 

Sykes is a fool?

What for? Wanting to create one of the best universities in the world?

Do you know what his plans are for getting students from lower income backgrounds in? Students who are good enough will get in. It may cost a bit more, but could it be worth it? So when you go up to an average person in the street and say you are from Imperial, they won't say 'where?'

Go for it, but we need to see more plans.

Oct 16 2002 13:49
 

Re: "It may cost a bit more"

Speaking as a student who is struggling to be self-sufficient at Imperial I honestly can say that I couldn't afford for it to cost any more at all. I am already heavily juggling a university life and too much work of a paid and unpaid nature. I could do with more help, to be honest (yes, I know about hardship funds and all that; that is included). Is anyone up there even interested, I wonder?

Alex Summers

15. Matt   
Oct 16 2002 21:13
 

See STOIC: "IC go back on top-up fees"

In, out, in, out, shake it all about...

16. C!   
Oct 17 2002 16:29
 

NUS Press Release

No mention of us. lol

Oct 17 2002 17:08
 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/2337183.stm

read this document and see what u think. The beeb certainly managed to get a confidential copy...

18. Sam T   
Oct 17 2002 20:37
 

Hey Guys, I'm from the US and will be attending Imperial College next semester. It seems funny that you guys are complaining about having to pay more than 1000 pounds. I pay about 10000 us dollars every year and my school isn't nearly as good as IC. I guess your taxes make up for it, but it just seems funny.

And also in america the good students get big scholarships so it doesn't even matter if they ae poor, and even the stupid poor get federal aid from the government...

And, contrary to some of your beliefs, I DO NOT drive a pick-up and I DO NOT own any guns. I happen to drive a Toyota Camery. Your stereotypes will get you nowhere.

19. anon   
Oct 17 2002 23:58
 

First of all, 10k in GBP is definitely different from 10k in USD.

Even if some of us came from private schools and can afford 10k, it doesn't mean we have to feed it to Syke's big dream. Transparency report says that it loses 2800 pounds each year for each student, so why don't Sykes propose 4k (or 4.5k for profit) fees, but a huge 10k?

Yes, the poorer students will get bursaries. But so far, Sykes hasn't given any details on that. How are we supposed to react?

The UK is always going on about getting people to study. It must make education as cheap as possible so that it becomes a right, not a previledge.

It's difficult to accept that, after many years of grant from the government, we now only get loans and later on we may need to pay more for the poorer students. I don't mean that poorer students shouldn't go to uni, but it's always been the government who pays for them, and now the burden is suddenly on us/our parents instead.

I understand that the college needs money, and that poor people should be able to have higher education too, but suddenly turning it all onto the richer students cannot be the solution. In the past, we pay our taxes and some of it went to the grant system. It worked. Now, we pay (the same or higher) taxes, it doesn't go to the grant system, AND we pay extra for the other students? This can't be right.

Also, if this fee raising causes a domino effect on the other colleges or universities with higher ranking, then doesn't it sound like a big money-grabbing conspiracy? If you want to go a famous university, you either have to swallow hard and pay up to 10k, or be poor enough to get bursaries. Otherwise, pay 1k and go to the other ones, sorry.

And anyway, we aren't exactly the best place in the country to study some of the degree courses. If our fees are that high, it may given another reason for good students to turn away from IC.......

Oct 18 2002 03:45
 

I am an American student as well. Do not let the same mistakes from this side of the Atlantic plauge your country as well. Though I often agree with Ayn Rand in that a government should be nothing more than a policeman, a judge and a soldier - getting an education in this country can be ridiculous (along with decent healthcare).

An average year of school costs me more than 12,000 GBPs (and that's for a second rate education!).

What's better - giving in to a government opted education, or not being able to afford it at all?

Oct 18 2002 05:12
 

I agree with the view that top-up fees constitute a regression to pre-war values.

Just because the situation is such in America (a far from equitable society), it doesn't necessarily follow that this is the inevitable or most desirable course for the so-called 'globalisation of education'!

Whether or not those who can afford to pay (and I am not in that position) should be made to is beyond the issue. This is the thin end of the wedge. It needs to be understood within a wider dynamic. If richer students are to subsidise their poorer counterparts, this requires a high level of 'haves' to compensate for the 'have nots', and entrance would have to be limited accordingly. Top universities will reinforce their priveleged position, but in a way that leads to a two-tier system at the national level.

It seems we are increasingly importing some of the least savoury elements of the American way of doing things, as short-sighted, purportedly pragmatic responses to 'globalisation'; including a presidential style political leadership, which threatens de facto democracy, by circumventing channels of consultation and discussion -and this risks permeating to other levels (as we are currently witnessing...).

The rhetoric of 'Globalisation' is obsuring a great deal of common sense and eroding hard-fought values that have been at the core of the social progress achieved in the twentieth century -which we take for granted, but on which much of our economic growth has relied.

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