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UCL ?embarrassed? over Imperial fees initiative

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 17 2002 18:07

UCL Press Office distances University College from Imperial?s plans for tuition fees as staff debate merger and Union Exec vote against merger.

Oct 17 2002 18:12

I am absolutely appalled by the events of the last few days and the hastiness with which the rector of my alma mater, Imperial College, is trying to push through his own agenda.

I hope sincerely that the entire college shows their disgust at the proposals and the way in which both staff and students are being totally walked-over.

Imperial College is an outstanding place to study but I fear that if we do not speak out, it will soon turn into Sir Richard's dream - a mega- institution for the elite, where money and not intelligence dictate who gets in.

Imperial is a top institution, respected the world over, for its academic excellence. It is not a blue-chip company; it is an institution which has built its reputation thanks to the abilities of the people it attracts. Let us not lose sight of this fact, otherwise I fear that Sir Richard's latest, corporate experiment, will be a disaster for the UK, signalling the end of the right to a top-class university education for all, and a slippery slope towards a two-tiered, segregated society such as the United States, where ethics are second to the dollar.

For a man whose CV professes "humble beginnings", it appears that Sir Richard suffers from severe amnesia. Someone as clearly talented as himself would probably never have had the chance to achieve his fulll potential if our education system was self-funding and socially exclusive, like it is in the USA.

Hence it is very worrying indeed that most people, except for Sir Richard himself, know that intelligence is no respecter of money and social-class. Yet it is what has made Imperial College great.

So why may we ask are we allowing such a man to conduct his get-rich-quick experiment on Imperial, and be at the helm of this ill-planned voyage to certain disaster?

Oct 17 2002 19:59

"Top uni's plan for higher student fees" - The story has made front page news on BBC NEWS online. See

3. Atul   
Oct 17 2002 20:59

UCL Union seem to have a messageboard type of discussion facility on

although you have to register and all that to put comments on.

4. Sunil   
Oct 18 2002 02:11

You forget that top US universities provide hefty scholarships at undergraduate and graduate levels to deserving students.

And not just Americans. There are literally hundreds of thousands of third-world students who have received an education in the US on such scholarships. I personally know at least one hundred people who have benefited from that sort of generosity.

Of course, I can't see Imperial ever being in a position to do the same.

Oct 18 2002 09:21

I get the whole "Lambs to the Slaughter" feeling about this merger between IC and UCL. UCL, which has leadership issues, might suddenly realise that a merger with IC will probably lead to a slimming operations and student fees. Still think it is a good idea overall though.

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