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Imperial students march against fees
Imperial College students joined today?s protest against tuition fees which saw thousands of students marching through London.
I think that the whole issue could be summed up in one banner:
"Bring back Polytechnics"
30-50 students from a London University at a march in Central London that had thousands at. Wow what a way to show solidarity. What the hell are you playing Beit Towers, get your a**e in gear. You might give the impression that like the idea of more fees if you're not careful!
I'm not exactly surprised by this. Sunday mornings are precious. When you're asking current students to march against something which won't take place in their degree course, you're only going to get the 'Enraged of Hertfordshire' Telegraph correspondants turning out.
On a separate note, was I the only one who actually agreed with the HE proposals presented at the Labour party conference? Top up fees and other student debts to be tackled by a graduate tax payable on graduation, with the tax not levied over the entire career of the graduate, but only until they had paid back their debts. Associated conditions viz repayments as current student loan system.
It seems fair to me. Yes, we do have to pay for our education, but we don't want to pay our entire lives. Given the amount of money that an IC graduate can expect to earn on graduation, does it not make sense that IC should charge for it's courses a tad more than Bricksville, Norwich's breadmaking 101? I think most people at IC are justifiably proud of the reputation of the university, and increasing the funding available to it could only help it to become recognised as a top tier university in this country.
W.r.t. accessibility - I still don't see a problem. If all the finances can be borrowed, and paid back aftr graduation, where a decent job is almost guarenteed, what's the issue?
I may have an incorrect understanding of the proposal. If so, feel free to correct, or just rip chunky bits of flesh out of me.
It's not Enraged of Hertfordshire, it's "Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells"... All the right thinking, Fasc^M^M^M Conservatives live in Tunbridge Wells... That's why they keep returning Archie Norman MP
Let's face it this system being proposed/that we currently have is completely screwed:
1) The whole concept of loans/fees scares people away, despite most people who would be scared by it not having to pay/not quite understanding it's a different form of graduate tax respectively.
2) People from afluent backgrounds have to pay fees, and get less loans, but their parents may refuse to pay meaning they don't get to choose to go to university/have no money at uni.
3) (for the socialists) People from afluent backgrounds have to pay fees (or at least their parents do), then their parents give them lots of cash instead of taking loans. So when they fly the nest and parents stop giving them cash, and they get a job like everyone else, they're still approx 9% better off than everyone else, simply by having rich parents.
4) It shortens the life of my grandparents when I tell them I'm technically ?18k in debt.
1 is a problem, 2 is a problem. 3 - i don't think winging that rich people have it better off is productive - life's like that, sorry.
What amazes me is that every attempt to justify fees goes along the lines of - it's ok cos we'll charge fees to the rich kids (& their parents) so the poor kids can come to uni too. It's basically along the lines age-old thing of tax the rich to fund the poor.
The problem with this is that you have to make sure you get enough rich kids coming to ensure u can pay for the poor kids. It's an unfortunate situation when such pressures are put on the admissions system cos obviously people should be admitted to University cos they're clever & motivated not cos they're rich or poor.
I keep wondering how far this philosophy is going to go? Schools are underfunded as well - will we charge fees to parents of rich kids to help fund the education of poor kids? NHS needs lots of money too - will we charge rich sick people to help fund the poor sick people? If so, again, we have to ensure enough rich people get ill. Ok, maybe I am talking extreemes here but you get the idea.
So anyway, if we have all these charges for various things (charges that apply to those who can afford to subsidise those who can't) then why not have one big 'fee' for being a member of society which is related to how much you can afford (i.e. income). In other words, if we really are buying into the 'tax the rich to subsidise the poor' philosophy (which the 'fees are justifies cos graduates earn more' argument also comes from) why not just call it income tax and be done with it?
Why? All of society benefits from having graduates in it. You get to avoid the unfortunate students in '2'. Income tax is the fairest means of taxation - is it fair that a teacher gets charged the same tuition fees as a graduate who goes onto be an investment banker when they both contribute lots to society?
Hmm. What a massive subject.
Leaving aside the fact that it will create inequality, put people (especially the less well off) off going to university, and mean university becomes less about education and more about preparation for a series of high paid jobs...
People who go Imperial pay for everything anyway. One of the soundbites floating around in the debate a while ago was that "the dustman should not subsidise the doctor" or somesuch. However, this is extremely short-sighted, for the doctor subsidises every public service the dustman uses, because he pays a far higher rate of income tax. People who go to university pay massive amounts of tax in exchange for relatively less public services.
And as regards the argument that people who don't go to university shouldn't have to pay for it - well boo hoo. I hope never to draw benefits from the welfare state. My tax money pays for many things I certainly don't agree with, but I pay for them.
People who go to university pay for many things anyway. It seems insulting to ask them to pay even more.
So do I have a solution? No. Although I do think that what it means to come to university has been devalued at the expense of vocational qualifications and polytechnics better able to meet local need, and the target of 50% of whoever at university by whenever is asinine.
Ahhh, Leftie, sound words. I think I was typing my rant as yours came up! Mind you I'm a "Rightie" and I agree with you.
BTW, I also don't think "F*** fees" as a slogan does the cause any favours.
Yes, I was just noting to myself that we seem to have arrived at a very similar place, having come at it from different directions!
I agree about f**k fees. But I do think it'd be quite hard to have a snappy slogan that captured everything that needed to be said.... Protest march is not the place for reasoned debate, protest march is to draw attention to (and give weight to) the reasoned debates going on elsewhere.
I feel I want to have my say against student loans, my daughter finishing uni in the summer. She received her student loan statement last week, working on the basis of the loan company of ?20. per month she will still have this loan until whenever! it is time, That parents and students got to gether and fought this disgraceful loan scheme under the fact that the government outlaw LOAN SHARKS last week these loans that the Students have to pay off is no better than an underhand loan shark who would practice and rip you off the fact that you have a compound interest rate DAILY on your loan is a utter disgrace and this information should be sound out by Student Union reps and we should rally the Government on this issue.Its about time people woke up to the fact that Gruadutes are not only trying to repay the loans are also tax at the standard rate and probably some more mature graduates are trying for mortgages and there credit rate are being lowered as well. making even more difficult to get a loan.
No Wonder Tony Bliar wants 50% of scholasitic population to go to university as it is just a nother stealth tax for parents to pay for the their Ofspring plus the accommadation. No woder theywant you till work until your 70 you might have paid of your loan by then and then you can draw your pension.
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