Richest students to pay for extra places at UK's best universities

(81 Posts)
breadandbutterfly Mon 09-May-11 22:02:20
ohmyfucksy Mon 09-May-11 22:04:19

For God's sake.

Although that is basically the position now for postgraduates. It's not that difficult to get a place on a masters, even at a very good uni, if you can afford the fees. If you can't, then you might as well forget it because funding is as rare as hen's teeth and only about the top 30 students in that subject in the country will get it...

TotallyUtterlyDesperate Mon 09-May-11 22:57:00

For once, words fail me!

lionheart Tue 10-May-11 08:26:24

Has this been widely reported in the news today or buried under Jemima Khan?

siasl Tue 10-May-11 08:27:47

I don't see a problem. If rich foreign students can pay to get themselves on to a course at a university, why shouldn't British students be able to do the same?

Either you stop everybody (British or foreign) paying to get themselves on the course or you allow everybody. Otherwise you are discriminating against British students.

I don't like the idea that anybody can pay to get themselves on a course. I'd prefer it to be purely on ability. However, given that I'm told the "edueconomy" is so important to the UK, then if universities are going to want to offer courses to affluent foreigners then affluent British students might aswell be allowed the same opportunity.

breadandbutterfly Tue 10-May-11 08:28:27

On the BBC news now, in a remarkably uncritical report:

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13343824

breadandbutterfly Tue 10-May-11 08:35:46

siasl - the problem is that it devalues the standards and reputation of British universities if tens of thousands (or more?) of Tim-Nice-But-Dims (if you're old enough to get the reference) all descend on a few select unis. They're not going to spread themselves around, are they? They're not going to pay to go to an ex-poly - it'll be a mad dash for Oxbridge and a couple of others.

I worked damn hard to get into Oxford because it meant something. This reform would mean it was stuffed to the gills with lots of rich not very bright students - who, let us not forget, already have an advantage due to the fact that mum and dad can afford to pay for the best education possible.

There is already enough of a bias in the system benefitting the rich.

Do we seriously want our top universities dumbed down to this extent?

I can't see the dons being happy...

catinthehat2 Tue 10-May-11 08:40:03

they will have to meet minimum entrance requirements tho'

oh, wait, it used to be something like 2 E's at A level back in the day for Oxbridge.

crystalglasses Tue 10-May-11 08:40:52

While I don't approve of this, I doubt that the top universities will admit 'nice but dim' types as there are lots of very well off, clever young people to choose from. Oxbridge could probably fill their courses several times over with the brightest of the bright. That's why there's so much competition and why it's such a lottery to be offered a place imo.

catinthehat2 Tue 10-May-11 08:48:20

rich American kids used to be able to buy a (no doubt very expensive) term at Oxford which was worth a few course credits back in the US, again back in the day

no requirements other than to soak up the atmosphere I believe

Nobody bothered to revile them, they were just shunned, even by the spottiest geographers & physicists

I imagine anyone purchasing a place will have to keep it very quiet, as they will be given a very hard time indeed....

unbelievabledarco Tue 10-May-11 08:49:46

I'm trying to get my head round this. I think it means more 'normal' places will be available to the less wealthy, since atm most 'normal' places are taken by the privately educated. If the wealthy just buy their places (shock) then more normal places will be left for the plebs?

jgbmum Tue 10-May-11 08:52:27

Genuine question
If the universities are able to offer these off-plan places, then why should Uk students have to pay international fees to attend? Why can't the uni offer them at the new £9k rate for uk students on condition the students do not apply for any funding/loan from the student loan company?

EverythingInMiniature Tue 10-May-11 08:54:57

I think the difference with foreign students is that places aren't 'created' for them - they have to compete at A level, personal statement and at interview for a set number of places. Admitting a foreign student does not 'free up' a place for a British student, although, admittedly, universities may well be more inclined to take them due to the funding. I have been on the interview panel for one of the most selective courses in the country for the past 3 years and foreign students were expected to meet exactly the same standards as the UK students - you could argue even higher as they were mostly interviewing in a second language.

What this article seems to be suggesting is that as long as you meet the minimum entry requirements (say AAA) you could get a place as long as your parents can afford to pay up front, as you would pay for a place to be created. This seems fundamentally wrong. In addition I don't think expanding places at the top universities is in anyone's best interest. I just need to look at my recently graduated friends, many of whom are unemployed or working full time at their student jobs, to tell me that

unbelievabledarco Tue 10-May-11 08:57:13

Presumably if you were going to buy a place, you'd be required to stay out of the competition for the normal places? Not have a go to see if you could get a free place, then buy one if you didn't get in?

TeddyBare Tue 10-May-11 08:57:20

I actually don't think it will make any difference to the Oxbridge intake. They already have a lot of very wealthy UK based students - why shouldn't they pay for it if that makes it possible for them to continue to offer lower fees to those that can't afford it.

OddBoots Tue 10-May-11 09:00:11

jbmum I think it because there is a limit to the amount of money the government has to fund reduced fees (some subjects cost even more than £9k to offer) and to loan the remainder of the fees for.

If students aren't paying back until they earn £21k then there is a lot of money for the government to pay out in the medium term and in some cases forever if graduates never end up earning enough.

Paying international fees fully pay the cost of the degree keeps the government/tax payers money out of it entirely.

unbelievabledarco Tue 10-May-11 09:03:42

TB, I think it is precisely about Oxbridge.

jgbmum Tue 10-May-11 09:04:40

ok, so basically the £9k fees wont fully pay for the place, it is still being subsidised, yes?

TheCoalitionNeedsYou Tue 10-May-11 09:05:28

Oxford and Cambridge would no more stuff themselves with rich thickies than Harvard, MIT and Yale do.

Their high standards and entry requirements are their USP.

EverythingInMiniature Tue 10-May-11 09:07:00

yes jgb, the actual cost of a university place varies from around £12 000 to nearly £30 000 so the university will still receive some government subsidy on top of the £9000 paid by the student/loan company.

unbelievabledarco Tue 10-May-11 09:07:08

Yes, but they say themselves that they reject hundreds who they could just as easily take.

OddBoots Tue 10-May-11 09:07:51

jgbmum for some courses, yes. Mainly the sciences and engineering I think where there is a lot of lab time and expensive equipment, but possibly others too.

EverythingInMiniature Tue 10-May-11 09:07:51

although george bush went to harvard.... grin

noddyholder Tue 10-May-11 09:07:51

Well according to radio last night they would do exactly that and would be filled with rich thickies

TheCrackFox Tue 10-May-11 09:07:53

Good old Tories, eh? Thick, rich kids get exactly as they want.

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