Shockerooney: the poor don't benefit from having their university fees paid

(37 Posts)
TheTroubleWithAngels Fri 27-May-16 18:30:57

www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-36397295

When will the SNP learn that they have to be helped to get there?!

The Scottish government has accepted something needs to be done. Plans for a Commissioner for Fair Access are expected soon with details of how universities can be held to account.

It's not the fault of the universities!

I really believe that class sizes must be cut in deprived areas for the attainment gap to close.

MissMargie Sat 28-May-16 06:17:37

SNP seem naive if not down right stupid when it comes to stuff, mind you it's not just them.
If you want better education results you remove disruptive kids from the classroom . This seems to be an anathema to left wing parties.
Thus allowing teacher to do her stuff.
By remove I mean remove to somewhere they can receive education without being distracted by showing off to their mates.
Likewise bullies too.
Instead blame the teachers and implement testing and more testing

katemiddletonsnudeheels Sat 28-May-16 06:20:47

MissMargie is correct I think ...

LizzieMacQueen Sat 28-May-16 09:49:45

My views on this are too unPC to be voiced on here so I'll haud my weesht (but watch the debate unfold).

OneMagnumisneverenough Sat 28-May-16 13:53:58

It's not about schools, it's about social issues, lack of parenting/parental support etc. and being honest not all people are clever and uni material. And before I get shouted at I am from a rough council estate and I'm not thick so I know that being poor doesn't mean you are stupid but if you are more academically challenged and from a more middle class home, the chances are that your parents will buy you help. That isn't going to happen in most poorer homes so you are less likely to be able to punch above your weight if that makes sense?

Plus it's harder for Scottish pupils to get a place in Uni regardless because they want fee paying English students instead.

ANd I not in all the closing of the gap stuff they haven't said anything about increasing the attainment so I suspect the gap will close by making the more motivated and able students achieve less - job done. hmm

MissMargie Sun 29-May-16 07:17:05

The jobs market has changed since 2008, then there were jobs in mining, construction overseas, public services here were better funded, also oil jobs have been cut now, and investment in research is less, where are these graduates goi v to work?

Everyone benefits from a good basic education (school) which they aren't getting

Tomorrowisanewday Sun 29-May-16 09:15:55

One Magnum - Your last line is unfortunately very accurate. I have an involvement with our local university on the course they run for our profession. Just two weeks ago, the senior lecturer I discuss the current course with, and ongoing changes, stated the same, and even more damning, in relation to requirements for degree award. And it shows in the performance of the students when they graduate and become employed in industry.

OneMagnumisneverenough Sun 29-May-16 09:49:17

It just makes me really sad for my children tomorrow. DH and I both come from very poor backgrounds. Neither of us could go to Uni and it wasn't about lack of financial support so much as the fact that we needed to be earning to contribute to the household and there was no expectation or support for us, consequently we both could have done better. However we've both worked hard and also brought our children up with the mind set that anything is possible and that we will support them in any way. They are clever, well behaved and hard working and yet now it still seems like that's not enough. sad

Tomorrowisanewday Sun 29-May-16 13:39:37

I'm like you OneMagnum - I only managed because we got a grant because dad didn't earn much, I lived at home, but it was enough for travel costs and books. Like some of my friends, college / university wasn't the time of my life - but it was the gateway to the life I have now. I may have said it on a thread around the election, but my biggest fear is that the current generation of teenagers wont get those opportunities.

OneMagnumisneverenough Sun 29-May-16 14:10:53

Maybe the master plan is to keep people uneducated as it serves the purpose of them continuing to vote SNP.

Tomorrowisanewday Sun 29-May-16 14:33:20

That's perhaps a little bit too close to the truth hmm.

Which makes me even more sad - we have such a history of punching above our weight when it comes to academia, invention and development (in relation to our relatively low population.) Is that a reputation that the SNP are willing to lose?

OneMagnumisneverenough Sun 29-May-16 14:43:45

I've said this often, and I know not everyone agrees with me, but at the end of the day the SNP only care about one thing and that's independence. Every policy is about aiming towards that goal, they don't really give a flying fuck about anything or anyone else.

Their core market is people who are disgruntled with the status quo, so they will keep them disgruntled and disaffected and keep blaming westminster regardless of the fact that they have had and have the power to things about many of things that affect people's lives. It doesn't suit their purpose to do anything about those though, it's easier and more profitable for them to leave it and blame someone else. Shitebags everyone of them.

TheTroubleWithAngels Sun 29-May-16 15:34:51

I can't decide if it is a deliberate lowering of standards or total naivety.

prettybird Sun 29-May-16 15:42:05

I was talking with someone last night who works for an initiative funded by the Scottish Government which is aimed at deprived pre-school kids, using music and song to help them learn to read and enjoy books (especially as some of them don't have books at home).

Unless you're saying that they're only allowed to sing Independence songs which is not the case before anyone suggest it is, how does that support your argument that the SNP do nothing that's not to do with independence?

Tomorrowisanewday Sun 29-May-16 15:42:10

No, I think from a lot of the rhetoric since the election it's become increasingly obvious that independence is their main aim, to the detriment of other things. Which explains why they haven't used the tax raising powers that they could have invoked. Why risk losing votes, when you're only raising money that could be used for education and health?

OneMagnumisneverenough Sun 29-May-16 16:04:28

Well maybe they wouldn't need special initiatives if they hadn't cash strapped councils to the point where they can't afford to do anything. If breakfast clubs still existed so children at least had a full tummy to start the day for example.

The programme you've described should be happening anyway prettybird . It's hardly a surprise to anyone that young children from deprived backgrounds need support before they get to school. They've been in power for nearly 10 years. I attended a meeting at school when mine were in about P2 ish, so just as the SNP came to power and the teacher was discussing a report showing that kids who have been read to at home almost immediately jump 2 years ahead of those who haven't and no matter what interventions take place in school, that gap never closes. sad

Those children are now sitting exams in school.

Whilst funded initiatives are all very well, it's a proper strategy and funding across all schools, pre-schools and in early years services that is needed. I know you are an SNP voter and I'm not calling you brainwashed or anything as I know you are an intelligent and socially aware person and you will call things as you see them the same way that I will. I also have no wish to fall out over politics.

Sometimes though I think I am the only person that can see the lizard under the people suits.

Tomorrowisanewday Sun 29-May-16 16:21:19

No, you're not alone

caroldecker Sun 29-May-16 16:39:22

Non-loan based university tuition only helps the middle class/rich.
University education, like the NHS and under 18 education is free at the point of use, and only paid for when you are earning a decent amount.
University fees are linked directly to participation and earnings, whilst the others are not, but the impact is the same.

TheTroubleWithAngels Sun 29-May-16 16:39:38

It's hardly a surprise to anyone that young children from deprived backgrounds need support before they get to school.

Exactly.

Instead, we have rising class sizes, fewer specialist placements for children who desperately need them and fewer classroom assistants.

It's also harder for parents to get nursery placements (ime) and teachers are being removed from nurseries to fill posts in schools.

morningtoncrescent62 Sun 29-May-16 20:13:31

I was talking with someone last night who works for an initiative funded by the Scottish Government which is aimed at deprived pre-school kids, using music and song to help them learn to read and enjoy books (especially as some of them don't have books at home).

Thats's all very well, but if they hadn't axed funding for properly trained nursery teachers, and for specialist music teachers in primary schools, they wouldn't need this initiative. Ongoing, no-strings-attached funding for primary schools is much more effective than a welterweight of one-off, short-term projects which aren't sustained over time. But heigh-ho, it's easier and more politically expedient for the SNP to blame universities and appoint yet more bureaucrats to invent and monitor a new set of targets than it is to fund decent early years education, invest in teachers, and let them get on with it.

prettybird Sun 29-May-16 22:32:09

I used to be Labour. I voted Labour for nearly 20 years (except the time when I lived in a constituency in England where the LibDems or it might have been Social Democrats or even Liberal at the time were the best tactical vote against the Conservatives. I was devastated when Labour unexpectedly lost in 1992 and overjoyed when they won in 97. But the party left me. It started doing things that the Tories had only dreamt of doing. It invaded Iraq on the basis of the Dodgy Dossier despite massive public opposition (and depressingly accurate predictions of the instability that would ensue sad)

I look forward to the day when/if Scotland achieves independence and the Labour Party can reinvent itself and rediscover some of the principles that it rejected forgot under the New Labour Project and the slimy war criminal Tony Blair in their efforts to appease appeal to Middle England. Corbyn is a start in England but too little, too late and under intolerable pressure from the luvvies in the PLP. If I lived in England, I might consider voting Labour again.

I believe that the SNP will become smaller as people rejoin the Labour and LibDems once they can again become left wing parties, not trying to appeal to Middle England.

I could respond to the "lizard suits" comment with a "Monkey in Red Rosettes" riposte, but I won't especially as for many years I voted Labour so I too am culpable wink

I - and my friends, family and work colleagues, with one exception - have only gradually become a supporter of the SNP. All of us have different reasons: one of mine was being impressed by my dealings, since 1997, on both a professional and personal level with senior SNP politicians. Not because they zip up the back but because they actually talked to us as equals and delivered on their promises. I know some of my work colleagues were similarly impressed.

The one exception I mentioned was intensely SNP even at Uni. I had many a vehement argument with him and disagreed strongly with his views on Independence. At the time I argued nationalism wasn't the way forward and splintering into smaller countries wasn't a good thing - that the EEC (at the time) and a European coming together was the way that we should be moving. (Ironically, I still believe in Europe but I no longer believe in the UK)

I spent my year (and later another term) in France (part of my degree) explaining that "je suis ecossaise et britannique --mais je ne suis pas anglaise--"

If, in the 80s, true federalism had been implemented, as had been promised at the last minute in the 79 Referendum but never delivered a bit like The Vow hmm, with Full Fiscal Autonomy, then I think the independence movement would've been killed stone dead.

There's a lot I don't agree with the SNP about - their policy on nuclear power for example - but personally I think in this time of austerity (given that the Scottish Government's income is a simple function of what Westminster spends - that's not a whinge, that's a simple statement of fact), I think they've done a reasonable job of shielding us from the worst of it.

I also think that the new powers that have only just come under the Scotland Act are limited in effectiveness: the income tax powers risk being regressive (rather than progressive) if varied while the Scottish Government doesn't have powers over all the economic levers (corporation tax, VAT, VED, excise duty).

My experience of Scottish education (in inner city Glasgow with a very mixed demographic) via my son has been positive. But I realise anecdote doesn't equal data.

I still remember my horror after the 1st Scottish Parliament election at the LibDems caving in on their principles and going back on their manifesto pledge about tuition fees for the sake of power.

I think a minority SNP Government is probably a good thing. The Scottish Parliament, without a second chamber (as created by Westminster) is not designed for majority rule.

But anyway, that's a long way from the purpose of my earlier post which was to illustrate that the SNP Government does do positive things that are not directly related to independence, contrary to a previous poster's statement.

I'd have liked to use the example of the work that dh is currently doing, which is also an initiative funded by the SG - but can't without outing him. That's not to say that he doesn't have frustrations in his role - but they tend to be politics with a "small p" rather than Politics with a "large P" although he does have issues with some of the civil servants who try to interfere and take the credit wink The politicians when he can get to them are usually very helpful smile

(BTW: I have been writing this post on the app in between taking my dad to the airport and making and eating dinner, so the thread may well have move on in the last 3 hours or so blushgrin so apologies in advance if it has)

howabout Mon 30-May-16 08:45:55

Here is the link to the original underlying report from the Sutton Trust:
www.suttontrust.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Access-in-Scotland_May2016.pdf

There is no inference that introducing fees would narrow the gap nor that it has narrowed the gap in England relative to Scotland. Rather there is an acknowledgement that Scotland had a more pronounced historic issue and although progress has been made there is still work to do. However overall participation in tertiary education in Scotland is higher at 55% and the provision of and access to places at the Ancient universities is better and more equal in Scotland than to equivalent English institutions for English students.

This is the finding which stuck out for me:
"The four-fold access gap between the most and least disadvantaged entrants in higher tariff universities is not very different from that in other Scottish universities. This is in contrast to the seven-fold gap at higher tariff, mainly Russell Group, universities in England. The higher
tariff group in Scotland however covers a larger proportion, and wider range, of institutions. The provision of 720 funded places for disadvantaged students at the ancient universities since 2012 appears to have helped with recruitment to this group."

lostinyonkers Mon 30-May-16 10:32:31

DH works in HE. There have been round after round of redundancies over the last 3 years, and most of the universities he deals with are chasing overseas students for the higher fees. He believes free university education for Scottish students at current levels is completely unsustainable. The quality of candidates is dropping and a DFriend who was a lecturer in Glasgow in the 1970s/80s in a hardcore science, and who 'does' the papers every year just out of interest, has seen the dumbing down in all aspects of his subject.

caroldecker Mon 30-May-16 10:46:34

Howabout The last part of your quote was preceded by:

We have demonstrated that there is a mismatch between supply of higher education places in Scotland and demand, with disproportionately detrimental consequences for those from less advantaged backgrounds.

The ways to fund more places, or support disadvantaged groups are:

1. Fees - it works and is only of cost to those who earn
2. Higher taxes on all - not v fair, and helps well-off groups more
3. More places only for 'poor' people - social engineering at its worst.

pillowaddict Mon 30-May-16 11:12:46

Entirely disagree that pre school in home literacy support programmes would not be necessary with 'properly' trained nursery teachers. The whole point of these programmes is that it supports parents to become involved in their child's learning which can benefit them not only before the begin nursery (if they even attend) but throughout their education. It gives parents a foundation of understanding how and why their children learn and the children a foundation of very early literacy and numeracy skills that are crucial to later learning. But most importantly these programmes have a positive impact on parent child attachment/relationships which benefits everyone.

My understanding of the attainment funding that came out recently was that it related to increasing attainment of minority groups - such as looked after children - through focus on areas of the curriculum such as health and wellbeing that cover elements the majority (not all I am fully aware!!) Of children from not so deprived areas take for granted. To my mind that also benefits classes and schools as a whole as it creates less of a gap between children not only in terms of academic ability or achievement but also in terms of self esteem and emotional and behavioural needs.

I'm not saying the Scottish Government will get it 100% right but the fact it is part of their goal for our children is encouraging.

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