Too many people going to university has meant end of the grant, loans, tuition fees, and now there are no jobs for all the graduates in Media Studies, etc. we have to pay for them to do 'gap years' as well.
But the article says: "...graduates must raise £1000, buy their own flights and cover the cost of vaccinations to be eligible.
Applicants will have to prove an overseas expedition would be beyond their means without the bursary. "
Fair enough as far as I'm concerned - and £500 a damn sight less than a year on benefits, plus they're learning new skills, plus they're hopefully doing something worthwhile.
But you're right that the government's ambitions of getting just about every child with at least one brain cell into university regardless of whether it was worth either their while, or society's while, has come back to haunt them - there are just no jobs there. My DS1 will graduate in 2010 with a debt of about £20K (that's just what I know about), and will be bloody lucky to get a job. If someone wants to give him (or someone like him) some money to do something productive, then that's fine by me.