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To think those against free university probably benefited from it?

133 replies

malificent7 · 10/06/2017 10:53

Im pro free university. Im nearly 40 and was good for me.
Many people on here have said society should not fund students.
I bet they either directly benefit from no fees as they went or indirectly benefited eg: their kids went for free or they use doctors, nurses, teachers who wete funded.

OP posts:
OliviaPopeRules · 10/06/2017 20:03

I didn't have free university. I would be in favour of reducing it back to around the £3k/£4k per year mark but only if it also involved writing off some of the debt of the people who have paid at £9k pa for the past few years.
I don't think we can afford free university for the numbers that attend these days and I think the money would be better spent on the NHS, Schools, disability benefits etc.
I also don't think there is anything wrong in asking people who attended university and have a higher salary as a result to pay a reasonable amount. Seems a but unfair that someone on much lower wages is paying tax to cover university fees.
I haven't read the thread but I know someone people will tell me that under labour plan it will all come from taking the over £80k's and corporations but I just think that would never have collected what was expected so you need some middle ground.

OliviaPopeRules · 10/06/2017 20:04

Oh and I should also mention there is no evidence that it deters people from low income homes going to university as the number of people from low income homes applying has increased in the last 5 years.

Increasinglymiddleaged · 10/06/2017 20:09

I don't think we can afford free university for the numbers that attend these days and I think the money would be better spent on the NHS, Schools

You can surely see the irony in this... ?

Radishal · 10/06/2017 20:10

Low income home. Now in fifties. Got full grant and no fees. I know no one of similar age who believes in tuition fees so no idea what op is referring to. And people I know have range if political views on other things.
In my view, too many people go to university and it is prohibitively expensive NOW for people who share the economic background I had.
It should be harder to get in, with fewer places and, of course, no tuition fees.

Raspberriesaretheonlyfruit · 10/06/2017 20:10

There used to be an idea that a well educated population was 'a good thing'.
I guess that's not so in vogue anymore.

What? There's more people than ever going to Uni.
Less people went when it was " free".

RiverTam · 10/06/2017 20:11

One reason I voted Lib Dem was because I agree with their position on fees which is to keep them but bring back maintenance grants for the poorest. In the current climate, why shouldn't uni fees be means tested? I also think that there are far too many pointless degrees which should disappear.

Chatting to my Scottish mum about this the other day, she said that despite free uni in Scotland, there are more poorer students attending in England, because the Scottish unis reserve places for those paying fees (English and non-EU international students) and the middle classes dominate the rest of the places. I think that the same would happen here.

I also agree that certain courses should automatically have help, such as teaching. We need to encourage the brightest and best undergraduates in certain disciplines. Equally, I'm not convinced that nursing needs to be a degree, does it?

MerchantofVenice · 10/06/2017 20:12

coxklodger a shit degree... (eg arts degree)

Umm, really? What makes art degrees 'shit'? You obviously can't mean that they don't demonstrate any academic prowess, since it can be quite demanding to obtain a high level degree in, say, philosophy or English from a top uni. And I think many employees would value that sort of intelligence and critical thinking.

Do you mean simply that arts degrees are not immediately concerned with saving lives, like doctors? I think you're being extremely simplistic. People need the arts to live- and I don't mean this in any woolly metaphorical way. If you don't get the value of the arts, you might as well be a robot.

I'm not specifically making a point about fees, but I can't let such ignorance go unchallenged. If you really think we can disregard top-uni-level arts (because they're 'shit') and still live in a society worth having, you are deranged.

Dandandandandandandan · 10/06/2017 20:13

But the population/number of people going and the number of "universities" have increased dramatically since the 70's, 80's and 90's. It's not quite comparing apples with apples.

Increasinglymiddleaged · 10/06/2017 20:14

Well English is a shortage subject in teaching so from that pov alone.... There are degrees that shouldn't be funded but English isn't one of them.

Raspberriesaretheonlyfruit · 10/06/2017 20:14

The problem with " fewer places, harder to get in but free" is that most of those places will go to the 7% from independent schools. Their results are the best. Ironically they are also the group that can afford to pay for it.

Ellisandra · 10/06/2017 20:15

I don't think you automatically have to be in favour of something just because you had it Confused

I currently claim 40% tax relief on my personal pension contributions. I also claim child benefit because these pension contributions that I'm getting a lovely 40% extra on also push me below threshold.

I think both of these things should be stopped and I would happily vote for it to my own financial detriment.

Not going to give up free money now though.

lljkk · 10/06/2017 20:16

"fewer places, harder to get in but free"

This also goes straight against the argument "a well educated populace benefits us all" supposedly in favour of free tuition fees.

Radishal · 10/06/2017 20:17

Fewer places means only independent schools? Sorry, that's bollocks. I went to a Russell Group uni in 80s on a full grant with no fees. The overwhelming majority of students had been to state schools. Fewer places ; tougher grades to get in. No fees.

OliviaPopeRules · 10/06/2017 20:17

You can surely see the irony in this... ?

No irony at all, Children should be entitled to a high level of basic education. This does not extend to a third level education giving you the ability to move from a say 30k to 60k or higher job without paying something for that privilege.
Also, the best way to help children from deprived/low income families is better primary education as that is where most kids are lost and they never recover.

Increasinglymiddleaged · 10/06/2017 20:18

But surely lljkk the key thing is what v the economy needs and how best to get those skills? In some cases it will be a degree and in others not. But loads of people doing degrees in media studies and ending up in jobs that don't need a degree at all is Confused

Hefzi · 10/06/2017 20:19

I support it. Slash the number of places, make it strictly merit based, and incorporate grants for the financially disadvantaged. HE should be elitist- not everyone is suited to it.

I was part of the education, education, education increase in the 90s. That was all about getting young people off the unemployment figures and not at all about access to education.

Of course, it would require a total rethink vis a vis eg employment, and degrees as a pre-requisite, and also of some vocational professions, where degrees are now essential. But good luck getting universities to agree Grin

Radishal · 10/06/2017 20:20

How does saddling young adults with debt encourage people from poorer backgrounds to go to uni? Makes no sense.

Increasinglymiddleaged · 10/06/2017 20:21

So Olivia you don't think the economy (including schools and the nhs) needs graduates? That is such a depressing view that the only benefit of degrees in medicine, engineering, English, maths, economics is personal. Without graduates the economy would be up shit creek without a paddle.

OliviaPopeRules · 10/06/2017 20:21

I also think more money in technical education would be far better than elimination university fees.

ArseyTussle · 10/06/2017 20:22

I believe in free university, but [old gimmer alert] we should return to the days of university being something for the brightest. The reason even really low skill jobs nowadays require degrees is because everybody under the age of 30 has one.

I don't quite know how the reset button could be pressed, that's for people cleverer than me, I'm only an arts graduate.

On the subject of the arts degrees. It's so very very boring to hear that arts qualifications are meaningless. In purely commercial terms the arts generate a huge amount for the country.

Radishal · 10/06/2017 20:22

But too many graduates all saddled with debt is bad for the economy. More and better apprenticeships and similar, fewer university places where access is on merit and not ability to pay. Again no tuition fees.

Increasinglymiddleaged · 10/06/2017 20:24

So it's OK to provide technical education for free but not a degree? [Confused]. The point is that we need to work out what skills are needed because it will help the economy and the young people in their careers. I think get it right and fees become an irrelevance. There is only an issue because there is a mismatch between the degrees being studied and what is actually needed.

OliviaPopeRules · 10/06/2017 20:27


And where did I say that??? I don't think I was talking about banning third level education just that some fees should be paid for that.

So you think people on minimum wage should be paying tax so that teachers and doctors can go to university for free? Or that primary school education should loose out so that this can happen.

Also there is no requirement for anyone doing a medical or teaching degree in the UK to work in the NHS or UK schools (same goes for any other degree) so no guarantee the UK services or economy would even benefit.

But even if we assume they all do if it increases your earning potential by 3-4 times which many degrees do I don't think paying of 15-20k in fees is that much of a hardship.

GretchenFranklin · 10/06/2017 20:28

Why are people against Arts degrees? Do we not appreciate being part of a cultured society?

Art, cinema, theatre, TV and literature. There are huge bucks to be made in these areas and equally a benefit to all of us.

We can't all be bloody lawyers/accountants/whatever.

OliviaPopeRules · 10/06/2017 20:28

I never said technical education for free I just said we need to invest more in technical education and we will never have the money to do that if we scarp tuition fees. Or we might bit then something else needs to go.

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