Thursday, 14 October 2010

Rising University Student Fees

It's currently in the news that student fees are to rise, yet again - rumour has it, up to £10,000 per year, and this time with interest on the loan. This would, of course, mean that only the more privileged people will be able to afford to go to university, or those who would be happy to leave with tens of thousands of pounds of debt hanging over them.

Though I believe in free education for all, I think a line has to be drawn when it comes to university education. The recent systems just aren't sustainable for our country.

When my elder sister went to university, her fees were just £1200 per year. By the time it was my turn, they had risen to £3150 per year. My younger sister has just deferred her place, and she might be facing £6-10,000 per year. It's criminal.

Yet I think the current university system is all wrong. Simply put: there are too many universities.

Back in the day, it was actually impressive to have been to university. Now, people see it as their right. Whereas only a few college students would go on to study at university in the past, it seems that most do now days. And guess what? It's devalued the degree.

It still seems that degrees from some universities are worth more than degrees from other universities, but sometimes it is hard to tell. There are the league tables, and then there are the league tables by subject... And it all gets a little blurry.

I say, cut the number of universities. Cut the number of places on offer to college students in the UK. Make students work their asses off to get into university, instead of just getting average grades and deciding to go to uni on a whim because they'd rather not get a job just yet.

Then the universities will be nurturing the best minds with the right attitudes. Just like the good ol' days.

The government can pour all of the funding into those few universities, and bam, tuition fees go down. People can afford to go to university, and degrees are worth something again. The trick is getting the balance of places right, and keeping all opportunities equal.

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