In the reams of comments on the cuts in public spending in the UK, I haven’t seen the following point made.

The government is imposing savage cuts in spending in order to cut a debt which is of the order of £2K per citizen, and have worked very hard pushing the message that a big debt is a bad thing.

One of the methods used is to force citizens who want a university education to incur a debt which will amount to not far short of £100K.

Does this look like hypocrisy?

I was brought up to be debt-averse, and felt almost physically ill when I had to take out a £7K mortgage to buy my first house (a few years ago it was). I really don’t think I would have gone to university if things then had been as they are now.


About Peter Cameron

I count all the things that need to be counted.
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4 Responses to Cuts

  1. Yiftach says:

    I think that the most problematic point regarding the raising of the fees and the cuts in higher education budget is that it reflects and encourages the point of view that education is a mean to improve the economic status of the individual. I would like to believe that the “client” of universities is not the just the student but the whole society. I believe that having better education is good for the whole economy not just the individual. But more importantly I would like to believe that intellectual enrichment is good for the individual and the whole society not just because of economic reasons. I don’t think that every benefit to the society or the individual could or should be measured in money.

    I am worried that on the one hand increasing the fees will keep the poor from getting a university education and on the other hand will increase the view of universities as an industry. Getting a degree will be equivalent to investing in a business. So as such students will expect to receive a grade that reflects their financial investment rather than their efforts and intellectual ability. This is already a problem in the current system. It is probably going to get much worse in the new system.

  2. Yiftach says:

    P.S. Peter, I am happy to see that you are adopting Yoda’s style: “a few years ago it was”. 🙂

  3. DM says:

    Many have complained about unfairness of the cuts.
    Few have suggested alternative policies. The former
    is so easy while the latter is so much harder. Perhaps
    you could follow up with some suggestions yourself?

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