Jump to content


- - - - -

University Fees


  • Please log in to reply
34 replies to this topic

#11 Latecomer

Latecomer

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1666 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Oxford

Posted 10 September 2012 - 02:50 PM

Ah, but they write off any debt at the sprightly young age of 50 and if you don't earn much you don't pay back a penny of it!

And anyone can get this £9000 a year from the government. No-one has to find any money up front.

Opportunity for all (except those scared away by the idea of debt), graduate tax for most and good old Government picking up the tab in 30 years time when we have all forgotten about it (and no-one can remember who did the dodgy sums on the back of that envelope)! Not that the government likes signing away our future prosperity or anything!

P.S. Done now...am beginning to bore myself! :rolleyes:

#12 igb

igb

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 715 posts

Posted 10 September 2012 - 06:18 PM

View PostLynette, on 10 September 2012 - 02:37 PM, said:

I'm not sure about the money though. The £ 9,000 has to come from somewhere. Parents I know told their kids to postpone the gap year ( or forget all about it) and get into uni straightaway to avoid the higher fees. They certainly would have had to pay up otherwise or allow their children accrue an enormous debt by borrowing the money.

But the loans are incredibly soft, to the point that the principal doesn't matter.  You're essentially signing up for a capped income tax: you pay 6% of your income over £21k, except that if you pay enough of it, the payments stop, and in any event are written off after thirty years.

Quote

Of course someone looking back at the end of an illustrious career as say, a private surgeon, might consider the dosh well spent and so might his/her (probably dead by then ) parents, but looking forward, as we usually do, the money or lack of it is significant.

Conversely, anyone whose parents paid £27k in fees in 2012, who then works in a relatively low-paid job, might look at their parents' estate when they die and ponder if that £27k, plus 30 years of compound interest, might have been preferable to avoiding paying twenty quid a month. I'd seriously question the logic paying up front.  Unless you're sufficiently flush that £27k is genuinely loose change and you could do it every year without caring, it would make far more financial sense to give that money to your child (plus ten years' interest) when they are in their late twenties as the deposit on a house.

#13 Epicoene

Epicoene

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1239 posts

Posted 11 September 2012 - 02:24 PM

View PostKevinUK, on 06 September 2012 - 11:29 PM, said:

University for all is a labour idea, not a Tory one - though they wouldn't come outright and say it.


Yes, and tuition fees are a Labour idea too aren't they ? They introduced them.

I am very concerned about the selective nature of university education, children who don't pass a selection exam at 18 get thrown on the scrapheap, have to make do with second best educational openings and are consigned to a life in which the door of opportunity is shut on them. Entrance to university should be by lottery only, or by distance from the relevant college.

#14 poster J

poster J

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1016 posts
  • Gender:Female

Posted 13 September 2012 - 10:13 PM

View PostEpicoene, on 11 September 2012 - 02:24 PM, said:

Entrance to university should be by lottery only, or by distance from the relevant college.

I do hope you're joking.

Just in case you're not though, your scheme would consign people like me who wanted to move away from where we grew up, particularly because said area doesn't have a particularly high-ranking university in my field, but also for the life experience, to going to the local university and thus in fact leaving a huge amount of potential untapped - the brightest would not go to the best universities in terms of the places that are best suited to building upon their pre-existing abilities and making the most of them.  No thanks, the system works better as it is.

And anyone who thinks entrance to a school by distance from it is non-elitist is frankly deluding themselves - the simple fact of the matter is that those who could afford to do so would move near to the school and get in, and those who couldn't, wouldn't.  A meritocratic system is a far superior alternative.

#15 KevinUK

KevinUK

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 871 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 14 September 2012 - 12:15 AM

View PostEpicoene, on 11 September 2012 - 02:24 PM, said:



Yes, and tuition fees are a Labour idea too aren't they ? They introduced them.

I am very concerned about the selective nature of university education, children who don't pass a selection exam at 18 get thrown on the scrapheap, have to make do with second best educational openings and are consigned to a life in which the door of opportunity is shut on them. Entrance to university should be by lottery only, or by distance from the relevant college.

It's not quite a labour idea - the idea originated in America, which Tony Blair has always said he based the UK model on. But they are the government that introduced it. I'm pro labour all the way, in case that wasn't clear.

I think everything was fine with a cap at £3000(ish) a year. Universities made a small fortune from that fee. I find it completely unrealistic that they need £27k per student to teach a three year course. For that price I'd expect a copy of each text book on the required reading list, the library to always have a copy of any book I need, all supporting materials included and a laptop to use in class.

A university lottery is the worst idea I think I've ever heard. If you want to go to the best, you have to be the best. It's as simple as that. I'm sure all 18 year olds are fully aware if they are good enough to get into a particular university or not (plus I know people don't always make their first choice of university based on the course offered or their ability to do the course, but the social life and if a friend is going to the same one).

If you don't pass the entry though, you aren't thrown on the scrap heap - university is what you make of it. I always found that my lecturers would introduce a topic and if I wanted to learn more I had to go do independent learning... And then go speak to them about what I have learnt, if I wanted to. For me, university wasn't a case of learning what the teacher said in order to pass, and shouldn't be for anyone.

And just because you don't go to a top university, doesn't mean you don't have access to some of the best minds in that field - not everyone can teach at Oxford!
If I stay awake, it must be good.

#16 Epicoene

Epicoene

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1239 posts

Posted 14 September 2012 - 12:36 AM

View PostKevinUK, on 14 September 2012 - 12:15 AM, said:

If you want to go to the best, you have to be the best. It's as simple as that.

I'm a little surprised you and poster J are such a strong supporters of the concept of grammar schools,

#17 Titan

Titan

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3375 posts

Posted 14 September 2012 - 06:37 AM

@kevinuk then you clearly don't have an idea of the costs of running a university.



#18 igb

igb

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 715 posts

Posted 14 September 2012 - 07:16 AM

View PostKevinUK, on 14 September 2012 - 12:15 AM, said:


I think everything was fine with a cap at £3000(ish) a year. Universities made a small fortune from that fee.

The move to student fees of £9000 gives the universities precisely no additional money, and in many cases has reduced their budgets.  HEFCE teaching grants have been slashed to zero for arts and humanities and to just the additional cost over arts and humanities for lab-based subjects; the alternative would have been differential course fees within the same university, which really would have put the cut amongst the pigeons.  All that is happening is that rather than £3000 coming from the student and about  £6000 coming from HEFCE, instead all the money comes from the student.  

That means that the money follows the student in a particularly direct way, so a department which under-recruits loses the money immediately, rather than being moderated by the longer-term setting of HEFCE funding levels.  You can argue that's a good thing, as it means that popular departments can expand and less popular departments will be forced to shrink, and it will force departments to be very responsive to student opinion.  But although I'm far from a dirigiste central planner, I'm not sure (understatement, hem, hem, as the sainted Molesworth might say) that the educational choices of 17 year olds filling in UCAS forms should set the strategic direction of the UK HE sector.  

I don't think universities' decisions in moving resources from area to area are necessarily well-founded: the decisions by many universities to get out of chemistry were ill-founded, and the enthusiasm with which they all piled into particular areas of biology haven't been as successful as they might like.  And in the long term, the country as a whole may come to regret the bloodbath there's going to be in post-18 MFL over the coming five years.  But for all the failings that university decision making has, it's certainly a bloody sight better than crowd-sourcing university strategy from people who've just done their ASes.

By the way, the idea that universities have ever made "a small fortune" out of undergraduate teaching of EU students is preposterous.  Without the cross-subsidy out of international students and (in some cases) Masters' teaching, the resources available would be massively reduced.  The undergraduate teaching also isn't permitted to cross-subsidise research work, and a university caught doing that would be severely punished.    A day 11-18 school in the provinces will cost substantially more than £9000 per year, and independent schools are, outside the charmed circle of HMC schools and arguably not even then, mostly on financial life support, heavily reliant on funds from historic assets (Birmingham's KE Foundation, for example, owns a large part of the central shopping area because it used to be based there, and gets substantial rent from that).

#19 Latecomer

Latecomer

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1666 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Oxford

Posted 14 September 2012 - 07:30 PM

And so the consequences start....

http://www.timeshigh...torycode=421152

Student numbers in England down 17%
£1.5 billion taken out of the system over the next 3 years

#20 igb

igb

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 715 posts

Posted 14 September 2012 - 11:10 PM

View PostLatecomer, on 14 September 2012 - 07:30 PM, said:

Student numbers in England down 17%
£1.5 billion taken out of the system over the next 3 years


Firstly, we don't know what the long term trend on applicate rate (ie, percentage of eligible 18 year olds).  Last year saw essentially no deferred places, as only the very brave or very rich would defer a 2011 place into the new fees regime for 2012. As it turned out, doing so might make sense for some people, but in August 2011 the whole thing was a complete shambles and a bird in the hand was worth several in the bush.   Gap year organising companies went bust, as they had so little trade.  This year, reportedly, deferred places are back to their previous level, so how much of this year's drop is down to last year's bulge won't be clear until next year.  As the THES article says, the pull-forward in 2011 is one of the causes of this year's drop, to an unknown (but definitely not negligible) extent.

Secondly, there's an underlying demographic time-bomb.  870k 18 year olds in 2009/10.  770k 18 year olds in 2011/12.  737k 18 year olds in 2014/15.  667k 18 year olds in 2020/21.  Source: http://goo.gl/0UPny .  That's a 23% drop from the peak of potential university applicants in 2009 to the trough in 2020.  

There was a similar drop from 1982 to 1995 tracking the drop in the birthrate from 1964 to 1977 (945k to 760k, or 19%).  But there were major post-Robbins changes to higher education which meant that take-up increased sharply.  In fact, numbers going to university rose in absolute terms continuously from the war to last year.   The Robbins Report, 1963, was planning for higher education in the face of a rising birth rate, so planned for more places.  When the birthrate collapsed from 1965 onwards, all those extra places supported an increase in takeup, not the same takeup for a larger population.   Takeup rose because of better availability of post-16 education, especially for women, so getting the takeup from the 6% or whatever it was in the mid 1960s to 20% in the early 1990s wasn't hard.  That tripling of takeup more than masked the falling numbers of 18 year olds.

Today, that's not going to happen.  No-one seriously proposes increasing takeup into three year, full time degree courses  from 42% to 52% (which would be required to get 2011 levels of admissions out of 2020 populations, modulo some correction for mature students).   There's no demographic change sufficient to drive that.

So blame the government if you want.  But a glance at http://goo.gl/J4crC shows that without a time machine, there's not a lot they can do to solve the massive drop in fertility up to 2002.   You can juggle the funding and the numbers and stave off the evil day for a year or so, but there's a massive drop in applicants coming over the next decade whatever you do.   We can't look to the EU: look at the nasty black "EU15" line which shows that actually, UK TFR is anomalously high (let's not go there).  

It is not credible to think UK universities could recruit sufficient additional international students to three year bachelors' degrees, peaking at 80k per year for 2018-2021 (ie, nearly a quarter of a million undergraduates).  There are currently only about 175k non-UK undergraduates (http://goo.gl/8FZhT), so it would represent more than doubling current levels.  Assuming that the EU is experiencing the same demographic changes as us, or more (TFR in Italy and Spain is about 1.2 and falling), recruiting for additional undergraduates from the EU is virtually impossible, even without the new fee structure and the weakening Euro making it very expensive.   So it would really mean more than tripling the number of non-EU undergraduates from 108k to 350k: good luck with that, politically as well as in recruiting them.  Remember, China's one-child-per-family policy really started kicking in from about 1980 onwards, so the number of 18 year olds in China is falling over the coming decade too.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users