I’m growing frustrated with the standard line of media questioning on the public sector spending cuts, it is phoney confrontational and extremely simplistic. And some lazy arguments are allowed to go unchallenged.
Dig, man, dig.
Case in point: tuition fees. One side says this is a bad thing, that it will discourage those from poor households. How so? Evidence tells us those with degrees are likely to earn higher salaries than those without. A University education should give them a better chance in life. Surely there are worse ways to get into debt, so why should fees be seen as a discouragement? It doesn’t stack up.
If someone from a poor background goes to University at 18, they still have another 45+ years of work ahead of them. When they retire, at 70, it’s possible to imagine that they might have done enough with their education (and working life) not to be still classed as poor. Poor at 18, and on the cusp of University, should not mean poor for life.
I’d prefer to question how Universities are going to represent value for money (when you pay the bill you are more likely to challenge service levels) and how students are going to make ends meet. How might less drinking and more part-time working change the culture of higher education?