So I am really pleased that our student population has woken from it’s collective slumber. 1968 was a little extreme, as was 1990, but at least people were moved to do something. I had understood that the majority of students were so concerned about grades that they did not want to rock anyone else’s boat.
But now, they have found a common cause. Problem is, I’m not at all sure that it is the common cause that they should have found.
Yes, the Liberal Democrats promised much before the election, and it was pretty obvious that even though they formed a coalition with the Conservatives, they would have to play second fiddle to most policy decisions ( well, at least the ones that are contrary to what the Conservatives promised before they got elected ).
It doesn’t mean that they are evil, or bad, but it does mean that they have had a great experience of what needs to be done to be in power.
In fact, I believe that the coalition is possibly the best thing to have happened to the UK for long time. Notwithstanding the budget issues, that there are now two different political views being discussed within the government has to be good. Rather that than a more dictatorial process of previous governments.
So why have the students latched onto the wrong case ? The cause for free University training is absolutely a good one. I wholeheartedly believe that we should offer free education to degree level. However, with a target of 50% of all 18 year olds going to University, I am also pretty sure that we cannot really afford to pay for many of the courses, and maybe there should be some more thought put into the real cost of courses, the actual salaries gained by students of some of courses, and how best to deliver the training. I could just suggest that canceling our nuclear deterrent would pay for us all to go back to University : but I won’t. Today.
Yes, OK, so I am getting on, and I did get free University ( for a year 🙂 ). I was doing pure sciences, and I would use this situation to seriously look at funding courses that need a full 3 years of training : and those that can help us get out of our current situation.
I have always believed that every person has at least one major skill that they can use to benefit society ( and I hope that doesn’t sound condescending in any way, as it isn’t meant to ), but really, we don’t need degrees in some of the things that we degrees in now. Vocational training, apprenticeships, part time courses, shorter but more intense courses. The list of possibilities is large.
So, yes, I really appreciate our student population becoming more vocal, but I think they should maybe think a little harder before they shout.
And certainly should think before they appear on television suggesting that if one year’s fees are 9,000 GBP then three year’s fees would be 21,000 GBP : it doesn’t really help your cause….