Monday, 2 February 2015

Tuition fee blues

Leading universities have criticised plans being considered by Labour to cut tuition fees as "implausible".

The party is yet to unveil its policy but Ed Miliband has said he wants to reduce the cap from £9,000 to £6,000.

So how did the rest of Europe manage to pull off Mission Implausible?
From National Student Fee and Support Systems in European Higher Education (Eurydice – Facts and Figures)
As the only ones in Europe in the dark blue €5,000+ fee band, what do English students get that their European peers are missing out on?

A gold-plated education that leaves everyone else's offerings in the dust? Well, England certainly has the two most highly-ranked elite universities, but Edinburgh (no fees) also does well in the number four slot and England hasn't exactly pushed the rest of Europe out of the Top 100.

Dramatically higher levels of participation in higher education? I'm not convinced.

What do they get (apart from one day older and deeper in debt?).

As Dorothy Bishop wrote recently:
This issue forces questions about what the point of a state-funded university is. Is it to educate our citizens, or to sell education to those who will pay the most, so as to make as much money as possible?