Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Tuition fees from hell!

There is a lot in the press about the proposed increase in university tuition fees. Well, there was a cap on tuition fees but now they have decided that that cap should be lifted and as a result universities can pretty much charge whatever they want for their courses. Now, many students will come out of university with more than £30k in debt. Government says that they won't have to pay until they start earning £21k.

Well naturally, I have an opinion on this. I think it's a bad idea. Some universities, e.g. top schools like Oxford and Cambridge, may end up charging an arm and a leg in tuition fees and they will know that they will get away with it because there will always be a demand to study there. So if one student cannot afford it, then another will be able to. Could this mean students with a wealthy background will go to these universities? Could some of the brightest students miss out on an opportunity to study there? Could the rise in tuition fee discourage many students from going to university altogether?

I personally think it's a shame and I feel sorry for the future students who will come out of university with huge debts. Debts should be the least of their worries. They should be focusing on finishing their degrees and finding the jobs. In this market, I wouldn't be surprised if the potential debt discourages many from attending universities. The debt will incur interest too you know?!

I remember I once had a chat with a young electrician. He saw me reading one of my law books (fun stuff!) and wanted to know about the course and the conversation ended up with him admitting that he really wanted to go to university after finishing school but the fear of getting into debt stopped him. He was making money now and after our conversation he said he would think about going to university part time. I never saw him again but I really do hope that he will follow his dreams and hope many others will too.

What do you think? does this new change in university fee mean Britain could lose out in the long term because some of the brightest may go elsewhere?

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