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Student Protests: United Kingdom
Nov 27 2010, 5:33 am
By: NicholasBeige
Pages: 1 2 3 >
 

Nov 27 2010, 5:33 am NicholasBeige Post #1



So, the British Government is aiming to more then treble the cost of higher (university) education for everyone. The costs will jump from 3000 to 9000 for one year of education at a University or College. These costs do not cover any course materials, books or equipment you need. Nor do these costs cover your living expenses, rent, food, electricity or gas bills during your time in university.

We currently have a coalition government between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservative (Tory) governments. The leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg, promised that education cuts would not happen, and that military spending and the controversial Trident nuclear programme would be scrapped instead.

This has not been the case and the education cuts are going ahead.

Here are a series of youtube videos which capture the feeling of animosity currently experienced by thousands of people across the United Kingdom right now. Not only students.





What, if any, has the coverage been of these events over in the United States? What, if any, are your thoughts on the matter.



None.

Nov 27 2010, 5:52 am Fire_Kame Post #2

a left leaning coexistence nut

There's been quite a bit of coverage that I've seen, but I only read the WSJ.

And honestly, I hate it when foreigners butt into American policy, so I'll hold my opinion to myself. I have no problem with peaceful protesting though. I know that's happening, but I think the papers are keeping that part in the fine print (after all, which sells more papers?).




Nov 27 2010, 5:55 am payne Post #3

:payne:

There's currently a similar scenario happening here in Quebec: the government is about to make the cost of a single year of education in an university pass from approximatively 2,300$ to approximatively 5,000$.
A lot of manifestations have happened, yet none were really covered by some media. However, I've heard the one happening this December 6th will probably be epically huge. You guys might see me there. ;)

I've already explained most of this situation in the Sick of Capitalism thread.



None.

Nov 27 2010, 6:11 am NicholasBeige Post #4



Quote from Fire_Kame
And honestly, I hate it when foreigners butt into American policy, so I'll hold my opinion to myself. I have no problem with peaceful protesting though.

It is a handful of idiots who are creating a violent atmosphere. The rest is down to mob mentality. Couple this with an ever increasing mistrust and hatred against a police force, an undeniable feeling that a nation is slipping slowly but surely into the grasp of totalitarian 'police state' control. The violence at these 'peaceful' protests is understandable yet not commendable.

Please do share your thoughts. Opinions never killed anyone. :unsure:



None.

Nov 27 2010, 7:01 am Centreri Post #5

Relatively ancient and inactive

I don't know much about England's government. Those figures for public universities are similar to American numbers, so I don't see anything horrible about that; somewhere along the line, the UK government spent more every year than it had, and it now has to start paying that off. They don't really have a choice. The best students can usually get a scholarship or something anyway, so the best of the best will get an education either way.

One thing I'll say, I'm very worried about the US. We have the same deficit problem, but we're not correcting it. Britain is, no matter how unpopular it may be. What the US is doing is interesting - we're actually increasing spending. Our military budget is growing even while large deficits are showing to be dangerous in Europe. It feels somewhat like Obama's going to try and solve most of America's foreign problems quickly, because I don't think it's sustainable.



None.

Nov 27 2010, 7:14 am NicholasBeige Post #6



Quote from Centreri
I don't know much about England's government. Those figures for public universities are similar to American numbers, so I don't see anything horrible about that; somewhere along the line, the UK government spent more every year than it had, and it now has to start paying that off. They don't really have a choice. The best students can usually get a scholarship or something anyway, so the best of the best will get an education either way.

One thing I'll say, I'm very worried about the US. We have the same deficit problem, but we're not correcting it. Britain is, no matter how unpopular it may be.

There is very much a class system in the United Kingdom. Some call it a meritocracy, where those who want to do well, succeed in life. Such as, those with the skills and knowledge, or the merit to do well. But that is not the case. It is those with money who can afford to buy the skills and knowledge (education and degrees) who succeed in life.

When Tony Blair was elected to power more than 12 years ago now, his motto was "Education, Education, Education". Yet we saw no improvements during his 8+ years in power. Instead, there was war in iraq, health cuts and massive spending which led up to the recent economic recession. Tony Blair stepped down and Gordon Brown who was Chancellor of the Ex-Chequer, incharge of finance) during Blairs reign, took control. With no election. Finally, we have an election and there is no clear winner, so instead now we have two governments with conflicting views. One half of our government promised us no education cuts, no increase in spending and better accessibility for education for everyone. The other half of our government promised to demilitarize vast sectors of our economy and free up budgets and spending by decommissioning nuclear programmes (nuclear and civil).

the sad fact is, that neither halves of our government are holding their promises and as a result people are taking to the streets because of it. People took to the streets and protested before the Iraq invasion. Now they do so again.

Quote from Centreri
They don't really have a choice. The best students can usually get a scholarship or something anyway, so the best of the best will get an education either way.

The choice is clear. Abandon our nuclear project. The British Empire has been dead for a long time. Instead of looking at our nation as a great world power, we must instead realize that we are just a small island off the coast of Europe (not even a particularly nice coast either). The recent economic crisis has put it into perspective that we are but one small nation in the grand scheme of things. By destroying the right to education by making an already expensive venture [getting a degree] cost 3x more is just alienating the already oppressed and poor people who previously had no chance of getting into university in the first place.

If these cuts go ahead, it will be a massive step backwards for Great Britain and its ancient universities...

The most ironic fact about it is that David Cameron (current leader of the Conservatives) is currently in China giving a lecture to students there, on how they, as a nation "must not be greedy", and should "consider the opportunity of studying in Britain"...

PS. I know very little (absolutely nothing) about politics. I just voice my opinion on these matters from what I read between the news and piece together from the internet. All legitimate sources though of course.



None.

Nov 27 2010, 7:17 am payne Post #7

:payne:

Quote from Centreri
The best students can usually get a scholarship or something anyway, so the best of the best will get an education either way.
Every time there's an increased cost for studies, the gap between richs and poors enlarges itself, fact.

EDIT: Ninja'd by Cardinal, though his intervention was much more relevant than mine. :P



None.

Nov 27 2010, 7:32 am Centreri Post #8

Relatively ancient and inactive

Quote from name:Cardinal
There is very much a class system in the United Kingdom. Some call it a meritocracy, where those who want to do well, succeed in life. Such as, those with the skills and knowledge, or the merit to do well. But that is not the case. It is those with money who can afford to buy the skills and knowledge (education and degrees) who succeed in life.

When Tony Blair was elected to power more than 12 years ago now, his motto was "Education, Education, Education". Yet we saw no improvements during his 8+ years in power. Instead, there was war in iraq, health cuts and massive spending which led up to the recent economic recession. Tony Blair stepped down and Gordon Brown who was Chancellor of the Ex-Chequer, incharge of finance) during Blairs reign, took control. With no election. Finally, we have an election and there is no clear winner, so instead now we have two governments with conflicting views. One half of our government promised us no education cuts, no increase in spending and better accessibility for education for everyone. The other half of our government promised to demilitarize vast sectors of our economy and free up budgets and spending by decommissioning nuclear programmes (nuclear and civil).

the sad fact is, that neither halves of our government are holding their promises and as a result people are taking to the streets because of it. People took to the streets and protested before the Iraq invasion. Now they do so again
.

Cardinal, politicans make unrealistic promises to get elected. Big fucking deal. This isn't really up for debate; yes, people will always protest stuff they don't like. Yes, your government isn't ideal. But at least the cuts are going through.

Quote from name:cardinal
The choice is clear. Abandon our nuclear project. The British Empire has been dead for a long time. Instead of looking at our nation as a great world power, we must instead realize that we are just a small island off the coast of Europe (not even a particularly nice coast either). The recent economic crisis has put it into perspective that we are but one small nation in the grand scheme of things. By destroying the right to education by making an already expensive venture [getting a degree] cost 3x more is just alienating the already oppressed and poor people who previously had no chance of getting into university in the first place.

If these cuts go ahead, it will be a massive step backwards for Great Britain and its ancient universities...

The most ironic fact about it is that David Cameron (current leader of the Conservatives) is currently in China giving a lecture to students there, on how they, as a nation "must not be greedy", and should "consider the opportunity of studying in Britain"...
Interesting. Well, I suppose, yes, the United Kingdom can abandon it's military power and become a Switzerland. It doesn't really need a military or anything, so, yes, it's possible to find the money for education by cutting espionage, military and other such projects. It might be good for the country. Or it can lead to a scenario where it gets taken over by Ireland (or something similarly weird). That's a matter of opinion, I suppose. Were I British, I'd rather cut education than military.

And, yes, payne, it does, but there isn't always an appealing alternative.



None.

Nov 27 2010, 7:35 am payne Post #9

:payne:

Quote from Centreri
And, yes, payne, it does, but there isn't always an appealing alternative.
Yet there are so many better ways to get some monetary benefits.
Cutting into the education is one of the worst thing you can do to a society as a whole when thinking long-term. :/
Increasing tax and imposition is the shit, period. And may those rich pigs finally pay the bill, for once! >:O



None.

Nov 27 2010, 7:40 am Fire_Kame Post #10

a left leaning coexistence nut

Quote from payne
Quote from Centreri
And, yes, payne, it does, but there isn't always an appealing alternative.
Yet there are so many better ways to get some monetary benefits.
Cutting into the education is one of the worst thing you can do to a society as a whole when thinking long-term. :/
Increasing tax and imposition is the shit, period. And may those rich pigs finally pay the bill, for once! >:O

You can't decrease spending and increase social programs. It doesn't work that way.




Nov 27 2010, 7:43 am payne Post #11

:payne:

Quote from Fire_Kame
You can't decrease spending and increase social programs. It doesn't work that way.
Indeed, it's a fact.
... And I never asked about increased social programs (in this case :P). I'm asking for increased taxes to reduce the cost of education. I'm far from proposing to decrease the spending. >_>



None.

Nov 27 2010, 7:44 am Fire_Kame Post #12

a left leaning coexistence nut

Quote from payne
Quote from Fire_Kame
You can't decrease spending and increase social programs. It doesn't work that way.
Indeed, it's a fact.
... And I never asked about increased social programs (in this case :P). I'm asking for increased taxes to reduce the cost of education.

Hey Payne, what type of program is going to reduce the cost of education. :P




Nov 27 2010, 7:49 am payne Post #13

:payne:

Quote from Fire_Kame
Quote from payne
Quote from Fire_Kame
You can't decrease spending and increase social programs. It doesn't work that way.
Indeed, it's a fact.
... And I never asked about increased social programs (in this case :P). I'm asking for increased taxes to reduce the cost of education.

Hey Payne, what type of program is going to reduce the cost of education. :P
The good one.



None.

Nov 27 2010, 12:56 pm Ahli Post #14

I do stuff and thingies... Try widening and reducing the number of small nooks and crannies to correct the problem.

I only have to pay 1.000 for 1 year to be allowed to be at my university. In Germany it varies from 0 to 1400.

You have to pay pretty much (you have 3 years for a bachelor degree?).
Seems like the government isn't supporting the important education that much because my country managed to make university visits for free in the past.

And currently, the fees are used to give every student 1 to 2 more seminars during the week where solutions for some tasks are presented.

Tripling costs is pretty unacceptable... Normally, you've no income and have high debts after finishing university, if your parent's can't afford the costs. Should be a great start with the big minus. :S If you fail at university, you are pretty much screwed.

People will think much more about their decision to go to university and there will be less academics in future.
But there will be enough foreigners that are willing to get that jobs in an English speaking society...




Nov 27 2010, 1:38 pm Zycorax Post #15

Grand Moderator of the Games Forum

Quote from name:Cardinal
The most ironic fact about it is that David Cameron (current leader of the Conservatives) is currently in China giving a lecture to students there, on how they, as a nation "must not be greedy", and should "consider the opportunity of studying in Britain"...
There's already shitloads of Chinese people studying in Britain. At least here. I get the feeling that half the people living in the same court as me are Chinese :P

Considering uni education is as good as free in Norway (paid 130 for a whole year), I already feel the 3000 students have to pay in the UK is way too much (though I had to pay even more as an exchange student ._. ). Triple it to 9000 is just... stupid. With those prices a masters degree is hardly worth it. At the same time, trying to get work without an education becomes harder and harder as foreigners comes to the country and take those jobs, as well as more industry moves to Eastern Europe and Asia (at least that's the case in Norway).




Nov 27 2010, 4:37 pm Centreri Post #16

Relatively ancient and inactive

Private universities in the US cost ~40,000 yearly on average. Public universities are less, but they're widely considered to be inferior in terms of the education offered. I guess the tripled UK figure just doesn't shock me. :P

Payne, when a government is as deeply in debt as the UK with no end in sight, across-the-board cuts are the best option. Across-the-board means education. If the government continues spending wastefully, the debt will grow and the generation that got near-free education will instead have to be far more heavily taxed to begin to repay interest.



None.

Nov 27 2010, 5:37 pm Fire_Kame Post #17

a left leaning coexistence nut

Quote from Centreri
Private universities in the US cost ~40,000 yearly on average. Public universities are less, but they're widely considered to be inferior in terms of the education offered. I guess the tripled UK figure just doesn't shock me. :P

True fact. The first college I went to was private and was about $34k a year. I went to a CC for two years and it was a couple thousand a year. The state university I'm at right now is about 5k a semester. And for the record the education I'm receiving at the state school is much greater than anything I got at the private university. :P I actually really like my university. The only thing I miss is living on campus, but I'm not about to pay extra for the "college experience." But don't get me wrong, some private schools are worth it. It depends on what your program is.

It is unfortunately not that uncommon for people to choose between heavy debt - hundreds of thousands - and lower tier education. It is a big trade off. I'm surprised that some of you think that high education should come at low or no personal cost. I would think that would cheapen the experience - no pun intended. I don't really think anything is giving away for free, and I don't expect to be given anything. FAFSA helps, but I know that someone - probably me to some extent, though on a lesser level - pays into it. Student loans are a responsibility I willingly take.

And I did "screw up" my first year when I tried that private college. That one year I accrued 6k in debt, and I consider myself lucky that this was all. My older sister accrued tens of thousands and she did go to a private school.




Nov 29 2010, 2:31 am CaptainWill Post #18



I am in favour of student protests and the peaceful occupations that have been happening at my university and others.

However, I think a lot of these young fools are approaching things from entirely the wrong angle, betraying a lack of understanding of the issues at stake which undermines their position.

University will remain free at the point of entry, as it always has been. We have the two best universities in the world and people get to go for free at the point of entry. That is pretty damned good compared with the US, where to go to the third best uni in the world (Harvard) you need to be immensely wealthy or so exceptional that you get a scholarship that covers the rather giant fees. Now, what's changing in the UK is the amount that students will have to pay back to the government after they graduate and are earning a decent salary. It's going up from about 3250 p.a. to max. 9000 p.a. Ok, that's a big difference but once a student has graduated they are unlikely to see much of a difference in their tax bill (student debts are deducted directly from your salary as a tax, once said salary reaches a certain threshold).

I don't understand why students are protesting this so strongly. They should be focusing on the cuts to funding for higher education! Less government funding to the universities mean that they are having to look to alternative sources of funding, which is basically foreign students with wealthy families. The universities don't care how poor these students are as candidates for learning, so long as they are rich in terms of money. In the last few years I've seen more and more international students who just aren't up to the standards required of a British degree course. If the government continues to cut funding for higher education then we will see the proud traditions of academic education in our universities fall. Education isn't supposed to be a money-making exercise and I don't think it is fair to expose it to the vagaries of the private sector.



None.

Nov 29 2010, 2:46 am NicholasBeige Post #19



@CaptainWill: True, you make a good point about the point of entry. But Students still leave university with insane amounts of student debt. This is likely to triple once these proposed plans have gone through. While, sure, you can start going to a university for minimal costs (rent, gas/electricity bills, food and books etc)... You will for certain, be leaving university with debt.

It is this overhanging sense of spending 4 to 6 years getting 'an education' or degree so that you MIGHT get a job which pays better than average. It is this sense of uncertainty in the general value of a degree which underpins the ferocity in the student protests. Of course, there are hundreds of other matters at play, and I cannot generalize as such. But, it is the way in which you finish University with debt, and undoubtedly you will want to move onto the housing/property ladder (thus compounding your debt)...

Average under-graduate level entry jobs pay between 19,000 and 23,000 a year. Currently, most students leave university with a debt between 10000 and 15000. Sure, this only takes into account your tuition fees, some students leave university with much higher debt due to credit cards etc. But lets consider for a moment that you have no credit card debts (assuming you've worked part time for your 4 years during university). The debt which students will have, post 2010 entering any British university will be between 28000 and $45000. This effectively nullify's any earning potential you have with your degree, since this is a serious amount of debt.

My point still stands that the government has overlooked other areas in which spending cuts can be made, namely, Trident. And this move (if it goes ahead, which I am 99% sure it will) serves only to vastly diminish the quality of anyones degree in the future. There is already a climate in which people are dissuaded against going into University, since they can instead undertake a wide variety of practical skills, apprenticeships, internships or even starting their own business. This move is simply tipping the scales in which a university degree loses it's cost effectiveness entirely. Which in turn means less students and the universities will suffer in the long run.

I know hundreds of people (literally) who simply would not be able to be in university if the costs were so high. And yes, these same hundreds of people understand that the costs are not inflicted in the here-and-now.

But overall, I do agree with you. The vast majority of students who are protesting are attacking the matter from the completely wrong angle.



None.

Nov 29 2010, 3:06 am Centreri Post #20

Relatively ancient and inactive

Wait, so these noobs are whining about having to repay a small, set amount, several years after graduating? God, Europeans are spoiled. Our government spends our money on maintaining a gigantic military.

Where'd you get the figure that Harvard is third? The only British University I've heard of is Oxford, I don't even know what #2 you're talking about.



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