Who do you reckon wrote this?
But the truth is that a university degree is not the best educational attainment for the majority of people. Most jobs do not require such a level of education, although I firmly believe that education should not just be about what job you get. But for many, a university education provides little in terms of other personal development. Joining the job market earlier, or learning vocational skills, could be much more beneficial to the individual and society as a whole. Becoming a plumber or a butcher, rather than a teacher, is now a job with real security.
Some ghastly Conservative, talking sense of a sort, but doing it in that voice that we all hate and the memory of which still keeps the Conservatives in the bucket market unelectable, the one that goes: “Thanks to my hard-work and all-round merit I have reached the pinnacle of human achievement and am now a smarmy back-bench Conservative MP with ministerial ambitions.” Right? Certainly right as in not left.
Let us read on:
Well, you ghastly little creep, you may be right, but could you please be just a little less patronising about it? How good are you at playing the piano? (Don’t answer that.)
I know this is a case that many may find unpalatable, but we must recognise that the striving for equality should not blind us to the fact that we are different. We cannot all be a concert pianist, or a David Beckham. In the same way, a university education does not suit everyone.
If the Government could just recognise this simple point, then it could return to its job of improving the standards of university education to those who go there. …
Quack quack quack.
… It could also, just as importantly, make sure that those who should go to university, regardless of their backgrounds, actually get there, and are not penalised for their efforts by having a large level of debt hanging round their necks.
Ah, maybe this is an older sort of Conservative, the sort that has university age children and is feeling the pinch, now that those ministerial ambitions have collapsed in a New Labour heap.
… The present policy is ripping the Labour Party apart, and not helping our young people or the country.
The Labour Party? Ripping the Labour Party apart is good, surely.
… We are victims of woolly thought from both sides of the argument. We need to spend more public money on each individual student. But the point is, we don’t need so many going to university.
We are victims … We need to spend more public money … we don’t need so many going to university … It’s confusing isn’t it.
And that’s the end of the piece, at which point it says:
The author was Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, 1997-9
Yes it’s … Mo Mowlam, in yesterday’s Independent. Adding fire to the flames of a Labour back-bench revolt on the subject of top-up fees for university students. Better to cut university education and keep it free, says Mo, than expand it and make it worse and charge for it.
The parliamentary debate about financing higher education has divided into those who say that the winner class should damn well have to pay for it, and those who say that the loser class shouldn’t. Neither policy is the complete answer.
Here’s my complete answer: denationalise the entire thing, and get the government right out of it. Then let the rich and concerned give scholarships to all those who they think deserve them, and let the poor who are left out work their way through university, if they are that desperate for a university education. It wouldn’t be perfect, and certainly not perfectly fair, but what would? University education, because denationalised, would be a lot better, and in particular, for those who most need that, a lot cheaper.
And here’s another argument for total denationalisation. If university education boosts your future income and productivity, then surely those who get the income should pay for the education which yields it, not everybody else. If university education does not boost your future income and productivity, then why the hell would everybody else want to pay for it? What use is it to all of them?
If those arguments fail because of being too intellectual and logical and everything, try this, which just says that students are disgusting parasites and to hell with them. (Except for the foreigners, who are paying for what they are getting and are quite nice.)