Thursday, June 30, 2011

English fee refuges get a shock as Scottish universities allowed to charge £9000k a year to study in Scotland, unionist parties deeply upset!

Dear All

The problem of higher education continues, but one thing is certain, the status quo will eventually collapse.

Higher education needs to be radically overhauled.

What is the purpose of education?

I would say it is to educate the masses, this is the most important thing that a country must do.

Unfortunately in the education, mini empires and fiefdoms have been allowed to flourish.

And the Scottish taxpayer has had to foot the bill.

No really radical proposals have been put on the table to solve the problem.

So, here is George Laird radical thinking.

Four tier education.

Universities must be slimmed down.

The college sector must be expanded.

Community colleges introduced run by councils.

And schooling, both secondary and primary kept but improved.

Universities are sacked and destroying courses to save money, because they are only interested in self interest not the national interest.

Skills lost, places lost and gravitas lost.

Does that look like a plan?

The Scottish Government has started the reform ball roiling by allowing universities to compete for fee-paying students from the rest of the UK.

Under the Scottish Government plans, universities will be able to set their own fees for students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The cap is up to £9000 a year.

This will stop Scotland being flooded by applications from students from the rest of the UK who saw higher education in Scotland as a cheap option.

The Education Minister’s solution has the joint advantage of raising additional income for universities and creating a level playing to prevent the fee refugees coming across the border.

And this means that Scottish Universities can undercut their English counterparts to try and get a bigger share of the market.
Education is a business, although university management like to portray it as something else.

As to Scottish students, they are quids in; they will continue to get their fees paid.

Mike Russell said:

“Let me say at the outset, this is not a measure I take any joy in having to implement. Scotland welcomes students from all over the world. We want them to continue to come here because of the quality of what we offer and the quality of where we offer it, but we must be the best option, not the cheapest option. Action is essential to make sure Scottish students are not simply squeezed out by students from elsewhere across the UK.”

Ken Macintosh, Scottish Labour’s education spokesman is unhappy about the announcement by saying that d UK students now faced paying even more for their degree than if they attended an English university.

He said:

“There is a real danger that the SNP’s plans to overcharge students from the rest of the UK will be counter-productive.”

Tory MSP Liz Smith said the move was vindictive adding:

“Mr Russell says he wants access to higher education to be based on the ability to learn, not on the ability to pay, but it appears this does not apply to students from the rest of the UK.”

It is not our problem to solve the English funding problems in higher education that is a matter for the Westminster Government.

Liam McArthur, the Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesman, added:

“Four-year degrees at Scottish universities may become more costly than options south of the Border that is a concern.”

The solution is simply, people cut their cloth to suit, it is called money management.

But there was also unhappiness from academics with Gordon Watson, president of the UCU Scotland lecturers’ union, saying:

“It is perverse that the SNP, who fought an election on the promise of no tuition fees, can justify introducing an English system for other UK students in Scotland.”

No tuition fees for Scots, promise kept.

NUS Scotland (Labour stooges) aren’t happy, they are suppose to ‘represent’ students, said the Government had made the “wrong choice” on fees.

Robin Parker, NUS Scotland president-elect, said:

“These proposals could make Scottish degrees the most expensive in the whole of the UK for students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, going further even than what we have seen in England. There’s more than an element of hypocrisy here. The SNP rejected a market in tuition fees for Scottish students prior to the election, only to introduce one immediately after for students from the rest of the UK.”

So, there is going to be unhappiness all round except from Scottish students who are Scotland’s future.

And that is what the SNP Government is investing in, our people in our country.

We can’t sort out England’s problems.

However, if the current model is replaced, then English students could possibly see a dramatic reduction in education costs.

A four tier education system under my proposals would strengthen the system while at the same time keeping volume and expertise in the system.

That means the whole sector needs to be overhauled as one distinct entity from top to bottom.

The purpose of education is to educate the masses not be mentality attached to any specific establishment.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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