Tuesday, September 6, 2011

‘Scottish’ university to charge English students £36,000 for four year degree, Edinburgh University joins the rush to screw students financially

Dear All

Annual fees of a stonking £9k a year, enough to make an English student’s eyes water in Scotland.

And of course with courses being four years that means £36,000 for a four-year degree.

Down the road in sunny England the total cost of a degree at Oxford and Cambridge, regarded as among the best in the world will be considerably lower.


So from a finance aspect, it makes more sense to study in England for English students.

Edinburgh University decision means that an English student pays £9k and a Scottish student sitting next to them doing the same subject pays absolutely nothing.

Education despite what many people say isn’t free for Scots; we all pay through our taxes.

Of course the education is something that any aspiring country must invest in educated people are a country’s greatest resource.

The argument for doctors, dentists and vets is well understood by lay people.

However some people don’t easily recognise the value of arts subjects such as sociology.

What higher education teaches people aside from the subject is the ability to do analysis which is transferable cross a range of disciplines such as management.

However, lower down the scale the ability to analyse isn’t a core skill in secondary education.

And it should be.

Heriot-Watt University, in Edinburgh, also announced fees of £9000 a year, which could prove counter productive in the long run.

They are doing a 4 for 3 deal, how very supermarket discounting of them.

But English students still have to shell out a whopping total cost of a degree of £27,000.

Aberdeen University jumping on the bandwagon to plunder the English has already announced fees of £9000 a year, also capped at £27,000.

4 for 3 becoming most popular in University circles!

Michael Russell, the SNP Education Secretary, said he expected Scottish universities to show restraint in setting fees, with £6375 a year quoted as a competitive figure.

Unfortunately no one is listening; it’s like a free lunch buffet, hands and bodies all scrambling like mad for the chicken wings and salad.

In order to be seen as caring and sharing and big woolly jumper, both Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt argued that new bursaries will help ease the burden for poorer students from the rest of the UK (RUK).

£27,000 for a degree plus living costs, food, books, and of course bevy is a serious undertaking and let’s face, you need to get pissed at university particularly at freshers week.

Freshers week is week nothing at university, were young students away from home
Indulge in a week of ‘smoking it, drinking it and trying to hump it’.

Very traditional part of the uni calendar.

One year I caught a first medical student called Mr Williamson, hadn’t even lifted a pencil in anger caught making a cannabis joint in the student union.

I gave him a traditional lecture on the dangers of drugs; coupled with the university management are all bastards who would rip his degree right out from under him without a moment of hesitation, if it became public.

Then I took him to the toilet to watch the traditional flushing drugs down the toilet, with astern warning that at freshers week you can fu*k up as much as you want.

Week one I would be less forgiving.

After all standards!

Anyway to return to the issue, Mary Senior, Scottish official for the UCU Scotland lecturers’ union, said:

“We are disappointed that Heriot-Watt and Edinburgh universities are to set fees at the highest level, leaving students paying more to study in Scotland than even in England. Though Edinburgh is offering bursaries, most students won’t qualify for these, so only the wealthiest will consider Edinburgh an option. Our worst fears that most Scottish universities will ignore the minister and charge the highest possible fee have come to fruition.”

This seems like Ms Senior is failing to recognise that means Scottish students from poorer backgrounds can boogie on in the door.

Graeme Kirkpatrick, depute president of NUS Scotland, said:

“A £36,000 degree is both staggering and ridiculous. This is nothing less than cashing in on students from the rest of the UK. Universities in Scotland seem to think they can charge anything they like, and that students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland will still come here to study regardless. The reputational damage this could do, not only to Edinburgh, but to the whole of Scottish higher education, should not be underestimated.”

Scottish Labour’s higher education spokeswoman, Claire Baker, added:

“I’m bitterly disappointed. I fear many less well-off students from other parts of the UK will now be priced out of Scottish universities.”

Professor Mary Bownes, vice- principal for external engagement, said:

“The university is committed to introducing the most generous package of bursaries to be made available to RUK students on the lowest household incomes, with the aim of ensuring that no student will be prevented from attending the university purely on the basis of an inability to afford to study here.”

Defending the fee hike, she added:

“These students will be studying at one of the world’s top teaching and research institutions, regularly ranked among the leading universities in the world. Their educational experience is also enhanced by the university’s location in the historic Scottish capital and by the cosmopolitan nature of the university.”

£36,000 Bownes, don’t try it on, best to say nothing rather than platitudes.

Professor Steve Chapman, principal of Heriot-Watt University, said:

A Heriot-Watt degree is a positive investment in future employment. Over 92% of our graduates are in work or further study within six months of graduation, with approximately three-quarters of those going straight into graduate-level jobs.”

Unfortunately, the crisis facing higher education and the funding of it hasn’t been tackled in a meaningful way by anyone.

We have various options of trying to keep the status quo but like the banking system it is facing collapse.

Question is when and who will be in power when it does break?

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

1 comment:

george said...

Scottish taxpayers are losing out in other essential services to fund free education. LibLabCon are against this policy. EU rules and the ECHR say we must allow foreigners a free education in Scotland. There's nothing we can do about that until we get free of the EU. But at least we can still tell England to get lost. Until they take us to the ECHR which will make them look stupid.
UK Parliament sues Scottish Government via the ECHR because they have to admit that they're no longer sovereign and have given it away. Mmmm. Can't see that happening lol.