Thursday, December 20, 2012

Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont sends the strongest signal yet that she hasn’t any vision for higher education beyond spewing soundbytes, no answers, no solutions, and for everything else there is Mastercard!

Dear All

Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont doesn’t want to be First Minister of Scotland.

Although she was educated in the university sector, she has no idea how to secure its future or that of the college sector.

But she does say she is willing to listen which is code for ‘someone give me a policy’.

The SNP has a flagship policy of free university tuition, the past Labour has supported this, the ‘good times’ however are over, in the education sector there is much wrong, but it cannot be pinned on free tuition.

Universities have been allowed to develop into mini fiefdoms which grow and as they were allowed to grow they sucked up funding.

The Scottish Funding Council provides funding for universities and colleges, it is slanted in favour of universities, just check their committees.

I support splitting the council into two distinct bodies, Scottish Funding Council (universities) and Scottish Funding Council (colleges), that way colleges can be allowed to flourish.

The college sector has always been underfunded to the betterment of universities, but it is the college sector which needs to grow.

Universities need slimmed down.

The old model of three tier education is unsustainable, which is why I came up with four tier, university, college, community college and schools.

Community college isn’t a new thing; however I propose that the Community colleges are run by councils to generate revenue for them. Community Colleges would be based in schools at nights and during summer break. Money would come from different stakeholders and the public.

Four tier Education could be the way of the future, government just don’t know it yet.

To return to Ms. Lamont, she says that free tuition is starving colleges of cash, could she provide evidence for this? Surely it can be based on the assumption that if universities charged then extra money would be available to the college sector?

Where’s the proof?

In fact where is any of the work which supports her position?

The problem of college cuts is more complex than just free tuition, if free tuition goes, it doesn’t translate to saving the sector, all it does is shore up the same rotten corrupt system for a bit longer.

In playing the blame game, Alex Salmond accused Ms Lamont of being part of a “Labour-Tory alliance” on the issue.

I don’t see an alliance, all I see is the Tories taking the least line of resistance and being policy lite on this matter, it’s a major overhaul that is needed in the sector.

Since it is near Xmas, Salmond brought up the ghost of David Cameron, education is devolved, Cameron has no role in this, but speaking of anglicisation, who is it who is bring Scots law into line with England?

No points, its Alex Salmond and the Scottish National Party Government.

It seems that Salmond has climbed into bed with the Tories as well.

If Lamont keeps going with her disastrous policies changes, the only thing in her stocking will be her feet.

Big ideas and radical overhaul is needed, and all Johann Lamont can do is cry wolf.

It is almost like she doesn’t want Labour to win at the next Holyrood election, maybe Labour MSPs will notice too, Ken Macintosh is looking increasingly like the man who can change Labour’s fortunes, either that or Ms. Lamont better get new help in and do what she is told.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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