cost of higher education
The question of funding for part-time study needs to be at the centre of any debate on student fees and loans and it must be an explicit consideration in the Government's proposed review of tertiary education funding.
The 3 year 'boarding school model' for higher education only serves a proportion of learners. If the Government truly wants a highly skilled 'global trading nation' then it will need to support a flexible and diverse higher education sector that is able to deliver it.
It would be counter-intuitive for the NUS to argue for fewer universities, and fewer students. But if that in turn came with less debt and happier undergraduates, it might just be worth it for everyone.
With Britain's stubborn structural deficit requiring fiscal consolidation, introducing a more costly system for the state is neither sustainable nor practical; shifting the burden of tertiary education from the state onto students is in all of our interests.
Many current students at Bournemouth University appear that to have now accepted £9,000 tuition fees as the norm and are even prepared for the possibility that the next Government could increase them further. They described fees to me as "money that you don't see", and were instead far more concerned with day-to-day survival...
After four years as a Soas student, I'm about to graduate with a considerable amount of debt, albeit not compared to those
What is clear is that universities are being forced to make pricing decisions and think like commercial businesses like never before. True marketisation may not be a bad thing for the sector - with fees genuinely linked to the value delivered - but the current model is the worst of both worlds.
The public debate evaluating the true usefulness of an MBA is a cacophony that only grows louder the further you wade into it. Yet what I found from my own wading is that you cannot know what is right for 'everyone' - you can only (ever) know what's right for you.
By 2033, the cost of sending a child to university will have risen to just shy of £150,000, which on the average will take 5 years to earn, eating notwithstanding. So unless my bitcoin investment starts performing, my (already existing) kids had better get used to the idea of being blue collar.
This year the Tories are preparing a new, massive attack on students, which promise to be as regressive and damaging to the future of millions of people as the trebling of tuition fees has been - plotting to sell all our student loans to private debt collectors, who are hungry to make a profit out of saddling us with more debt than we signed up to. Students are, however, building a movement to stop the government in its tracks.