The recently heated debate as to whether or not tuition fees for universities should be increased has lead to some vice-chancellors declaring that they want to increase charges to up to £20,000 whilst Malcolm Grant, chairman of the Russell Group which represents 20 of the top higher-education research establishments, described them as “barking mad”. Following the rise in tuition fees a couple of years back and in light of the current economic climate, is it really sensible to increase tuition fees further?
All the Yes points:
- More money will pumped into the economy, helping to overcome the recession.
- It is a small price to pay for the quality of education given.
- Reduction in competition for careers.
- A degree will become more valuable.
All the No points:
- It will increase the tension and the gap between rich and poor.
- Discrimination against the poor.
- It will discourage people from getting a higher education.
- Tuition fees were only increased a few years ago.
- The recession is torturing students enough.
More money will pumped into the economy, helping to overcome the recession.
Through charging students more for their studies, the government will gain more money for themselves which as a result, they could use to inject into the economy at a time when, let’s face it, the economy is in desperate need of a boost. As a long-term consequence of an increase in tuition fees this could be a solution to getting the country out of one of the worst recessions in a century and to keep it out of re-entering such a state.
Is the government really that desperate for funds to help restructure its economy that it is willing to practically steal from students? Desperate times call for desperate measures, but depriving students of all people of a significant amount of money is wrong and most definitely not the best solution to an economic recovery. A few million pounds increase in fees given to the government will not make a substantial difference to the situation. There are numerous other, more effective and more moral ways to get money and to fight the recession.
It is a small price to pay for the quality of education given.
The amenities and tools that universities offer their students to gain higher education, including the excellent standard of university professors, are priceless. Consequently, an increase in tuition fees would definitely still be worth attending university for as there is no other institution that can give such high quality facilities, teaching, help and advice in addition to a highly regarded qualification (a degree). Such a qualification as a degree could potentially allow for huge salaries and pay packages in the long-run, making the tuitions fees paid to the university which had made all that possible, seem insignificant.
Whilst it cannot be disputed that most universities guarantee an outstanding education, it would definitely not be worth £20,000 per year! That amount of money could considerably add to an “average” salary making it worth the same as a “high” salary but without obtaining a degree and wasting 3/4 years of your life!
Furthermore, although the quality of education may be worth paying for, the quantity of education does not justify such an increase. Many students are given less than 15 hours of lectures per week so should they really be paying such a huge amount for an education that they rarely receive?
Reduction in competition for careers.
Through a rise in tuition fees, many people will be put off going to university and getting a higher education. This will, nevertheless, have a positive impact on the smaller number of people who do decide to go to university and to obtain a degree.
Many careers these days are extremely competitive (for example careers in medicine and law) and even after achieving a high degree in a certain subject, it can prove extremely difficult to secure a career within that profession. By increasing tuition fees, the smaller number of students are more likely to be able to get their desired career because there will be less competition for the places.
Competition should be encouraged so as to allow employers to gain the best possible post-graduate students for the job. What’s more, with all these “anti-competitive issues” arising within the UK at the minute (for instance, the issue with BAA owning all three London airports as well as the frowned upon possible mergers between TV channels) could this not be seen as being anti-competitive? It is not student fees which need to be raised but rather the universities standards. This in the end will provide the people with the best qualifications the best jobs.
A degree will become more valuable.
A rise in tuition fees making higher education itself more valuable, combined with the reduced number of students that will attend university owing to the increase, will make a degree a more valuable and sought-after qualification. At the moment more and more people seem to be heading off to university and if this keeps up, before long a degree will be worth practically nothing since the majority of the country will have one. Perhaps an increase in tuition fees is needed to prevent this concern and to ensure that a degree keeps its value.
How much a degree is worth is proportional to how prestigious the institution is and how well-known the course is. A rise in tuition fees will only lead to the poor being forfeited the chance to enrol in a degree course and hence, resulting in only the better off people obtaining degrees. A degree, in this sense, has lost its purpose and worth as it is just a luxury good that can only be afforded by the affluent. One might argue that financial aid is available for the poor who perform well academically, but then again, with the rising costs of tuition fees, will there be more grants and scholarships handed out? I highly doubt so.
It will increase the tension and the gap between rich and poor.
By increasing the tuition fees the government will not only discourage the less well-off from attending higher education but it will create a wider gap between the rich and poor.
People who were in disadvantaged backgrounds to begin with are less likely to be able to afford to go to university if an increase in tuition fees was enforced. This would then result in them being unable to obtain decent jobs with high salaries, leading to a resentful feeling and tension amongst the poorer of the nation and towards the rich who had never had any problem attending university and getting a well-paid career.
Yes but its so much easier to pay off those debts if Daddy is a millionaire and you have a trust fund. As well although it only gets paid off depending on your wage it still has to be fully paid back so it becomes how long you are in debt for.
Both rich and poor families do not have to pay tuition fees directly, they are paid using a “tuition fee loan”. This would merely make the loan larger. This does not in any way affect whether any student is able to “afford” to go to university, only the length of time it takes to pay off the loan after graduating, and starting to earn over £15K per year. Additionally, the money is paid back based on salary of the graduate, not the size of the loan. Once the student has graduated, their background has no relevance to their current financial situation, they can get just as good a job as those with a more well off background.
Discrimination against the poor.
A further rise in tuition fees could easily be seen as an indirect way of discriminating against the poorer people of the country. If the government was to increase tuition fees it would have the obvious effect of deterring less well-off people from attending higher education. This could in fact have been the government’s aim from the outset and consequently, it constitutes discrimination against the poor and in favour of the richer people of the nation who can afford the newly increased rates.
Discrimination is not only one rule for one but another for the rest it also includes diverse access for example if I was to say one of you can go to university whoever reaches the top of the stairs first is in and one of the competitors is in a wheel chair that is obvious discrimination. < wierd example but first thing I thought of. The Debts could be crippling to a working class family but not to a wealthy family as they have extra money to help out their child.
Due to the fact that the newly increased tuition fees would apply to everyone within the country, whether they are rich or poor, ensures equality. If the government was to reduce the fees for the poor or increase the fees for the rich only, that would be discrimination. Therefore, the government is not discriminating but ensuring equality and doing what it feels is best for the country. Besides which, all students can get a “tuition fee loan” and so even the poorest can easily afford to go to university.
It will discourage people from getting a higher education.
If the government were to increase tuition fees they may well find that they have left themselves in a bit of a hole. Considering the government needs bright and intellectual people to fill the gaps within the various systems of the country (e.g. health system, legal system, administrative system, banking system etc…) by discouraging people to get a higher education it will find itself left with few people to fill in these gaps. What’s more, even if the government did have people to take up these positions, it is likely that they would not be the best people for the job. If more people were able to get a higher education, it would leave the government with more choice and more intellectual candidates to choose from.
Aside from the government, discouraging people to get a higher education through increasing tuition fees would have an effect on the whole country as people will not be as trained or qualified to do their jobs as they would have been if they had obtained a degree.
The selection process for jobs would be made a lot easier if there were fewer candidates to choose from. It would also make things easier and decrease the competition for the fewer candidates that were qualified for the job.
Furthermore, a higher education is not required for many jobs and careers and so it unlikely that by discouraging people from getting a higher education it will have a significant impact on the country. There is no evidence to back up this claim. Since tuition fees were introduced the number of applicants has gone up on average, despite the fees increasing yearly. There are reasons for wanting to go to university other than to earn more money, for example access to more interesting, specialised jobs and for the university experience.
Tuition fees were only increased a few years ago.
It was only 3 years ago that tuition fees were increased from a mere £1,000 to a substantial £3,000. In fact, before 1997 there were no such things as tuition fees for universities – higher education was free!
Whilst the introduction of tuition fees can be seen as a good thing since it prevented overcrowding universities, a rise in tuition fees by £2,000 was a bit over the top. And now, to want to increase tuitions fees by more thousands of pounds is absurd, not to mention unfair! Students have had their fair share of increases in the last few years, now it’s someone else’s turn!
It is not only students that suffer from increases; everyone suffers every year, particularly with tax increases. The fact that students don’t have to pay taxes justifies the decision to impose higher education charges on students. It is more than fair.
The recession is torturing students enough.
Students, along with everyone else, are suffering because of the recession meaning it is a lot more difficult for them to find jobs and careers and to live daily life without struggling financially. The last thing they need is to find out they will have to start paying more for their studies too, at a time when every penny counts. The recession is torturing the students enough without this added dilemma.
Students were easily one of the best off during the recession, which has now after all ended. They don’t pay tax and are given a steady reliable income. Graduates have been hit in the same way as everyone else looking for a job, but graduates are by definition no longer students. taking a bit longer to pay back their loans does not affect studetnts until after university, and then only marginally.
We would love to hear what you think – please leave a comment!