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If you voted LibDem, do you sleep at night?
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Posts: 306
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #21
10-12-2010 05:12 PM

strangers in the queue for the bus don't count Brian - they're just nodding politely and edging away.

Nobody on here is for one moment condoning the violent actions of the few. The riots make the press but you can be sure that the vast majority of students and education professionals who were peacefully protesting yesterday are as dismayed by the violence as anyone else - it detracts from the very valid protest that is being made in relation to the increase in fees.

Your argument that just becasue when you were a young man very few people went to university and so it shoudl remain is so meaningless as to be silly and I'd be interested to know what you mean by "Mickey Mouse" courses.

Funding for the teaching of humanites and pure science degrees is being cut by something in the region of 80%. Do you consider English, History and languages to be Mickey Mouse degrees? What about Biology or Chemistry?

It is important that the workforce has a balance of people from all sorts of educational backgrounds - someone with a degree in English or Politics may bring a different way of thinking to the table than someone with a law degree or a maths degree. If we cut off the humanities and pure sciences in favour of "vocational" degrees we will be a much poorer society as a result (and I don't mean financially).

We will produce a generation of students who will expect to be spoonfed (and will expect a 2.1!) just becasue they're "paying for it". I already notice this in my job with some of the new recruits who are fresh out of university - they want the answer without having to do the research - it makes my life that bit harder when I have to explain to them that if they want to succeed in this career, I expect them to at least have the gumption to try to find the answer (even if they fail) before coming to me - I would be doing them a massive disservice if I said anything else to them. And I have to say, it is invariably with the graduates who did a career specific degree that I have to have a quiet chat - the humanities and science graduates expect to have to try to find the answer for themselves.

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Posts: 120
Joined: Aug 2008
Post: #22
10-12-2010 05:39 PM


my head is still not sore Wink I obviously have nothing better to do today so...

I am not sure if you were implying that I was not representative of SE23 make up and questioned my patriotism. As SE23 resident I represent myself only and could tick a box or two on diversity forms. I am very much a patriot and wish the best for our country, just like you do but our views on how to achieve it differ. You don't need to tell us that some of your views are left wing, we all can make up our mind about what we read and classify it as we see fit.

I am still trying to see but fail: how is this cheaper for the Government in the next 5-10 years. They will stop paying teaching grants, but will issue loans which won’t begin to repay a penny for 3 years. We are assured the repayments will be lower than in the current system. This means that it will be years from now until the first year of student loans is paid back.

In theory there is a lot of fluff about nothing, as most future students will learn to live with a huge student debt, and not worry if and when they pay it off. So in essence it seems not a lot different than a graduate tax.

So the above makes me question. Why? The government will still have similar cost in the short to medium term, but will put a lot of pressure on young people. What are the benefits of this policy to us all?

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Posts: 129
Joined: Mar 2009
Post: #23
10-12-2010 09:45 PM

Working for one of major banks (not in the fat cat investment area, honest) I compare some of the graduate intake with my generation - late 70s - that went in with A levels. Not brilliant (I mean current degree intake). In general, a mix of school and degree entrants was I think a good mix, across a whole range of professions.

On the other hand, I have a final salary pension and that is well on the way of disappearing, never to be seen again I suspect.

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Posts: 129
Joined: Mar 2009
Post: #24
10-12-2010 09:51 PM

Oh, looking at the thread title - I did vote for Lib Dem and I sleep at night.

Would I prefer a majority Tory government. No - and by the way, I suspect David Cameron doesn't!

Would I prefer a Labour government - after 3 periods in power and after a combination of Blair / Brown, they need time to regroup. And I hope they do, though at the mo, Ed M may be the equivalent of William Hague in his Leader of the Opposition phase. Baseball cap at the Notting Hill Carnival awaits.

In other words the present Coalition arrangement is not great, but do I see other alternatives that float my boat, given the c**p economy?

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Posts: 1,796
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #25
11-12-2010 12:47 AM

I still think the main issue is about the number of young people attending uni these days compared to before. I am a great believer in greater access to higher education but did not feel that the Labour approach to increasing the intake was a good thing nor do I think that everyone needs to go to university to make a living or to fulfil themselves but this is what has been pushed on everyone hence in order to maintain the status quo these fees are being charged. There is still a lot of respectability in learning a trade and skill and learning on the job but these things seem to have taken second place to getting a degree. I've often wondered why all nurses have to have a degree these days when the best nurses I have come across have personal skills that you will never learn on a degree course and can never be bought other than by life experience. Why academicise something that does not need to be academic?

In addition as someone said on Question Time last night, the delivery of higher education is changing and there is more emphasis on distance learning and block learning and even more sandwiched or concentrated courses over a shorter period. This hasnt really featured anywhere in the various arguments so it would seem to be quite a missing part of the bigger picture.

I took out a student loan some years ago to do a post grad course and I was one of the first students to do so in the UK. The university I went to couldn't really cope with self funding students as many of us complained about the standards of the lectures, the lack of preparation of the staff, and the frequent cancelling of lectures due to staff having too much to drink the night before. We wanted value for our pound but rarely got it. The culture of the university could not cope. Students were suddenly customers with clear ideas of what they expected for their money. I daresay that this may have changed but I really doubt if its that much to warrant paying £9k.

I would therefore love to see students getting value for £9k worth of tuition fees and to find out whether any course is considered value for money. Many probably arent and therefore may not be taken up. Its also an issue that students will want a return for their money so unless they have have a chance of becoming decent earners ie lawyers, doctors, why would they want to take that risk on something less certain?

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Posts: 1,796
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #26
11-12-2010 12:51 AM


As for the Lib Dem question, all of the furore around the fees pledge just highlights to me how easy it is for some parties to make promises when there is a slim chance of their ever getting into power to carry it out.

I do think these are extremely difficult times and the coalition is a necessary evil, and any party would have done the same as the Lib Dems as it is probably better to be in power just a little bit rather than be out of it. The truth will come as and when things settle down, when we have got through the worst of the cuts, which is when we will see how ardently the Lib Dems sign up to Tory policy.

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