on British Fee Hikes

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It was unfortunate that i didn’t hear about the protests yesterday, or else I would certainly have been down totting the old fisheye and telephoto. Anyway, there’s going to be a national demo on the 26th of March , 2011, called by the TUC, against the entire agenda of Lib-Con cuts and hikes. Let’s see if that raises enough brows amongst the toffs to cut the budget set aside for the maintenance of advantage and privilege instead of having the masses subsidise the continuing hegemony of the elite.

I don’t see why the son of a sweeper has to pay as much as Elizabeth’s (‘queen’ to some) progeny do you?
But what i found surprising is that Cameron, in a speech in China, stated that the fees being raised for the Brits would help in keeping down the fees for Chinese and foreign students. That was quite a foot-in-the-mouth statement, i thought. Is this bloke trying to stoke anti-foreigner sentiments, that are, happily, not pervasive here, in order to reduce the masses egalitarian tendencies - so as to reduce opposition to their non-EU immigration cuts? Or is he just trying to keep the cost for foreign students low enough, albeit higher than the local rate, to bring in the profits. In this, raising local fees helps them subsidise foreign fees so that more students would be able to come in.

And whilst Cameron conveniently focuses on the violence at the protests yesterday, NUS (national union of students, of which i’m an alumni member) president Aaron Porter, astutely points out,

"What we had done was assemble 50,000 students which I'm sure would have got a hell of a lot of attention and would have sent a clear message to government," he said.

"But if we're now having to spend time talking about the rights and wrongs of violence and criminal damage, actually in many respects I think it undermines our argument rather than allowing us to concentrate on the devastation to our universities and colleges." BBC

It’s the same ole strategy. Ignore argument long enough till people get pissed off, and then condemn it all by focusing on the problems created by their getting pissed off - a strategy used time and again with great success in China and confucian states by the way.(though 'legalism-confucianism' is the culture of China,'confucian' does not necessarily refer to 'the chinese'. I've often found quite a few americans and american cultural elements to be quite 'confucian' in perspective.)

As for fee hikes, and universities being able to charge their own rates. Reeks of elitism. On the one hand, this is going to replicate the class structure and keep the disadvantaged depressed. On the other, the elite universities are going to be able to ensure that the daughters and sons of the appropriately privileged/celebs/royalty/nobility/etc will always be able to rub shoulders with ‘their own’ within university grounds so that they can be further socialised to maintaining the system that profits them the most. It makes such universities 'elite clubs' in itself - like the 'skull and bones 322' in Yale university for instance. And given that a higher-charging university is going to be able to draw better teachers, the elite is going to be afforded a more exceptional educational experience - though, by ‘better’, i mean in terms of curricula as opposed to learning though interaction with class-dissimilar others.

9000 quid a year?
Sure. Charge the rich that amount and provide free university education to the lower classes. Call it ‘progressive fees’ if you like. After all, to charge the relatively poor this amount, amounts to the poor subsidising the position of the rich so that the latter might have more to invest in the continued ‘employment’ of the poorer. I don’t see why the son of a sweeper has to pay as much as Elizabeth’s (‘queen’ to some) progeny do you? The problem here is not unlike the VAT which helps maintain the divide between the classes. Look at it this way, the rich wo/man’s daughter/son pays the same amount in fees so that s/he can be your boss, whilst the poor wo/man’s daughter/son pays the same amount to be her/is slave. Not a very sensible take on 'equality' is it.

[egalitarian democrat]


  1. The British government has to cut spending somewhere. Education, however, is just about one off the lousiest sectors they could have chosen. But something somewhere has to be cut, considering the budget deficit. You can raise taxes certainly (and apparently, they are), but if you tax the rich bad enough, they'd just pack their bags and go somewhere else, like Singapore.


    The students made a huge tactical mistake... never give the opposition any reason to vilify you. Their actions show them as petulant youths, and it isn't going to endear them to the general public, no matter how righteous or right their cause is. That is one of the charges leveled at the EDL and their ilk, and once such a charge is made, it sticks.

    Personally, I would have reduced the subsidy for foreign students, and instead tried to focus my bureaucracy's efforts on linking up worthy foreign students with local companies willing to subsidize their tertiary education. I doubt the British are earning any profit off subsidized foreign students. And keep the current subsidy for citizens, with some form of means-and-ability testing, which is similar to your progressive fee idea. A high-ability-low-means student would, and should, have the biggest amount of subsidy.

    As for the elite, especially the state elite, their power needs to be curtailed, and soon. The problem is that when you start talking about criteria and qualifications for 'progressive taxes', that opens up a pretty big door for these state elites to step in and claim, 'we can decide best!'. The age-old principal-agent problem. Back to square one...

  2. Yes. That is why 'socialism in one country' doesn't work as there are enough capitalist countries to offer the rich a way out.

    Well, the British people, in general, or at least 9 out of 10 people that i've met, are quite reasonable people. Whilst finding the actions of the 'petulant youth' leaving much to be desired, they would still be able to acknowledge the content despite the tone.

    I like your scheme with regards to overseas fees, especially the companies subsidising foreign students - though that would be quite difficult unless there were a shortage of students here. I paid about 17,000 quid in fees myself back in the mid-90s - excluding all other costs. My brother and sis-in-law, whom are uni law lecturers here, say that quite a bit is earned from foreign university fees.

    Thank you for the attached video file. The video, and your own observations helps push the issue further than any article in itself can.



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