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Tuition Fees

Discussion in 'Logo Design & Brand Identity Forum:' started by Russell, Dec 9, 2010.

  1. Russell

    Russell Member

    So today is the day the Tuition Fees Bill will be voted on. No doubt the day will end exactly as it has for the last few weeks, peaceful protests from the majority of students, minor skirmishes from the few, The Lib Dems having lost a load of it’s core voters, David Cameron with a smug look on his moon face and Labour apposing without offering any alternative solution.

    Anyway not wishing to get into the politics I do want to raise a point which I think hasn’t been addressed throughout the whole debate, that of why Universities need to increase the fees in the first place. To me it seems obvious that the first thing that needs to be tackled is the core structure of universities and the ridiculous amount of courses they offer.

    Is there a sound argument against Universities being limited to the number of courses/ areas they offer? To me I can only see benefits, if a University is forced to specialise in the core areas that it excels in they will be able to target budgets to make sure they stay ahead of the game. They can develop specific facilities, bring in the best industry tutors and will attract better students as they will be known for excellence in their fields.

    I think most 18 year olds main concern when choosing a Uni (when studying away from home) is where do they quite fancy living and where has decent nightlife. I’m not blaming students for that (it’s exactly what I did) if you have a vast choice of possible Universities offering the same course why wouldn’t you take that in to consideration?

    On the flip side specialising Universities would mean less University places, but is this a bad thing? If your turned down for uni place when your 18 you’d have the option to go away develop skills/ experience and apply next year, or if you don’t have the passion for it go and do something else.

    Taking my neck of the woods for example, the West Midlands, within about a 40 mile radius there are over 12 universities: Birmingham alone has 4. You can study degree level Graphic Design on at least 7 of them.

    If you average out 70 students per course, per year, that’s 490 design graduates from the west Midlands Uni’s alone. Are their 500 junior industry jobs in the region annually, at a guess I’d say 20-30 max.

    I’ll stop ranting now but I honestly don't see anything wrong with this approach, anyone disagree?
  2. Jimlad

    Jimlad Well-Known Member

    I think the uni's are upping the price because the government are cutting the subsidiaries. I may be wrong mind. Students won't even pay it until they've left and are earning over £21k though, similar to how we pay back our loans (but our limit is £15k). Unlike we before them who paid less in fees but it was up front at the start of each year. Plus those who really can't afford it can still apply for help from their local education authority.
  3. Russell

    Russell Member

    Yep think that's all correct, but the issue remains why do Universities need to generate this level of funding in the first place; regardless of whether it's the Government (Tax payers) or the students themselves that fund it. If their output and service offering was streamlined their running and administration costs would plummet.
  4. Jimlad

    Jimlad Well-Known Member

    In other words, offer fewer courses? In what way would that aid the education of the country? We'd end up hiring even more talented people from overseas. Even if they did that, the only courses deemed 'cuttable' would be the ones already so under-supported that the savings would be negligible.
  5. Russell

    Russell Member

    Yep Universities offer fewer courses and specialise. With graphic design as an example what is the point of having 7 Universities in a 40 mile radius offering the same course? If I wanted to study design and stay in the Midlands any one of them are easily commutable.
  6. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    Not seen the result yet so....I think that they need to get a balance. It's all very well saying we'll up the cost of the course and increase the return payment threshold but they neglect to mention that this 'debt' actually counts against you when looking at mortgages, at the very least increasing rates so it's a double hit.

    It's also quite comical to me as when I was on my course at uni there were a total of 10 tutors/tech staff for ALL the years and they covered 3 courses, the courses cost around 4k. Generally speaking we got about 45 mins a week individual time in the final year, it wasn't much higher in the second year either. Take into account theres 100+ students per course year (average) with 3 years active at any one time meaning my uni alone was getting 300x4k which is £1.2+million a year. That's 120k per staff member and they don't all get the same rate. Now I know there's other expenses but still. From an individual point of view my final year worked out at (40 weeks) £2.20 per minute of tutor time if you exclude marking etc. Hell most of my tutors still worked on live projects in their spare time!

    Going for specialist colleges/uni's might be the way to go as this will eventually put us years behind the likes of japan etc..
  7. Soprano

    Soprano Member

    Because there's obviously a demand? Why should it be harder for people to get onto a course they want to just because there's "no point" having 7 universities within that radius providing it for them?

    I don't understand your logic behind this?
  8. Russell

    Russell Member

    Because Universities should be hard to get into, you should excel in the basic skills/ areas in order to get on the course, else it completely devalues the qualification you get at the end of it. There is 'no point' to being £30 - £40K in debt if the majority stand very little chance of gaining employment in the field at the end of it.
  9. Mark Alexander

    Mark Alexander Senior Member

    Universities need more funding to compete, especially on an international level. It's all well and great having a degree but if the quality and reputation of the institution slips it's going to decrease the value of the qualification.

    Looking especially at some of the American schools that are raking in many times what ours do, it's simply unreasonable to expect the same level of service and quality.

    I also have no clue why people expect the taxpayer to pay for degrees that they don't actually use to society's benefit. E.g. there are lots of obscure liberal arts degree holders that end up going into unrelated jobs that don't use that skill set. I don't mind paying for engineers and doctors and etc but I'm less keen to do that for someone who goes to uni for the 'experience'. The fact is if you choose the right subject and put your degree to actual use the repayments are going to be so tiny they won't even matter, we're talking a couple of hundred points a YEAR for most people. Those that don't do well out of getting a degree wont even have to pay anything!

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