Friday, 03 March 2017 09:02

The latest Tory attack on students and education

We’re not too sure who is the most stupid – the Government or universities as it’s hard to see how students and graduates will be the beneficiaries of their latest educational ‘visions’... Let us explain…

Universities may soon offer two-year degrees charging eye-watering annual fees of £14,000 a year under new government plans. They are arguing that students would have lower accommodation and living expenses and would be able to start repaying their debts sooner, making the fast-track degrees more beneficial to them. But, it mainly reeks of the sneaky same sentiment that has seen supermarket brands shrink the size of their products 50g here and a few centimetres there, which all seems from our government to be adding up to a more expensive and detrimental education system.  

With spiralling graduate debt to the hefty tune of £44,000 – the highest debt levels in the world – do the government really believe that this scheme will help reduce the debt of students? Oh, and just for equal measure, add to that the fact tuition fees for three-year courses are set to increase to £9,250 a year this September. The simple fact is they will still be in debt for most of their life, if not all of it. Warnings have been fired at the government too that the plans risk adversely affecting the quality of education received by university students. Add to that the fact 65 percent of students in the UK are stressed about university, this could potentially mean that students’ stress levels are crammed down into two years instead of three, so trying to pack a degree into two years could not only affect students’ future, but also their mental health.

Sally Hunt, of the University and College Union, is spot on when she says: ‘As well as placing a huge burden on staff…our universities must remain places of learning, not academic sweatshops and the government needs to resist the pile ‘em high and teach ‘em cheap approach to students’ education.”

And, in the latest laughable plan, the Tory attack on education doesn’t stop there. As Lib Dem leader Tim Farron, puts it, Theresa May is “waging a war on young people”. Yet again, the government has been warned of the great injustice it is dishing out as spending cuts to education loom and “present a challenge to continuing to provide high-quality education at every stage”.  Schools are now facing the worst squeeze in 20 years with cuts to funding, reduction in teachers and class sizes set to rise. According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, spending per pupil is set to drop by 6.5% by 2019/20. So, with schools already just scrapping by, crumbling with peeling paintwork and broken heating at the expense of the Government's 'politically-driven' schools programme, it’s been warned that their latest ‘vision’ for education is deeply troubling.

The National Governors’ Association has said the amount of money being provided by the government is simply not enough to educate Britain’s children and one of their own – Lucy Powell MP, the former shadow education secretary – echoes this, saying, “Ministers are failing to heed the warning from headteachers that it is a deep pool of excellent teachers and enough resources that will help them make a difference and narrow the education divide”.

Let’s hope that we don’t start to go down the controversial Betsy DeVos route. Trump's education secretary is allegedly trying to end public education as America knows it – by championing the privatisation of it and her desire to “advance God's kingdom” though the education system. Trump's signature education proposal calls to move away from “failing government schools” with a radical redirection of funds from traditional public schools to Christian private schools. So, what of the children, families and teachers left in the “failing government schools” – leave them hanging on by a shoestring which will create a gulf greater than we’ve ever seen of rich and poor and opportunities for all? This approach is hardly like to "Make America Great Again", or indeed here in old blighty.

Successive generations of children are being let down by a school system and government that is supposed to be there to help them move up and get on. What will lead the way toward better education is more funding, not less, where education should be seen as a long-term investment in the country’s future prosperity. Many are likely to condemn the plans as they’re hardly a ringing endorsement of what our PM, Theresa May said last year, that “there is no more important place to start than education”.

"Loans For Students" is a trading name of Quick Loans Ltd is registered in England and Wales. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under registration number 763132

Offers of credit are only available to people over the age of 18 and based in the United Kingdom

© Copyright 2020 "Loans For Students" is a trading name of Quick Loans Ltd. All Rights Reserved.