– Jack Dobson-Smith campaigned against the rise in tuition fees opines about Lincoln deciding to charge £9,000.
Well there we have it. The University of Lincoln joins the bandwagon of other English universities setting their eyes on the £9,000 prize. Many of us are more than a little surprised, and people I’ve spoken to since the announcement are pretty angry about it.
Let’s get the facts out of the way so there’s no confusion. This university can afford to provide the same education it’s managed to offer over the years, for £7,500. This is something vice-chancellor Mary Stuart has said on numerous occasions. In terms of the cost of service, there is no significant reason for charging £9,000.
So what is this? Well the university spin will be that it needs to remain competitive, and with several other universities following suit. Realistically, it’s yet another nail in the coffin for higher education in this country.
It’s a flat-out mistake for the University of Lincoln to charge £9,000. Potential students will chose to pay the £9k to a university higher up the league tables, or pay less for one that not far from Lincoln’s dizzying heights.
But it’s not the kids that can afford the fee increases that we should be worried about. This cuts out the choice of going to a decent university for a more affordable price for our college students, our bright young friends in schools. Which if, like me they come from a poor area, they’ve probably dealt with a sub-standard education system all their life.
University was, for me, a way to break out of that lull, where school teachers taught you how to pass an exam rather than provide an educational experience. University’s a place for the free exchange of ideas, but how can we exchange ideas when you haven’t got enough people who can afford to participate?
Think of those kids now, who will chose not to be saddled with huge debts of at least £27,000 after three years. Those kids that are going to miss out on the experiences of a lifetime. Miss out on meeting amazing and intelligent minds, and making new friends. Miss out on deadline weeks that challenge your capabilities physically, emotionally, mentally and intellectually and the excitement of living independently, even if it’s just for three years.
Sure it’s a choice. It’s a choice that the university has effectively made for thousands of students: get saddled with debt or don’t get an education.
My advice? Get out of England, go international. France, Germany, the Netherlands, all now a hell of a lot cheaper, and several that are in the world leagues that Lincoln won’t foreseeably reach while under this fees system. Don’t waste your money on a “second-rate” education.Tweet