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Tuition fees riots

meercat 9 278 United Kingdom
11 Nov 2010 8:33AM
After the riots at the tuition fees demonstration there are pics up on the BBC website:


Picture 4 is interesting! How to get space in a riot, kick a window and watch the togs gather to give you room!! I think the fact that this guy is surrounded by photographers says more about society today than the fact that they happened in the first place (maybe that's just me?).

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strawman 14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
11 Nov 2010 8:59AM
Hmm a few extremists hijacked a demonstration for their own ends, happening a lot theses days, and the scene with the photographers, well its what they want to make a dramatic shot, any peaceful person is going to get out of the way so no wonder you get that shot. The line of cameras tell it all for me.

Not certain it was a riot, more a bit of vandalism. I would not be surprised to learn that those involved were not students.

Also it begs the question of how representative this was of the day. My son was on the march and saw none of this, in fact the first he knew was when we sent him a text him.
JackAllTog Plus
9 5.0k 58 United Kingdom
11 Nov 2010 9:52AM
Isn't one of these shots potentially worth £1000's.
Egg on an idiot, who will let himself be photographed, to vandalise something then take a tasty pay check. Pay some tax back on this to mop-up such waste and damage. Sensationalise the event to detract from any serious arguments the students might have and then dismiss them all as hooligans – works quite well.

This individual's big scale tantrum suggests he needs to go back to kindergarten not university.

So Student who can't afford fee's, now has big bill for window and a criminal record. Getting a skilled job becomes even harder even if he ever does get an education - doh!.

With so many togs being at such events would it not be great to train them all as PCSO’s (Police Community Support Officers) and actually do somting about the reckless few.
strawman 14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
11 Nov 2010 9:57AM
Have to agree Jack. and yes it helps draw people away from the correct debate, are we pricing the less well of out of education?, should the further education budget be targeted? i.e. as a country should we decide we want certain skills for the future, such as doctors engineers, scientists etc for our economic growth, and should we therefore assign a subsidy to some courses and let others go at market rates?
cats_123 Plus
14 4.8k 28 Northern Ireland
11 Nov 2010 10:45AM

Quote:Have to agree Jack. and yes it helps draw people away from the correct debate, are we pricing the less well of out of education?, should the further education budget be targeted? i.e. as a country should we decide we want certain skills for the future, such as doctors engineers, scientists etc for our economic growth, and should we therefore assign a subsidy to some courses and let others go at market rates?

perhaps we have too many students? wouldn't that cut the cost of the universities if we cut their numbers by one third? agree that places should be targeted on the needs of the industry and not just `getting degree'

I found it absolutely disgraceful...sheer vandalism but I think the Met were very naive in thinking that 50,000 potential protesters wouldn't get out of hand at some point. I feel sorry for the poor PCs who had to put their lives on the line.
JackAllTog Plus
9 5.0k 58 United Kingdom
11 Nov 2010 11:04AM
What does Britain have to offer school leavers? Are there enough jobs for school leaves with 'normal' qualifications.
Are school leavers prepared to do the work that’s filled by low skilled migrant workers now?

Are hiring businesses saying I need skilled workers, are schools producing these skills, are universities producing quickly usable skills. Does our education spit out excellent generalists who dislike key areas of potential work.

Do we leave large amounts of poor communities with no expectations of escape to a better life.
Do we condition our kids to expect a lush life that they cannot afford on their own.
Do we only have a short term view about employees from 20 to 40 years old.
Do politicians have strategic goals beyond the next election.

I think we dump school leavers in uni until they grow up enough to threaten society less with their child like behaviour and finally start to be useful to business and society though paying taxes and contributing positively to society
jazzygf 14 537 Scotland
11 Nov 2010 11:32AM
Does anyone ever think that MP's listen once they are elected? They promise the earth to get your vote then once they are in the club it's a case of "voters ah ignore them for 5 years" The lib-dems have proved that with the student fees pledge.
I do find it strange that riots in France and Greece get a little post script on the bbc and sky as in " oh those foreign johnnys are not happy" patronising way sky and the beeb speak about foreign issues at times. Then yesterday they spent hours showing the smashing of windows, fires etc on a looped video segment by a minority and then blaim everyone for it.
But the best quote was from the reporter from ITN whos said "i'm no expert but I could see there was going to be trouble" thats trouble that caught the police by surprise classic
Nick_w Plus
11 4.3k 99 England
11 Nov 2010 11:38AM
I usually give political debates on EPZ a wide birth but I do feel very strongly about this.

I wasn't fortunate enough to go to University, and if I was starting out now I couldn't follow the same career path without a degree. (I did all my FE via day release with a HNC at Leeds Poly).

I feel for the students now (not the minority that caused the problems) - If you take into account the £29K + board / lodgings / living costs + the 3 years they are not earning compared to their peers who left school at 18 - the differential is going to be ca £80-£100K. Add to that the interest. Are we going to wake up in 20 years and find we have a skills shortage because its not financially attractive to go to University? Incidently the report the new fundings were based on states the average benifit from going to University over a career is £100K, funny that isn't it?

There's so many knock ons which I honestly don't think have been considered. How will they get a mortgage? (and the knock on to the deflated housing market), I mean you need at least 10% deposit now - how can you save with that level of debt? It will mean those that do go through University will start families later - with all the added strain that will put on the NHS - what happened to joined up thinking?

As it stands it will favour either those whose parents are currently on low income (rightly so), or those where the students are fortunate enough where there parents can fully support them. Its kids from middle income families that will be disadvantaged the most. Or those who saw DC speech in China - the foreign students who will be subsidised through the UK's University, by British students. Yes we need to attract the best from wherever, but not at the disadvantage of kids who have gone through the UK's system.

My 12 YO is talking about it with her school mates, which is sad that they worry about such things at her age - shows that pressure at school comes at a much younger age than when we were there.

One good side effect is that it has caused the students now to have political opinions and views - doesn't matter really who they support, an informed active younger generation can only be good in that respect.
cats_123 Plus
14 4.8k 28 Northern Ireland
11 Nov 2010 11:39AM

Quote:The lib-dems have proved that with the student fees pledge.
but if more people had voted Lib Dem (and put them in with a majority) they wouldn't have had to make this compromise but then they would have had to find the money from somewhere else....what about all the public servants who are going to lose their jobs. You'll probably see `Unite' bringing out their masses soon, but I doubt whether it will lead to violence like this (or at least I hope it won't)..I'm old enough to remember `The 3 day week'...just hope it doesn't end up like that again.
thewilliam 9 6.1k
11 Nov 2010 11:55AM
I reckon the basic problem is that too many people are going to university and this leads to a few problems:-

The financial burden is too great for the country to bear. When I was a student, about 40 years ago, about 5% of the population went to university and it was fully state-funded for all but the wealthy. With 10 times the number of students, state funding isn't possible, but it would be nice to see more scholarships for the gifted poor.

In my day, the academic quality of degree courses was geared to the brightest 5% of the population, now it has to be dumbed down so anybody can cope. As an external examiner to several universities, I saw a very wide range of quality - from the superlative to the truly awful. Some degrees are basically worthless.

With only 5% of people as graduates, the vast majority gained meaningful jobs.

Successive governments have found that's it's easier to dumb down the qualifications than it is to raise the quality of education.

Some friends who live in Bristol (where the schools are at the very bottom of the league table) sent their children to Poland to stay with their grandparents so that they could benefit from a higher quality of education.
ade_mcfade 14 15.2k 216 England
11 Nov 2010 11:56AM
I've never really understood why there's been this drive to get university rates from about 10% to 50% - when I was there in the 90's, universities were growing slightly, but we were around 15-20%. Manchester Poly was the biggest with 18000 students back then.

Now there's this lot...


top 10
Open University - 168,850
Thames Valley University - 52,890
Leeds Metropolitan University - 41,770
University of Manchester - 40,420
University of Leeds - 33,920
University of Nottingham - 32,870
Manchester Metropolitan University - 32,795
London Metropolitan University - 30,920
University of Birmingham - 30,725
Cardiff University - 30,685

So manchester poly's almost doubled, Leeds seems to have really shot up the scale..

I'm all for an education, I loved uni, but is it really the right thing for 50% of out kids? It never has been before - so why now? Do we really need graduates flipping our burgers?

The effect is that university education is now costing way too much to fund publicly, because of the sheer volume of students.

I'd strongly advocate upping the standards of A-Levels (which have got easier, even my 1991 A level Maths paper was a doddle compared to the 1983 one we did as our last minute mock exam), reducing the number of students accordingly, reducing the cost of universities and with the savings, remove all tuition fees and go back to the system I enjoyed, where working class kids like me could go to uni without the spectre of debt hanging over them.
Nick_w Plus
11 4.3k 99 England
11 Nov 2010 12:09PM
I'm not one of those that says "it was harder in my day" - just different - my daughter is learning things at 12 I was doing at 15 (and no I wasn't in the remidial class Tongue ) - For science / maths based subjects the big difference has been the inclusion of calculators / IT etc - Ade I was probably one of thaose whose papers you studdied in your mocks - I did my "A" levels in '82.

We got our schools first PC a 250K thing when I was in the Upper 6th form. I was talking to a friend's daughter a couple of years ago, doing a Physics "A" Level - They had all the definitions supplied in the questions, that was the hardest part of revision. But, in the real world you don't memorise such thinks, just look them up - its how you use the information.

The move to 50% intake at University was a fool's folly, the kids now are paying the price for political idiology. Tho it was strange when if you think back to the election, they were saying "Our Children shouldn't have to pay for our mistakes" .. Quite hollow words now.

As it stands University will become a split between those from the prosperous families, or poor families who are supported. Shouldn't Universities be for the Brightest kids irrespective of background?
ade_mcfade 14 15.2k 216 England
11 Nov 2010 12:16PM
they also say we need more graduates because we now have an increasingly "knowledge based" economy.

Trouble is, a lot of this work is now being done by our friends in Bangalore and Chennai!

So we do indeed have more reliance on IT and "knowledge", but those jobs are now being done "offshore".

Lloyds Banking Group have a 75% / 25% split of "partners" / "staff"

And guess where most of the "partners" are based Wink

It sucks big time
meercat 9 278 United Kingdom
11 Nov 2010 12:25PM
Hmmm... Didn't mean to spark a political debate, was more pointing to the photographers surrounding one guy, it struck me as quite poignant (possibly the wrong use of the word) that there were more people recording the activity than partaking.
Nick_w Plus
11 4.3k 99 England
11 Nov 2010 12:25PM
It's not just IT Ade, I visit coatings / paint customers, in 1995 when I joined I was doing 4 visits a day, now I'm lucky to do 2. The customer base has reduced by at least 1/3 in that time. A lot is moving to China and the Pacific rim - certainly for the more specialised industrial coatings. OK speed cameras have had an effect on the number of customers visited Wink

We have moved to a knowledge based economy - because Manufacturing is a dirty word, and the Chemical Industry .... How many ICI companies do you think there are now?

I think you will be surprised with the Answer.

Just think of the economies that built up around Wilton & Runcorn, when the UK lead the world in Chemical innovation.

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