ON THE POISONOUS NATURE OF UNIVERSITY FUNDING CUTS
OK, just watched Channel 4 news and am feeling incensed, so I thought I’d vent my spleen. Firstly on the news that the Liberal Democrats are shelving their goal of ending student tuition fees. There is a philosophy (you hear it in pubs a lot when people who work in offices and wear ill-fitting pin-striped suits get the credit cards out and start drinking sambuca) that claims people are naturally divided into those with the intellectual capacity for academic and economic brilliance, and those with the intellectual capacity to become hairdressers and bricklayers.
This philosophy attests that for a society to sustain itself these natural intellectual divides must be recognised, and that those with a low intellectual capacity should not be given hopes and aspirations above their intellectual stations. That we should not encourage or fund these people in university. Or really even in college or sixth form for that matter. Hell, maybe not even in GCSEs, unless they’re in hair-dressing and brick-laying, or leisure and tourism; those in the bad suits always need plane tickets to the Maldeves to be sold to them by someone; we can’t do it all by computer, we still have some realistic Luddite sensibilities. Still have. What was I saying? Oh yeah.
So anyway, this philosophy, it’s never quite been fully allowed to prevail, even despite the atrocious segregation of my parents’ generation between grammar schools and technical schools and no school at all, university places were funded with a grant. There were no tuition fees to speak of. Universities were supported by the state, even if they were still segregated into polytechnics etc. You could still go. The only thing holding people back was social apathy, i.e. their ignorant parents who were too busy down t’ pit or in t’ kitchen to give their children any intellectual aspiration. The fact is you could still afford to go if you wanted to.
The dream ended however when my generation decided they actually mostly wanted to go to university and not t’ pit or t’ kitchen (in modern terms, retail and catering). Wow, the state said, there’s too many of them, we can’t give them all this money, we need it for the banks and for a few wars we might have. Thus, the tuition fee was born overnight, and universities changed from unifying climates of intellectual and practical social amalgamation and progression towards utopian enlightenment like what we always see in sci-fi films and stuff. You know, where they’re always wearing togas and wandering around pleasure gardens. And instead they became multi-million pound businesses interested in only one thing: MONEY. Our money. Loaned to us by the state, to be repaid by us to the state in kind over the course of our entire frikin lives. Plus interest. And if they couldn’t get enough money out of us, then they had an international market to select from. FOREIGN MONEY. They could triple fees for foreign students, and give them course places over the poorer natives. GIVE US YOUR MONEY AND WE WILL CUT YOUR TUTOR HOURS AND THEIR WAGES, BUT YOU’LL GET A NICER ARTS CENTRE. MONEY.
The labour government – the fuckers – had a saving grace in their aim of 50% of young people going into further education. Half of the young population actively encouraged to reach for the intellectual sky and fuck what anyone else said. Half of the population shoved together on campuses and forced to coexist with every different social strata imaginable – an intellectual and social UNIVERSE, shoved together and mixing in scummy student accomodation, dodgy pubs and clubs, late night trips to Spar, home-sickness, sports halls and freshers week pissups. Even with the horrifying prospect of a $20 grand debt to haunt their adult lives, 50% of young people were going to be encouraged to go for it anyway, to better themselves and to enjoy themselves and to finally break down the social barriers their parents and their parents’ parents and their parents’ parents and their parents’ parents laboured under since the dawn of frikin time.
Oh, but now we’re in a recession, suddenly universities can’t provide the places for this many young hopefuls. Suddenly the government can’t afford to loan this many of its citizens the money for intellectual and economic fulfilment. Suddenly university managers are tightening the belts and sacking tutors and reducing places and turning down local applicants in favour of foreign applicants who can provide triple the money. Now the talk is of reducing the 50% goal. To what though? Is the pin-striped sambuca drinking office philosophy going to win out over the basic fucking ideal of human endeavour??
This is not recession economics.
This is conspiracy.
This is odious, noxious stench of economic elitism seeping into our most important weapon in the economic struggle, the education system.
They will win if we allow the intellectual ambition of the majority to die.
And if you want to go to university and the only thing you feel confident studying is hairdressing management or golf course management then you should go to university and study hairdressing management and golf course management, and no fucker should EVER make you feel like you don’t deserve to be there.
This entry was posted on September 21, 2009 at 8:02 pm and is filed under Politics Tirades with tags aspiration, conspiracy, education, FIGHT IT, golf course management, grammer schools, hairdressing management, human endeavour, ill fitting pin striped suits, intellectual aspiration, intellectual capacity, intellectual equality, labour government, leisure and tourism, natural intellectual divide, political apathy, polytechnics, recession, social apathy, social barriers, state support, technical schools, tuition fees, university, university funding, university funding cuts, utopian enlightenment. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.