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Student Riots in London over future fee increase


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#1 duke_Qa

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 06:44 PM

Students take to the streets

Student protests turns violent


They've also broken into the tory offices and made a general mess over there, which is fun. All in all this is a good thing to get riled up over. The bankers get away from the crisis and the poor and young have to pay for their idiocy.

Edited by duke_Qa, 10 November 2010 - 06:51 PM.

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#2 Copaman

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 07:21 PM

Good for them. I hope that the protests make some progress and that the fees are brought down even somewhat. I don't think it will happen but I can hope. I know I'm not exactly happy with my $40K/yr tuition bill...after a $10K scholarship.

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#3 ambershee

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 07:51 PM

What's amazing me the most are the comments that the protesters are all doing so in their own interests as students (despite the fact in many cases the lecturers and university staff are also protesting).

Current students aren't affected by the proposed cuts; those going through the school system now are. I'd have to wonder where they think people such as medical staff (doctors, surgeons etc) are going to come from when potential medical students now face as much as £80,000 (tuition fees) + £60,000 (living costs) of debt for their eight or nine years of study - which can never realistically be paid back once they graduate - even if you skimmed £4000 a year off the top of an already painfully low doctor's salary of around £26-28,000 (leading to skilled practitioners leaving the UK for better pay elsewhere), you're still looking at over thirty years of paying it back - or in other words you won't finish paying it back until you pass the retirement age at 60. That's not taking into account the cost of mortgages, having a family of your own and worse yet, trying to help fund them through the same system.

Edited by ambershee, 10 November 2010 - 07:55 PM.


#4 Allathar

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 08:59 PM

Wouldn't blame it on the tories completely. It's the fault of the previous Labour government who thought they could spend billions and billions on dumb immigrants and other political correct bullshit, who aren't paying back anything in return.

Edit: and climate change of course! Why spend money on trying to lower the costs of studying, when you can waste it on trying to prevent the climate from changing instead? :p
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#5 duke_Qa

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 11:17 PM

And I thought I had it bad with about £30000 in study-loans. half which were from my two last years in a private school. 140k is an apartment worth of loans, it is as close to slavery as you can get imo.

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#6 Vortigern

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 12:34 AM

Several of my friends went down from Sheffield (about a four-hour coach ride) just to protest this. The Student Council here organised massive subsidised coachloads of people, that's how much we resent it. Just to be clear, among current students the protests aren't as much about rising tuition fees as about the 79% cuts in university funding. How are we expected to improve year on year as the government demands if we only have one fifth of the resources?

@ Allathar: Actually it's the fault of the Labour government for flooding the higher education system with worthless degrees for people who should have left school as soon as possible. What use is a degree in Media Studies, or PE? None whatsoever. Tony Blair set up this ridiculous target of sending 50% of kids to university, figuring that graduates, on average, pay more taxes than non-graduates, so more graduates naturally means more taxes. However, he failed to take into account that graduates only pay more taxes when they earn more doing graduate jobs, which account for about 10-15% of the country's employment. Basically there are now a bunch of unemployed graduates with massive debts for no return.
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#7 Ash

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 01:00 AM

What's amazing me the most are the comments that the protesters are all doing so in their own interests as students (despite the fact in many cases the lecturers and university staff are also protesting).

That's a pretty shallow argument from the commentators. I mean, turkeys don't vote for Christmas, do they? Nobody protests at something that doesn't affect them any. Nobody feels strongly enough to protest about things that don't affect them.

Current students aren't affected by the proposed cuts;

Thank fuck...

even if you skimmed £4000 a year off the top of an already painfully low doctor's salary of around £26-28,000 (leading to skilled practitioners leaving the UK for better pay elsewhere), you're still looking at over thirty years of paying it back - or in other words you won't finish paying it back until you pass the retirement age at 60.

Have they changed that? My loan is written off after 24 years if it isn't paid back. It won't be, of course, I earn a salary that jumps every year but even at the top of the scale I won't even come close to paying it off. I'd have to be halfway up the Sergeant scale to make that stick. But they can fuck off - I won't pay back one single penny more than I have to.

That's not taking into account the cost of mortgages, having a family of your own and worse yet, trying to help fund them through the same system.

Truth. Even if you haven't been through university it's impossible to make ends meet in this country. I can honestly say I regret going to university. I wish I hadn't bothered. Wish I'd got a job from A-levels and then joined the Job from there.

Wouldn't blame it on the tories completely. It's the fault of the previous Labour government who thought they could spend billions and billions on dumb immigrants and other political correct bullshit, who aren't paying back anything in return.

Edit: and climate change of course! Why spend money on trying to lower the costs of studying, when you can waste it on trying to prevent the climate from changing instead? ;)

And foreign aid. Don't forget foreign aid.

Labour did the right thing in trying to make HE accessible to poorer backgrounds. What they did wrong was in the implementation. Let's also point out at this point that Scottish students get it free, and Welsh students get it half-price, while English students have to pay both at home and in either of those two provinces.

There's nothing fair about the UK. The English get shafted above all else, however the British as a whole get shafted too.


Several of my friends went down from Sheffield (about a four-hour coach ride) just to protest this. The Student Council here organised massive subsidised coachloads of people, that's how much we resent it. Just to be clear, among current students the protests aren't as much about rising tuition fees as about the 79% cuts in university funding. How are we expected to improve year on year as the government demands if we only have one fifth of the resources?

The two issues are linked - the government misguidedly think that nine grand of tuition fees will offset the massive funding slash. It won't, because there'll be massively less students.

I went to a similar rally in London while I was still at uni. Actually, that's a lie - I took the subsidised coach ride and, figuring that the government could not care one whit about what us peons think (as proven time after time after agonising time, now as much as ever if not moreso), I just arranged to meet up with Xeno, Killakanz and a coupla other peeps from offsite. It was time much better spent, in my humble opinion. :p But no, I am appalled that the government would go this far. Have we not been robbed enough? People work hard at uni and see no benefit - there aren't enough jobs in any of the fields people study in, and the pay is piss-poor (especially after stoppages). My salary is half as much again as what my mum's is, yet she takes home more in every wagepacket than I do. OK some of that is my pension scheme but that doesn't exuse all the other little extras.

@ Allathar: Actually it's the fault of the Labour government for flooding the higher education system with worthless degrees for people who should have left school as soon as possible. What use is a degree in Media Studies, or PE? None whatsoever. Tony Blair set up this ridiculous target of sending 50% of kids to university, figuring that graduates, on average, pay more taxes than non-graduates, so more graduates naturally means more taxes. However, he failed to take into account that graduates only pay more taxes when they earn more doing graduate jobs, which account for about 10-15% of the country's employment. Basically there are now a bunch of unemployed graduates with massive debts for no return.

Yep. I was one of them for a time. I'm now in a non-graduate job which pays more than pretty much anything else I could conceivably have gone for. I lose £55 per paypacket for something that's served me no good whatsoever. I'll lose steadily more of my hard-earned pennies until it's finally written off.

If 50% of people go to university, then that means half the population have degrees. When everyone has something, that something is worth nothing. It has to be more rare to actually be worth something - a degree used to make you employable because it set you apart from the crowd. Now, it seems, it is more out of the ordinary to not have a degree. And just like GCSEs and A-levels are worthless, and have been for years, so too are degrees. No qualification short of a doctorate is actually worth the paper it's written on anymore.

Just give it about 22-23 years and all this bad debt will just unload itself. That private company which bought the debt has got itself a good little poisoned chalice, however the government has already lost billions on it.


In any case, I stand with the students, and while their methods are illegal I'd be lying if I said that I didn't agree with their using them. Let's face it: Times where the British government has listened and acted upon the wishes of a peaceful protest by British people - 0 (or it was used to mask a larger shafting). Times where the British government has listened and acted upon the wishes of rioters - = or >1 (Poll tax riots, 1984)

#8 ambershee

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 01:57 AM

^ This. Nearly two million people (1 in every 25 people in England) took to the streets of London to protest the UK's armed forces joining the war in Iraq and it did absolutely nothing. It's probably about time to stop protesting so passively and take a leaf out of the French/Italian book - riots, strikes and anything else that's suitably disruptive.

#9 Hostile

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 02:11 AM

If 50% of people go to university, then that means half the population have degrees. When everyone has something, that something is worth nothing. It has to be more rare to actually be worth something - a degree used to make you employable because it set you apart from the crowd. Now, it seems, it is more out of the ordinary to not have a degree. And just like GCSEs and A-levels are worthless, and have been for years, so too are degrees. No qualification short of a doctorate is actually worth the paper it's written on anymore.


You bring up a good point. It sort of reminds me when western nations could get by with one bread winner and one home "domestic manager." Once both spouses entered the workplace the incomes increased and so did inflation in order to keep up. Now it's almost impossible to have only one bread winner in a household. Even if you live by yourself you still need roommates to share the cost.

So if a lot of people are running around with their standard issue college degrees, than it's only a matter of time until it's imperative to have one simply to get by. This could further increase the space between the haves and have nots. I'm currently the COO of a business run by a guy with a degree in geology. Which has nothing to do with what we do as a business. I still think it's easier to make your own college diploma and save the money.

Theoretically if someone needed to present college credentials to a prospective employer, are they even gonna question it if it's a bullshit degree in horticulture? As long as the diploma looks real, who will even question it. It's not like the average small to medium sized business has a fraudulent college degree investigation department.

I don't even think they'd ask to see your diploma. I just asked my fiance' and she just confirmed she never showed one and she's an accountant. That's kinda scary actually. :p I suppose as long as you don't claim you're a doctor or something. Also we're both in our late 30's so that might have something to do with it as well. I suppose if I'm 22 and it's my first job, they'd have to see something.

#10 ambershee

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 03:06 AM

I've never had to prove any of my credentials - most people take it as a given that you have what you say you have.

#11 Jeeves

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 06:53 AM

Fun fact: Australia's second biggest export is education. This causes a nice cascade effect with universities rushing to improve their capacity rather than courses, and needing to import the lecturers and materials. Then you have the students, who can get a visa with the tip of a hat, raise the costs, refuse to integrate with society, rape the countries resources, then take their skills elsewhere to make room for the next batch.

To maintain the value of the cost-inflated education system, it is then impossible to find any job not needing some form of degree, even though nobody working in the country can afford one. An Australian university consists of 100,000 imported students, being taught by 100 imported teachers, at 10 times the cost of going to China for the same education. As fees continue to rise, so does racial violence, the general crime rate, unemployement, and skills shortages follow. Just so you know what to look forward to :p

Over the channel in Kiwiland, of course, they pay people to study so that they may contribute to society, and don't really suffer from the above issues. But why do that when you could pay to import people to export skills instead? Those crazy kiwi's!

Personally, I have a Multimedia IT degree, and its not worth the paper its written on. I found one of a handful of professions in the country where experience outweighs education, and will be paying it back for life. Then there's the fact if anyone did check it, they'd find out its so bad, the university asked me in my second year to rewrite it for them.

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#12 Beowulf

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 04:19 PM

This makes my $20K loan for tech training look manageable. I am so fucking glad I've never touched university in my life.

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#13 olli

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 06:03 PM

Ash, you talk out your arse. You wish you never went to University? I wouldn't expect that coming from an ex-student. Coming from people who have never been to University I would expect them to say "So glad I never went." The only reason that people go now is to be on a level playing field with the rest of 18-25 year olds because so many have a degree. Years ago, having a BSc or a BEng would give you a high paying job rising to a managerial position within a couple of years. Basically, it's seen by the UK today if you don't have a degree you are at a disadvantage. Not necessarily true, but in some cases you are. It all depends what job you want to go into. A graduate level entry job will pay you 25k MAX if that. (there are some schemes which pay you 40K+ with a salary rising to 60k, but they suck your life away)

You, like me, did a Psychology degree. ( I'm still in the process. Graduate 2012). Now, although my University takes a very scientific approach to it, it's still not as impressive as aeronautical engineering for example. Now even that, at a bachelor's level is worth diddly squat, because if you want a decent job with a decent wage, it's Masters and above I'm afraid.

Getting a degree is just giving you a baseline, if you desire to take it further. I have no intention of becoming a Psychologist. It just fascinates me. I intend to go into aviation. However, I wouldn't ever regret it even with the debt. The experience is fantastic. I wish I could be a student the rest of my life and get paid for it. I love every waking day of University life. And I laugh when people say "I don't want to go to university"... I almost feel sorry for them on what they have missed out on.
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#14 Ash

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 01:37 AM

Ash, you talk out your arse.

How can I be talking out of my arse when I'm just expressing what I feel about the whole shenanigans?

You wish you never went to University? I wouldn't expect that coming from an ex-student. Coming from people who have never been to University I would expect them to say "So glad I never went." The only reason that people go now is to be on a level playing field with the rest of 18-25 year olds because so many have a degree. Years ago, having a BSc or a BEng would give you a high paying job rising to a managerial position within a couple of years. Basically, it's seen by the UK today if you don't have a degree you are at a disadvantage. Not necessarily true, but in some cases you are. It all depends what job you want to go into. A graduate level entry job will pay you 25k MAX if that. (there are some schemes which pay you 40K+ with a salary rising to 60k, but they suck your life away)

I'm not entirely sure here where your argument differs from mine, yet you still somehow disagree? You're right, though - pre-1997 you could've walked into any job you liked with a bachelor degree. Nowadays the majority of those with bachelor degrees can't even get a job. It devalues the degree massively. I could've got into the job I'm doing now without any form of formal qualification whatsoever, and I'll still be earning more than pretty much my entire cohort of psych graduates. And a cop's wage can hardly be considered stellar. I wonder how many are actually in a psych-related job. Not many, I should imagine.

I would have happily stayed on for a masters had I been accepted, but I couldn't have conceivably afforded one. And trying to earn enough to save enough to conceivably afford one is a whole nother kettle of fish. One you can't look at on anything below an opulent wage.

You, like me, did a Psychology degree. ( I'm still in the process. Graduate 2012). Now, although my University takes a very scientific approach to it, it's still not as impressive as aeronautical engineering for example. Now even that, at a bachelor's level is worth diddly squat, because if you want a decent job with a decent wage, it's Masters and above I'm afraid.

Which, of course, nobody was ever told prior to actually enrolling. If they had, I wouldn't have taken the course. I'd have taken something boring-but-practical like accounting. Law was my second choice and in hindsight I should've taken it. Hindsight's always 20:20, though.

Getting a degree is just giving you a baseline, if you desire to take it further. I have no intention of becoming a Psychologist. It just fascinates me. I intend to go into aviation. However, I wouldn't ever regret it even with the debt. The experience is fantastic. I wish I could be a student the rest of my life and get paid for it. I love every waking day of University life. And I laugh when people say "I don't want to go to university"... I almost feel sorry for them on what they have missed out on.

You say all this now. Wait till you're trying to get that aviation job. You'll either a) wish you picked a different subject or b) wish you weren't in all that debt.

I did enjoy the student life, although I admit I didn't get pissed as much as I ought've. But I still derived no benefit from actually having gone - the degree isn't worth the paper it's written on and I'm in 20-odd grand's worth of debt for the trouble. So I got a bit pissed and shagged a couple of birds and learned how to get four meals out of four slices of stale bread and the last tin of baked beans (basically the entire 'student life'), but let's face it I could've easily done all those things working. And I could've afforded to get pissed a lot more had I worked and not gone to uni.

I see it as three years where I didn't have to get a job. Nothing more.

#15 Jeeves

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 03:13 AM

Ahh beans. We do it differently down here, its instant noodles from Asian supermarkets all the way. If you can say hello in Mandarin you can eat for a week off $5. I hate student life. I found the only people who hang around campus any longer than they need to are the ones who had no direction or reason for being there, pathetic individuals who were willing to pay to hang around with like-minded people who'd tell them how cool they were as their debt mounted up and their futures remained static. I remember on my induction day when we were addressed by the student union representative, and he was proud of having stayed at uni for the last 7 years. Proud? Of taking over 7 years to finish a 3-year arts degree? People who go and do something with their lives must really be missing out on that sense of accomplishment.

Psych does seem fairly irrelevant for wanting to get into avionics, if you had no interest in studying the skills and techniques of your chosen field, are you sure you chose the right one? Having a degree may set a baseline, but if that line is "indecisive arts student" that's not necessarily a good thing. If you had two candidates for an avionics position, one of them has a degree in aeronautical engineering and the others a psych student, which would you hire? I'm glad you think it was money well spent as you're the one who has to pay it back, but I do hope it wasn't a complete waste.

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#16 Ash

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 08:46 AM

On the other hand, I'm glad for him that he hasn't got any interest in a psych-related job. Because they're like rocking-horse shit. I applied to over two hundred while I was on the dole, all of which would have taken me at my current level of qualification, and all of which were at the four corners of the Isles (I would've had to move out for them guaranteed - this would've left me absolutely destitute as if I wasn't already). I got about four emails of rejection, otherwise incommunicado.

Another thing they ought to have told me at induction. I wonder if I could sue for being mis-sold the course.

#17 Phil

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 09:28 AM

Jesus, it must really suck to be a student in the UK.

I love our public universities; I pay around $750 worth of semester fees for my law studies, which really isn't that much on Swiss price level (the abhorrent cost for books not included, but that's just because lawyers even rip off law students). Multiply by 10 semesters for my Master of Law, that makes a mere $7500. If you or your family can't afford that, you can even get student loans for it. But once you're a lawyer, this should be a piece of cake to pay back with a postgraduate base salary of $70'000 or more.

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#18 duke_Qa

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 10:21 AM

Public colleges and universities have an annual fee of about £50-80 here(grades and having finished all the relevant courses in senior-high being the big limitator), So all your expenses will mostly be for rent and food. Rent being the major one, if you have a family-home with room for you near a college you are golden.

Still doesn't change that half of the studies do nothing but get you up to the "new norm", or just waste your money on something that really ain't giving you a better career.

I wish I could be a student the rest of my life and get paid for it.

Amen to that. I wish i could be an eternal student. Wish i won the lottery and got me like £10mill. I would pay my way into whatever field I'd like to study, find me some mind-enhancing medicines so i don't forget every little thing at the same time, and become some sort of madman in a hut somewhere when i retire :p

Unfortunately it ain't gonna happen. The best deal is finding a business that is always in development and allows you to learn new things as you go.

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#19 Námo

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 11:19 AM


I guess the situation in Denmark is not very different from Norway:

University fees: None (but you have to buy your own books, which you need later anyway)

Subsidy from the state: about 750 Euro/month (for 6 years); allowed other income without reduction in subsidy: 1150 Euro/month.
The subsidy is only half the amount, if you live at your parents home.
In addition other smaller subsidies, like for long pendling distances between home and university.

To avoid misuse of this system, the admission requirements to our universities are rather strict, in terms of high grades.

NOTE: Denmark also has the highest tax-rates in the world.

I wish I could be a student the rest of my life and get paid for it.

Amen to that. I wish i could be an eternal student ... and become some sort of madman in a hut somewhere when i retire :p ... best deal is finding a business that is always in development and allows you to learn new things as you go.

I sure agree with that ... I've followed that philosophy for my whole life, and although I've never become rich in money because of this, I have no regrets ... and have now retired to a small farm in the midst of an old forest, with my little cottage close to the brink of a big lake. ;)

... and btw, working with architecture is one of those occupations, that necessitate you to branch into a whole lot of other disciplines.


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#20 Ash

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 12:31 PM

Ehm, we have to buy our own books, too. In all honesty apart from the certificate at the end of it and having to do some work outside of lecture it'd be a doddle to get onto campus and get into every lecture, effectively getting the exact same level of service as all the paying students.

Really, what are we actually paying for? There is no way it costs that much.




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