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* Should the rich be able to pay for university places?

Should the rich be able to pay for university place

  • Yes

    Votes: 19 30.2%
  • No

    Votes: 44 69.8%

  • Total voters
    63

Citizen J

Prominent Member
I am sure you have heard on the news that there were suggestions that there was perhaps a consideration of introducing a measure to allow the rich to pay for university places. The arguments for this stemmed from the notion that the rich would voluntarily pay more allowing university to attract more funding and also creating more spaces for poorer students, therefore increasing social mobility. This would also decrease the competition for general places, as a select view would be paying for their place, meaning entry into university is easier for everybody particularly those from poor backgrounds.

I personally think any such proposal is absolutely ridiculous and should be fiercely rejected. I despise the manner in which education is increasingly being characterised within the framework of a business where a degree is becoming constructed as a commodity that can be purchased in an open market.

I believe education should be based on merit alone. People should be educated based on their ability, rather than on the wealth of their parents.

Or do you believe that if somebody has worked hard to become successful and financially secure then there is no reason why they should prohibited from given their children a head start in life?

What are your thoughts?

Edit: Can a mod change the title to this please: Should the rich be able to pay for university places?
 
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alexs2

Distinguished Member
Thread title changed as requested.

The question is an interesting one.....of course,access to university education should be based on merit,and not on ability to pay,and based on my experiences,were it based on the latter,we would be denied some very able people in many fields.

The other question,of whether those with money and perhaps less ability should be able to effectively buy a place may be more difficult to answer.

What would be the feeling if, for instance,for every place bought at the figure being bandied around today(£20k),some of that money was directed towards directly funding those very able students who are less able to pay?

I personally don't feel happy with the idea of buying places,especially if it then limits the number of places for other students.
 

Phil57

Prominent Member
Is there much difference to the well-off paying for medical care?
 

Badger0-0

Distinguished Member
Although I think there are already too many university students, I agree with you.
It's a disgusting proposal.

What happens if the person involved is quite simply too thick to pass?
Just bung a few more quid and it'll be sorted?

Just quite simply no.
The rich already get enough advantage when they can go to public schools :thumbsdow
 

Rasczak

Distinguished Member
There has to be an relevant academic entry standard which must be met prior to anyone obtaining a University place. But assuming they can meet that standard, I don't see the problem with the well off buying a place at University.

It should be noted that students from a well off background will often bring a wealth of experience from exposure to activities/events/upbringing that are beyond many 'normal' students. Therefore even if their academic achievements are slightly lower than the State pupils they are working with there is still a notable positive in ensuring such individuals goto University.

I personally don't feel happy with the idea of buying places,especially if it then limits the number of places for other students.
Just to be clear here the argument mooted was that only places that are currently open to market forces (i.e. non-EU student places) would be up for grabs. If anything this policy would free up State funded places for the worse off.
 

BB3Lions

Distinguished Member
NO.

The under privileged should have a chance at changing there future just like anyone else, just because they are from a poor family should not restrict them from gaining there true potential.

I wonder how many children with an above average IQ have been surpassed because there family was too poor to provide an education?


BB
 

Scotteh

Established Member
Whilst I don't agree with the idea of being able to do it, it's just another excuse for people to have a go at those who are successful. If I had a child who was extremely bright and had the opportunity to go to University for something worthwhile and if my success could help them on that path then yes. American universities charge obscene amounts for places but there are standards to get into any university (supposedly) before money even comes into it.

Now the flip side is obviously those who have bright kids but aren't as well off, they should not be denied the opportunity to go either. There are people who are in situations through no fault of their own and these people deserve every chance to make something better of themselves.

They need to weed out those studying completely pointless degrees in this country before even thinking about doing this type of thing, that would eliminate a massive amount of wasters who go for the fun of it and are now "protesting" at being charged for their 4 year "holiday".

Those who are successful are financially punished and are the equivalent of the devil in this country.

Those who did nothing at school or in life and claim everything protest at the things in which they contribute nothing towards and are pampered by every Government regardless of who it is.

Life in Great Britain in the 21st Century.
 

mrm3

Established Member
Should be able to pay for whatever you want.

Or else where do we stop? Unless everyone can afford the same car no one gets a car?

In fact the price could subsidise and help pay for those that cannot afford. A form of tax. Or we could all get paid the same and live in similar houses. Communism?
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
I think the provision has been mis-understood and what has been reported in the headlines is the media's follow-on thoughts rather than the actual provision.

My understanding is that they are considering making extra places available.

These will be charged at the same fee (say £27K for a 3 year course), but the requirement is that the fee is paid at once and up front - so £27K up front rather than £9K per year - and not going through the loan system.

So the natural progression, is that only the rich can afford these, which is quite understandable and probably quite trueful.

But what is not true, is that the places are only be offered to a select few and that they are more expensive.

The under privileged should have a chance at changing there future just like anyone else, just because they are from a poor family should not restrict them from gaining there true potential.

This isn't the case either. The true under-privileged will be able to obtain the sames courses at the same university by taking a loan for £9K rather than £27K. The agreement is that the university funds one year, the government the second and the student the third.

For those from medium-poor background that don't get assistance, they will also be able to apply for the courses at the university by taking out a £27K loan.


What I am more concerned about the provision is not about the money, but whether it is bucking the entry requirements. If the 'rich' student has good grades then he will be offered a course on merit and will get a loan so his rich parents will not need to pay for the place. So I don't really understand the need for these paid places unless it is for rich parents to secure places for their children that wouldn't have got a place on merit.


Cheers,

Nigel

N.B. Another point, is that I believe that these places are being taken from the quota offered to foreign students rather than from the normal UK quota. The arrangement for these places has always been payment up front, so I guess whilst the universities are happy to see these go to UK nationals, they don't want to lose the cashflow benefit - which I think is why they are being kept as payment at front.

So the universities are making more places available for UK nationals, not less. Potentially, it also means that there will be more places for the less rich, because previously, the rich would have been restricted to places from the normal quota. Less burden on the tax payer aswell if these rich are opting not to take out loans.
 
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Toko Black

In Memoriam
There has to be an relevant academic entry standard which must be met prior to anyone obtaining a University place. But assuming they can meet that standard, I don't see the problem with the well off buying a place at University.

It should be noted that students from a well off background will often bring a wealth of experience from exposure to activities/events/upbringing that are beyond many 'normal' students. Therefore even if their academic achievements are slightly lower than the State pupils they are working with there is still a notable positive in ensuring such individuals goto University.


Just to be clear here the argument mooted was that only places that are currently open to market forces (i.e. non-EU student places) would be up for grabs. If anything this policy would free up State funded places for the worse off.

You make it sound like normal students should lick the boots of well of students for simply allowing them to breath the same air.
 

MIghtyG

Prominent Member
Im really torn on this one, on one hand I think that everyone deserves a fair go based solely on their own merits. On the other hand I see no problem with parents who have worked all their days to be able to help their children get a head start in life with something like this.

Is this really that different to having a private school and a state school? only in this instance we would have privately funded positions in uni and state funded positions.

I think it all boils down to if the individual is worth going to university, ive had personal experience of spoiled rich kids who were brought up in the best private schools coming to my uni and failing in fantastic fashion and ive also got experience of people being brought up in council housing going to some of the rougher schools in the area finishing dean listed and top of the class.
 

Ed Selley

Hi-Fi Editor
Has anybody stepped off the hysteria bus for long enough to consider;

This has been going on for pretty much as long as universities have existed.

That businesses might be the primary clients of these additional places rather than the Fotherington-Sorbets. If you are rich enough to drop £27,000 in one swoop, I'd wager your child probably had an education that allowed them to apply through normal channels and pay a "mere" £9,000 a year.
 

homer timpson

Prominent Member
It should be noted that students from a well off background will often bring a wealth of experience from exposure to activities/events/upbringing that are beyond many 'normal' students.
Absolute garbage - what a crass statement.

What wealth of exposure may that be that is relevant to University or academic development - please enlighten us mere mortals.

Homer
 

Rasczak

Distinguished Member
You make it sound like normal students should lick the boots of well of students for simply allowing them to breath the same air.
Really? Can you point to where I said or implied that? Does it not strike you that a system that removes those who can pay out of the public liability - and thus create more places for the students who can't afford University without state subsidy - is better?

homer timpson said:
Absolute garbage - what a crass statement.

What wealth of exposure may that be that is relevant to University or academic development?
You may not like it but it is the truth. Looking at own experiences pre-University I had lived in numerous other countries, widely travelled, had a private education, gained my pilots licence, had become an experience sailor, worked extensively in the community and was widely socialised. Whilst we all love to pretend we are all equal most of this - certainly to the scale I enjoyed it to - would have been beyond those "on a budget". And this undoubtably broadened me and gave me an excellent grounding upon which University life built. Why should Universities not consider such excellent foundation skills?

And I would hasten to add, as Ed points out, actually they do - which is why for most decent Universities you have an interview. The mooted question of the thread would just make it more blatant whilst freeing up places for poorer students.
 

Badger0-0

Distinguished Member
What I am more concerned about the provision is not about the money, but whether it is bucking the entry requirements. If the 'rich' student has good grades then he will be offered a course on merit and will get a loan so his rich parents will not need to pay for the place. So I don't really understand the need for these paid places unless it is for rich parents to secure places for their children that wouldn't have got a place on merit.

This sums it up for me.
It's either that or it's pure ideology aimed at creating even more of a market.

You may not like it but it is the truth. Looking at own experiences pre-University I had lived in numerous other countries, widely travelled, had a private education, gained my pilots licence, had become an experience sailor, worked extensively in the community and was widely socialised. Whilst we all love to pretend we are all equal most of this - certainly to the scale I enjoyed it to - would have been beyond those "on a budget". And this undoubtably broadened me and gave me an excellent grounding upon which University life built.

I'd still like to know how this is relevant to academic achievement, albeit it's all very nice.
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
I really don't see what the issue is.

Assuming they still have to pass entrance criteria so are getting on merit then

(a) They are freeing up places from the loan-assisted quota

(b) They are reducing the burden on the tax payer by not taking a loan


Cheers,

Nigel
 

captainarchive

Distinguished Member
I think the rich should be allowed to buy university places, jump NHS waiting lists, be let off motoring offences, get super injunctions etc etc. It might provide an incentive for us all to work hard and become rich ourselves.
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
The problem is that the Universities minister Willetts was so inept in the Commons he allowed haters to dominate the discussion rather than get across what the proposal is

- Currently universities can set a number of "off-quota" places to non-EU students
- The proposal is that would be extended to domestic students who can raise sponsorship from businesses or charities but not wealthy individuals
- The same academic entry criterion would apply

Having dissected it so, it is a separate point as to whether or not such a proposal does indeed favour those who grew up in a privileged background; the inference being lower numbers of "normal" teenagers would have the opportunity or connections to incentivise a business or charity to sponsor their higher education

Unfortunately for Mr Willetts most people will not bother to do some reading and just take away the headline, so this proposal is now dead in the water
 

Toko Black

In Memoriam
Ian J said:
If you're spoiling for a fight do it somewhere else

Not spoiling for a fight - just realistically commenting on a point that May be honestly felt by the poster but I and I don't think i am alone would consider it apt for a parody.

To paraphrase, the wealthy May bring something to he experience of university that the normal students have never experienced before which makes up for their less academic qualities.

If that doesn't sound a tad elitist, then i think i have never really understood the English language.
 

Corpsical

Established Member
University life should be more than just the academic, and so I agree with much of what Rasczak has written, I had an interview with the university I attended (actually more of a day out), which allowed me to see the site and to get a 'feel' for it but also for the Deans to decide if they felt I was 'right'.

I have no problem with that concept, after more than 20 years from that time the reality of my life has been that I have rarely used my course skills in my work but have used the life skills I developed in uni (by exposure to many different people both foreign / domestic, rich / normal) far more.

Everyone should have the right to attend university, not everyone has the required skills.

But if a parent is able to 'buy' a place that doesn't impact the availability of places for a hard working student in different financial circumstances, then no harm or foul.
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
then i think i have never really understood the English language.
That might be the case because the one thing that is not being said is that less academically able students would get in. Should the proposal go ahead the same entry criteria would apply. What is at the heart of this discussion is whether or not in allowing universities to create "extra" places (and for those in such a position to take advantage of), whether it is also limiting social mobility because it benefits mostly those of a better background
 

Toko Black

In Memoriam
To consider society a fair and ethical, one of the founding conditions is that any person within that society should be able to achieve what any other could allowing for disabilities. That who your parents were, how much money they had or where they lived should not affect what society provides. Then it is down to personal merit as much as possible. We are never going to be able to rule out parents helping their children along, but we can avoid setting up the system in a way that slants this in their favour.
Albert Einstien was a patent clerk.

The quality of eductation we have is going to affect the earning power of the nation, not just the individuals.
The tech innovations and advancements in knowledge are where the money and future lies.

Any action that potentially affects a persons ability to learn, progress and ultimately be an even greater assest to the nation is a step in the wrong direction imho.

Are we going to end up with the only viable degrees being corporate lawyers because of the returns except for rich families who can send their children to study the classics ?
 
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Toko Black

In Memoriam
That might be the case because the one thing that is not being said is that less academically able students would get in. Should the proposal go ahead the same entry criteria would apply. What is at the heart of this discussion is whether or not in allowing universities to create "extra" places (and for those in such a position to take advantage of), whether it is also limiting social mobility because it benefits mostly those of a better background

That is what Razack said - to which I was responding.

"It should be noted that students from a well off background will often bring a wealth of experience from exposure to activities/events/upbringing that are beyond many 'normal' students."

"Therefore even if their academic achievements are slightly lower than the State pupils they are working with there is still a notable positive in ensuring such individuals goto University."
 
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Corpsical

Established Member
That is what Razack said - to which I was responding.


"Therefore even if their academic achievements are slightly lower than the State pupils they are working with there is still a notable positive in ensuring such individuals goto University."

Which I read to mean that the university is made better the more people that can attend that have different backgrounds / different upbringings.

Its hard to have a prejudice when faced with many different types / people, as an individual I feel I was made a better person by university not because of what I learnt within the field of mathematics but more because of who I met.
 

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