Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/638/10237
Stop the 'slippery slope' to two-tier education
Universities UK (UUK), the vice-chancellor's organisation, has issued a warning that the Con-Dem 'reforms' to higher education will lead to a two-tier education system.
The UUK report said that a clear social divide will be created if only the rich are able to attend university in the traditional way. Those from poorer backgrounds who decide to go, in spite of the fees, cuts and poor job prospects, will only be able to do so using distance or part time learning.
Students already face leaving university with crippling debts - an average of £25,000 for those leaving university this year.
And now leaks in anticipation of the Browne Review into university funding suggest it will recommend that fees are raised to at least £7,000 a year.
This is despite the fact that a National Union of Students (NUS) survey showed that more than half of all students would have been put off going to university if fees were £5,000 a year.
This year's university places shortfall has left 150,000 students without a university place at all and many scrambling around trying to find alternatives to a degree.
There is also the prospect of more funding cuts in the October spending review.
As £2.5 billion has already been chopped from the higher education budget, further cuts will be devastating to the quality of education most universities are able to provide.
The Con-Dem coalition has already revealed its intentions for higher education in Britain by giving the go ahead for the first private university to be opened in 30 years.
This is again enforcing the prospect of one type of education for the rich and another for the rest of us. The lecturer's University and College Union (UCU) has warned that the move represents the beginning of a "slippery slope for academic provision in this country."
This government is turning education into a privilege for the minority who can afford it rather than a right for all.
These plans must be opposed. Socialist Students and Youth Fight for Jobs will be organising students who want to fight for the right to a decent education at every university and college.
On 20 October we will be holding a day of action across the country to oppose all cuts and fees. If you refuse to be part of a lost generation and want to fight for your future then join us in building the fightback against the government's savage onslaught.
In The Socialist 15 September 2010:
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party youth and students
Feature: Socialist Party women
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party review