University fees, pro and con

Ireland“As an academic and former student, I must say that I’m ambivalent about fees, for the following reasons. My own background is such that, had there been high fees and/or student loans in the UK at the time (1986–89) rather than grants, I wouldn’t have gone to university: I simply would not have been willing to take on the necessary debt. Since I’ve spent the time since as a researcher, academic ad spin-out CEO, I find it impossible to conceive of my life without university: it’s simply always been there, and (I hope) always will be. People are more comfortable with debt now, although that’s changing as the economy worsens. You don’t need to be on the breadline or at the bottom of the working class to feel that it’s just too risky to indebt yourself so much so early, so my experience suggests that fees and the rest do form a discouragement to students, and in fact do so for those higher up the income and social scales than we sometimes think …” (more)

[, 20 March]


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