Fancy doing a BA Honours at Worcester for costume and make-up, a BA Honours in interior design at Teeside or a BA Honours in decorative arts at Nottingham Trent University? Fancy going to an educational institution that teaches 32 weeks of the year and where most subjects only give lectures and seminars for up to ten hours a week?
Everybody should have the right to further education, whether it be at university or on a vocational scheme – and there is no doubt that education at this level enables companies within the UK to be globally competitive and to perform on the world stage.
University graduates earn on average £30,000 a year throughout their business career versus an average earning of £23,000 for non-graduates, which over the course of a career will result in £100,000 more pay. The government now wants to increase fees so that the average young person leaves university, starts a career and potentially family life with average debts of £50,000.
This will have the effect of gradually cutting back youngsters who wish to go into further education, particularly females, and will damage Britain’s competitiveness. It is not necessary because it is accepted by the government that the way of operation and inefficiencies within universities are allowed to continue. A major exercise needs to be completed in order to involve employers and potentially cut down the length of time it takes to achieve a degree by working more months of the year and more hours of the week. I would estimate this would create efficiency gains of up to 35% which when taken would more than replace the tuition fee being demanded from eager students.
This is a blatantly obvious solution which, coupled with the selling of university facilities to the local community and employers in evenings, weekends and holidays would result in an efficient education system with the output of skilled students ready to take their place in employment, contributing extra tax take and without the baggage of a £50,000 millstone.