Is unfairness a word? Unfair – yes, fairness – yes, marry the two together and it seems to me a fair description of our current governing politicians stance on tertiary education costs. I feel incensed about this – on a national perspective we risk excluding some of the finest and most able students in Britain due to the fear of incurring huge debt. On a personal level, my own children, bright and headed for university (I imagine), will be graduates who are shackled by the costs of their education for many years.
The most discomforting thing I heard one student say recently was that it would be all right as long as they didn’t earn too much – they could graduate with a maths degree and work in the high street or something akin to that therefore avoiding having to pay back the debt.
Education costs are only part of my concern for our young people. The costs of housing, car insurance, household costs and fuel which impacts on just about everything – the high cost of living in Britain make it near impossible for a young person to be independent, lead fulfilling lives and have aspirations which may improve the state of the nation we all live in. Our wages are not high enough to counter the increased costs of living, and I know I am not alone, either as a single parent or a couple with double income in being worried – not just about the future but the here and now. Is it fair or right that higher education and the professions should only be the domain of the wealthy? Should ordinary waged families and their children set their sights lower to vocational training courses? This thought depresses me and makes me want to pack up and leave Britain should that come to fruition. Vocational training like university education should be options for all young people who have the aptitude for that level of education or career goal – regardless of income or family wealth.
All very well if the young person is from an affluent family with multiple assets, but in a democratic society I believe we are missing a step if we exclude young people from ordinary backgrounds, inhibiting their access to education and preventing their positive impact on our future, due to the global financial pressures of today.
Please don’t get me started about Bankers.