further education further nightmares


In Lille at the weekend people kept asking me why the British don't protest more. While we were there there was a big demonstration against pensioner's age going up, education & something to do with abortion & immigration all rolled into one it seemed.

Well today Apoa has joined in on a protest march against raised tuition fees and cuts within this sector - in fact I think Camden set up an inset day, just so students could go without missing school. Will these marches help or are we already defeated?

All the people of not so affluent means, who were gratefully thinking they could afford to send their children to university for an education, will have to rethink.

We are a generation (the parents with children almost of age to leave school) who were born into a life with many 'free' institutions and have grown up with many privileges. We have not had to pay directly to see a doctor, pick up medecines for our children, send our children to school... Indeed we could also afford to buy a house and park a car on suburban streets without having to feed meters or pay councils for the privilege. After all the amazing work our ancestors put in to make sure we could enjoy some of these privileges, we have had to live through their gradual eradication. We endure these losses because we are not given the option of halting them. Where does it end? We know with every loss, we are relearning to accept these taxations. We are regressing to the position we were in before these things were put in place. Taxation no longer balancing out inequalities, enabling all to live better lives. The policy is: Don't tax people according to what they can afford, tax them according to what you can get away with.

But then, I can hear my dad thinking: "what is she moaning about?". Amazingly, my brother and I went to the two most expensive universities in the US according to Forbes facts and figures. Now those figures are staggering! Imagine being saddled with that debt! If we'd had to pay that out of our deferred wages, we'd be repaying well into retirement! Is this what the UK wants? The students facing these changes as pioneers in 2012 won't have access to the bursaries, scholarships and other financial aid packages the Americans have in place. It will be a hard blow to many.

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