50,000 UK Students Protest Tuition Fees Hike - Page 3 - U2 Feedback

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Old 11-11-2010, 08:20 PM   #31
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I would have to say my experience was different. I didn't really learn any of those real world skills you mention at college, but rather by trial-and-error and being thrown in the deep end in the workplace. For me, the only real advantage of having a degree was getting the foot on the career ladder in the first place. Granted, that's not insignificant. Of people I've worked with, my impression is that the caliber of the college graduates is generally better than those with only high school certificates - in particular, they tend to be better at adapting to change, IMO the single most important attribute for success in a modern workplace - but that may be simply because people of high ability are more likely to go to college in the first place.
Well, as I granted there are exceptions, plus I can only speak from the perspective of an American (retail) business manager who hired, reviewed and fired probably a couple hundred employees during my time. It may also be the case that the Irish equivalent of our K-12 education is notably superior, and that that's relevant here (again, from an American perspective--a secondhand one this time--every professor of 25 years' or more experience that I've ever talked to about this, without exception, felt strongly that the competencies, particularly regarding writing, of the average incoming freshman had declined markedly during their tenure, in ways that couldn't be adequately explained by the increased numbers of young people enrolling in college).


ETA--It's not that college students here learn the actual skills you mentioned, per se; it's more along the lines of what BVS said earlier about the lessons being implicit: broader knowledge base + better analytical skills + more practice in speaking and writing + interdisciplinary work + more independence in defining and pursuing your own goals = better preparation to learn, communicate and innovate in the workplace. As a generalization.

(Also, in referring back to my post you quoted, I realize I went a little overboard in my crankiness about failures to use the career counseling system. That's on my mind right now because of a particularly exasperating situation at work, which is probably neither here nor there with regard to this thread. Sorry about that.)
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Old 11-11-2010, 11:28 PM   #32
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Yolland, I will read your posts in greater detail soon, but I just want to say this: the president of my university has been here for fifteen years now, and most students who have been through the school dislike him because of how much tuition has gone up. A student once asked a board member how he's stayed on so long. His answer? "Because he's the best president we've ever had at raising money." When my tuition goes up as much as it does from year to year, I wonder about that statement.
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Old 11-12-2010, 12:17 AM   #33
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Regrettable hooliganism of the predictable "anarchist" hangers-on aside--why aren't American students engaging in similar protests, and organizing to put the pressure on their elected officials? Everyone agrees the cost of a public university education here constitutes a crisis. But nothing will happen without the citizens most directly affected--the students--leading the charge. Parents won't lead the charge, because they fear to protest the costs is to say "Raise my taxes," and because once their children graduate, paying off the remaining loans will be their children's problem, not theirs. Faculty won't lead the charge because they fear becoming the prime target of 'crisis mode' cost-efficiency measures. Politicians have no reason to lift a finger, so long as the issue doesn't appear to be inspiring much passion from their constituents. How much worse will things have to get?
Just wanted to add, while they certainly aren't riots, it's not as if students and faculty (in a much needed alliance) haven't been engaged in protests over tuition hikes and the corporatization of the university across the nation, especially over this past year. The UC protests in California provided the catalyst for much of this action, and the latest national day of protest was October 7th, 2010.

Defend Public Education
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Old 11-12-2010, 12:45 AM   #34
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Why would anybody want a college degree?

Does it have any value?
Zero value.

I just learned how to lawyer while watching Judge Judy.
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Old 11-12-2010, 12:51 AM   #35
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then I agree with all the people that say it should be free.


I was under the impression it had some value.
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Old 11-12-2010, 05:00 AM   #36
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Yolland, I will read your posts in greater detail soon, but I just want to say this: the president of my university has been here for fifteen years now, and most students who have been through the school dislike him because of how much tuition has gone up. A student once asked a board member how he's stayed on so long. His answer? "Because he's the best president we've ever had at raising money." When my tuition goes up as much as it does from year to year, I wonder about that statement.
Yeah, I wrote a lot (as usual), sorry.

Just to be clear, I'm definitely not looking to excuse irresponsible financial management and planning on any university's part, and there certainly is plenty of that out there. PA's public universities are consistently among the most expensive (public) ones in the country, so it wouldn't surprise me if there were serious issues of that sort involved (though I'm unfamiliar with the state's higher ed history in terms of reasonable, timely upgrades to facilities and programs, which might be relevant to evaluating current spending). In and of itself, a talent for "raising money" is exactly what you want in a university president, however, how it's spent can sometimes be another story, and obviously it takes no special 'talent' to raise tuition, as far as that goes. Still, unless PA's system has changed very recently and I just haven't read about it, you're not among the states where public universities can hike tuitions without the legislature's approval.

One qualifier I should probably add re: the legislative negotiations process is that, ideally, students should really have an opportunity for input on their school's annual budget before it's presented. I'm honestly not sure whether universities are required to allow that, though.
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Old 11-12-2010, 08:41 AM   #37
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I work for a small private college and we are really struggling. My dept used to have 34 people. We've had layoffs (which is extremely rare here besides getting in trouble with HR) and have been told we cannot re-fill positions when people leave so we are down 7 people which is significant considering the specialized nature of our jobs (I work in IT) and the fact that every year we *add* more technology services. We increase infrastructure but cut staff. The school's enrollment is down quite significantly and the trend does not look good. Tuition gets raised fairly significantly each year yet my salary has been frozen even from cost-of-living increases and has actually gone down because the cost of our insurance going up. Our problem is that people are just being stupid and naive about the whole thing. They think that kids are willing to pay $35K per year JUST to get a "Christian" education. We offer nothing besides that, we fill no actual niche as far as academics and research. GVSU has become a large, well established state school and offers everything we have plus more and better, and their programs are easier to get into. The students we are getting and retaining are the ones whose education is being paid for by daddy or grandpa, or ones that have won substantial named scholarships, but no sane person is willing to continue paying $35K/yr just because. Our endowment fund sucks because they've already milked the alumni dry with the exorbitant tuition and no one is giving back. People with money to donate are donating towards specific projects so they can have their name on the building. There's a similar private college that is considered our rival and their tuition is higher but they offer far more competitive aid packages because of their endowments.
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:02 PM   #38
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in new zealand, tertiary education used to be free. now our politicians (right leaning, imagine that) want us to pay more.

i've said it before and i'll say it again, i love it when people who didn't fucking pay for their university education tell me my university education is costing the country too much.
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:46 PM   #39
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Yeah, I wrote a lot (as usual), sorry.

Just to be clear, I'm definitely not looking to excuse irresponsible financial management and planning on any university's part, and there certainly is plenty of that out there. PA's public universities are consistently among the most expensive (public) ones in the country, so it wouldn't surprise me if there were serious issues of that sort involved (though I'm unfamiliar with the state's higher ed history in terms of reasonable, timely upgrades to facilities and programs, which might be relevant to evaluating current spending). In and of itself, a talent for "raising money" is exactly what you want in a university president, however, how it's spent can sometimes be another story, and obviously it takes no special 'talent' to raise tuition, as far as that goes. Still, unless PA's system has changed very recently and I just haven't read about it, you're not among the states where public universities can hike tuitions without the legislature's approval.

One qualifier I should probably add re: the legislative negotiations process is that, ideally, students should really have an opportunity for input on their school's annual budget before it's presented. I'm honestly not sure whether universities are required to allow that, though.
My university is technically a land grant, so I'm not sure if it's restrained by the legislature with tuition hikes.
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Old 11-14-2010, 01:43 AM   #40
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Land grant status is irrelevant to tuition; land grant universities follow exactly the same budget-setting procedures as the other public colleges in their states.

I think what you're perhaps not considering is that public universities remain reliant on public funds, however reduced, to survive, and that by definition that money is the legislature's to give, not the university's to take. Are you familiar with tuition caps? That is when the legislature forces a university to agree in advance to a specified tuition limit as an absolute precondition for even beginning to discuss the annual budget agreement. While neither legislators nor chancellors ever really want to go this route, it can and does happen; our legislature has threatened to impose caps more than once the last several years, and part of the reason why universities in the aforementioned 4 states (VA, TX, ND, MI) decided to spring for permanently minimal funding in exchange for independence on tuition-setting and out-of-state-student proportions was because they'd been slapped with caps several times before and found the resulting revenue situation incompatible with their goals. This is also why, when a university's trustees meet after the negotiations are over (and the public funds released) to nominally give any tuition hikes "final approval," it is really just a rubber stamp: nothing incenses legislators more than a university changing its mind about its revenue needs after the political deal's been signed, and they know they'll get bit in the ass next year by the legislature if they do.
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:55 AM   #41
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I used to go uni. Last year I was doing 5 hours a week.


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Old 11-14-2010, 01:46 PM   #42
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Land grant status is irrelevant to tuition; land grant universities follow exactly the same budget-setting procedures as the other public colleges in their states.

I think what you're perhaps not considering is that public universities remain reliant on public funds, however reduced, to survive, and that by definition that money is the legislature's to give, not the university's to take. Are you familiar with tuition caps? That is when the legislature forces a university to agree in advance to a specified tuition limit as an absolute precondition for even beginning to discuss the annual budget agreement. While neither legislators nor chancellors ever really want to go this route, it can and does happen; our legislature has threatened to impose caps more than once the last several years, and part of the reason why universities in the aforementioned 4 states (VA, TX, ND, MI) decided to spring for permanently minimal funding in exchange for independence on tuition-setting and out-of-state-student proportions was because they'd been slapped with caps several times before and found the resulting revenue situation incompatible with their goals. This is also why, when a university's trustees meet after the negotiations are over (and the public funds released) to nominally give any tuition hikes "final approval," it is really just a rubber stamp: nothing incenses legislators more than a university changing its mind about its revenue needs after the political deal's been signed, and they know they'll get bit in the ass next year by the legislature if they do.
Well, my dissatisfaction is with the state legislature more than it is with the university, though I think the university spends too much under the assumption that the students will make up for it with another tuition hike. Obviously the main problem is the lack of appropriations from the state, certainly.
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