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UK politics - Hamsterwheel

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UK politics - Hamsterwheel

Old 13th Jun 2017, 08:17
  #10301 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Originally Posted by Jetex_Jim View Post
University education had to be expanded and here's why. There are no longer the skilled jobs available that were around in the 20th century. And the number of skilled jobs and unskilled jobs will continue to decline. Expect, for example, a big reduction in HGV drivers as soon as driverless vehicle technology has been fully rolled out. (I give it another 10 years)

Sure, there are plenty of jobs in software but these days that takes a degree. Any kid coming up to day who doesn't do his or her utmost to get into uni is not going to have any job security.
There are plenty of skilled jobs out there that do not require a degree in Underwater Basket Weaving or the Life and times of Darth Vader.

My son decided not to go to Uni and did an apprenticeship with British Gas, 10 years on is now a manager pulling in just under 40k with plenty of scope for promotion if he chase hard enough. Expand that across the utilities market and there are plenty of job opportunities out there.

The construction industry is a massive earner for those prepared to graft, just take a look at the hourly rates plumbers, plasterers, electricians charge to see how funding your way into one of those trades is much better than spunking thousands of pounds away on a 3 year party to get a Desmond in Meeeja Studies and then go on and never earn enough to actually pay back what you borrowed.

Going to Uni has become a rite of passage with Uni's expanding faster than a fast thing watering down entry levels and providing courses on just about anything that will get the paying punters through the doors. Only problem with that is in a huge swathe of case the paying punter is actually us tax payers as many of today's graduates never go on to pay back anything let alone part or all of their loans.
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Old 13th Jun 2017, 08:25
  #10302 (permalink)  
 
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It would be interesting to see how many graduates end up in jobs that are even vaguely related to their degree subject.

Arguably, studying a subject for three years, and then deciding to work in an area unconnected with that subject, seems a waste of time and money. I will admit that this happened to me, from an early age I knew I wanted to be a scientist, and chose to study chemistry. After six months working as a junior chemist I decided I hated it, and was lucky to be offered a job in defence, where they sponsored me to do another degree that was related directly to the job. The three years I spent studying chemistry were pretty much a waste of time, and government money, given I got a grant.
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Old 13th Jun 2017, 08:48
  #10303 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by pax britanica View Post
But Corbyns proposals are not impossible to fund - in fact they are very easy when you shake the magic money tree a bit.

50% tax on income over 200K
Tax on revenues for the Google and Starbucks
Clamp down on tax evasion schemes
Ditch Trident and its replacement , a true sledgehammer to crack a nut and not ours to use anyway without US approval. Also given the two party leaders JC would not use . Mrs May would use it to attack Brussells but she mislaid the button and can't find it or remember the codes
New tiers of council tax for 1-2 M and 2 m and up , ludicrous that in some areas a house worth 600K pays the same council tax as an estate worth 8m.

Should be a few quid left over too, but they are impossible to fund in the eyes of old school right wing Tories who happily literally are a dying breed
Instead of following the short sighted Socialist mantra and focusing on the wealthy and the big business all the time why not get after Bob the Builder and the countless other trades people out there who spend many evenings and weekends all year round doing little 'cash in hand' jobs.

Imagine how much tax revenue is evaded by those people but I guess actively going after them would not be much of a vote winner.
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Old 13th Jun 2017, 08:59
  #10304 (permalink)  
 
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The idea that just taxing the better off will magically provide all the revenue needed to hand out freebies to all those less well off has always been flawed, and there are examples of failed social experiments like this everywhere.

Here, I'm pretty sure that all that would happen is that more of the wealthy would shift offshore, just as many already do. Not only does this then remove their tax revenue, it also removes a lot of their UK spending, too, so it's a double whammy.
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Old 13th Jun 2017, 09:02
  #10305 (permalink)  
 
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Imagine how much tax revenue is evaded by those people but I guess actively going after them would not be much of a vote winner.
And, the cost of going after them is not insignificant.

CG
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Old 13th Jun 2017, 09:02
  #10306 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Seldomfitforpurpose View Post
There are plenty of skilled jobs out there that do not require a degree in Underwater Basket Weaving or the Life and times of Darth Vader.


The construction industry is a massive earner for those prepared to graft, just take a look at the hourly rates plumbers, plasterers, electricians charge to see how funding your way into one of those trades is much better than spunking thousands of pounds away on a 3 year party to get a Desmond in Meeeja Studies and then go on and never earn enough to actually pay back what you borrowed.



Going to Uni has become a rite of passage with Uni's expanding faster than a fast thing watering down entry levels and providing courses on just about anything that will get the paying punters through the doors. Only problem with that is in a huge swathe of case the paying punter is actually us tax payers as many of today's graduates never go on to pay back anything let alone part or all of their loans.
It's funny you should mention the above really, given that I seem to recall you were only too happy to participate in such a course, albeit not with the intent of working in the construction sector, only for private use and that the course was funded by, if not wholly, but in part at least...the tax payer.

As for Universities, when I did my Degree, part time and evening study, plus countless weekends involved in assignments and associated research ( this is the bit that gets conveniently overlooked by many who feel it's just a case of pitching up, listen to the lecture, and then go home ) there were very few who were sponsored either by the state or by their work.

The vast majority of mature students fund the course themselves and yes, I am aware the posts are about students going into FE straight from school, however, they are not the only students catered for by Universities.

There are also the additional costs to consider. University libraries have a finite supply of reference books.....so we bought our own. Add to this transport costs, two evenings per week, plus group meetings when relevant, and these start to add up.

Not forgetting that, with two Semesters per academic year, and with two subjects per Semester, from September to May ( roughly ) for three years, including full time work, time management becomes a crucial factor.

I think it's something called.....commitment.

Best decision I ever took, apart from one other, was to enrol.
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Old 13th Jun 2017, 09:03
  #10307 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2011
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Orac:
For someone communicating over the Internet that is a very dumb question...
You have just completed a degree course in politics or something similar and you seriously believe that discussions, agreements etc will be conducted over the telephone/internet? Extend that ludicrous idea to the rest of the (real) world and air travel should consist only of holiday makers, all business, trade etc can be done via the same media.
And as I write this, the BBC news has just begun with "Mrs May WILL begin discussions with the DUP today". The use of the future tense here indicates quite clearly that the discussions have not yet happened so far.
Face it, it is a piece of political bluff and bluster. Or, as we non-political types say "lying".
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Old 13th Jun 2017, 09:22
  #10308 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
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What I don't get is this: Many Tories thought that Right to Buy was a wizard wheeze. It bribed Labour voters very effectively by allowing them to buy their houses at big discounts.
Of course this relied upon you being in one in the first place, a sort of free lottery ticket.

But when it comes to free tuition fees it's all wrong. Despite the fact that this bribe is open to all. It is a bribe, no doubt about it. But are we to understand that no bribe is currently on the table for the DUP to pick up and pocket ?
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Old 13th Jun 2017, 10:33
  #10309 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by yellowtriumph View Post
I entered higher education in the late sixties/early seventies. I had to apply to my local education authority to ask them to pay the course fees - they usually did but it was not guaranteed. I had to apply to the same body (I think) for a maintenance grant which was means tested according to my parents income.
I did the same in the late 70s. AIUI although there was a beaurocratic application process the payment of course fees and the (means-tested) maintenance grant was actually a "right" for your first period of full-time tertiery education. The local authority had discretion only for second degrees, higher degrees, repeat years and "non-standard courses".

At the end of my first year (a week before the end of year exams) I was trapped in a house fire. I escaped with only minor injuries, but having awoken in the middle of the night to find the house on fire it was then nearly a year before I could sleep properly. I would be certain that somesound or smell was another fire and had to search the house (and sometimes the street) to be certain that there wasn't a fire starting. Unless you've been there you wouldn't believe how the sound of light rain on leaves of trees sounds like the crackle of a fire! Anyway - the uni gave me a "waiver" for the end of first year exams, but I missed so much of the early second year that the advised me to defer and start it again in the autumn. After much dicsussion, correspondnace etc the local authority finally agreed to pay the repeat year tuition, but not a maintenance grant (for which I'm still greatful). The maintenance grant resumed for the final two years (engineering courses were usually 4-year in those days).

My two MScs were funded entirely by employers, of course.

For the other years my parents' income was such that I got the minimum maintenance grant, the assumption being that parents would top it up, which mine did. They would pay it via a "deed of covenant" so that it could be paid from pre-tax income and they would get a tax rebate. This was, of course, a "tax dodge", but essentially all parents of undergrad children did it and the infernal revenue provided detailed guidance on precisely how it should be done. The same is true of a lot of the so-called "tax dodges" people hurrumph about, so I tend to be less judgemental about the majority of "tax loopholes".

PDR
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Old 13th Jun 2017, 10:39
  #10310 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Effluent Man View Post
It bribed Labour voters very effectively by allowing them to buy their houses at big discounts. Of course this relied upon you being in one in the first place, a sort of free lottery ticket.
This did not just apply to Labour voters but anyone who lived in a council house even if they did not vote.
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Old 13th Jun 2017, 10:53
  #10311 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
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Originally Posted by Hussar 54 View Post
Huh ??

It's about ' the university owes me a degree because I paid you £9,000 ' attitude of her students ' - bugger all about herself, however much you choose to denigrate her.
I was just turning it around to show how it looked from the other side. I'm not suggesting that the customer is entitled to a degree in return for the fees, but I *am* suggesting that they are entitled to receive value for their payments.

When tuition fees were essentially state-funded the issue of quality of tuition could be taken to be a matter between the university and the givernment. But we are now saying that people must pay for their own education, and if someone is being asked to pay £9,000 for a year's tuition then they have a right to expect an appropriate quality of service - that includes no cancelled lectures or seminars, and no capricious behaviour on the part of the tutors and lecturers. So punative marking for late assignments is acceptable (in my case I remember than any assignment submitted after the deadline had a deduction from the grade for the first "working" day, and after that was capped at a 40% [minimum pass] grade). But expelling students from seminars or lectures for dress-code violations or similar is not. I woulod also expect that any cancelled lectures or seminars would be repeated at the earliest opportunity, and at a time convenient to the students rather than the lecturer/tutor because these are professional services which have been paid for. Having been on a course accreditation team for my institute I am appalle3d at the quality being provided by some "universities" and I do think that many students have legitimate complaints about the value they've received for their fees.

If you paid for (say) a type-rating course, and then found that the materials provided were illegible 9th-generation photocopies of an out-of-date course, the lecturer was just reading from cue-cards because he wasn't actually a type-rated pilot on that aircraft and the contracted 10 hours of daytime Sim time* became 6 hours between 2 and 4 in the morning (and oinly then at 2 hours' notice) with no pre-brief on the exercises and no debrief on the performance, and the simm supervisor kept jeering at you and calling you an idiot rather than helping you learn from any mistakes I think you'd feel that you hadn't gottenm what you paid for. This is how many students feel about their undergrad experience today, many of them justifiably so.

PDR

* I've just made up this example for illustration purposes - I have no idea whether a type-rating course involves these elements because I've never done one.
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Old 13th Jun 2017, 11:10
  #10312 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by PDR1 View Post
I did the same in the late 70s. AIUI although there was a beaurocratic application process the payment of course fees and the (means-tested) maintenance grant was actually a "right" for your first period of full-time tertiery education. The local authority had discretion only for second degrees, higher degrees, repeat years and "non-standard courses".

At the end of my first year (a week before the end of year exams) I was trapped in a house fire. I escaped with only minor injuries, but having awoken in the middle of the night to find the house on fire it was then nearly a year before I could sleep properly. I would be certain that somesound or smell was another fire and had to search the house (and sometimes the street) to be certain that there wasn't a fire starting. Unless you've been there you wouldn't believe how the sound of light rain on leaves of trees sounds like the crackle of a fire! Anyway - the uni gave me a "waiver" for the end of first year exams, but I missed so much of the early second year that the advised me to defer and start it again in the autumn. After much dicsussion, correspondnace etc the local authority finally agreed to pay the repeat year tuition, but not a maintenance grant (for which I'm still greatful). The maintenance grant resumed for the final two years (engineering courses were usually 4-year in those days).

My two MScs were funded entirely by employers, of course.

For the other years my parents' income was such that I got the minimum maintenance grant, the assumption being that parents would top it up, which mine did. They would pay it via a "deed of covenant" so that it could be paid from pre-tax income and they would get a tax rebate. This was, of course, a "tax dodge", but essentially all parents of undergrad children did it and the infernal revenue provided detailed guidance on precisely how it should be done. The same is true of a lot of the so-called "tax dodges" people hurrumph about, so I tend to be less judgemental about the majority of "tax loopholes".

PDR
Mine was a one year, fully standard course (Poly diploma extension of an HND engineering course to make it the equivalent of a degree). The maintenance grant was definitely means tested and my parents could most definitely not afford to make up the difference and it was the one and only time I applied for one. They did make up for it in other ways as only parents can. My eyes are getting moist now so I'll leave it at that.
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Old 13th Jun 2017, 12:16
  #10313 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by PDR1 View Post
But we are now saying that people must pay for their own education, and if someone is being asked to pay £9,000 for a year's tuition then they have a right to expect an appropriate quality of service - that includes no cancelled lectures or seminars, and no capricious behaviour on the part of the tutors and lecturers.
One of our lecturers staggered in, clearly as hung over as hell. After failing to talk sense to us for a few minutes he said "sod this" and left.

We were amused rather than bothered, but today's students would be submitting invoices for refunds.
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Old 13th Jun 2017, 12:33
  #10314 (permalink)  
 
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I still find it very strange that the ordinary tax-payer (bus driver, care worker, etc., etc.) should be coughing up to support those who want to better themselves at the pinnacle of the 'grammar school' system, i.e. higher education institutions that are highly selective with that selection based entirely on ability, also known as universities. I am amazed that the left should be insisting that 'the ordinary tax-payer' pays up to support those elitists going to university!!

PDR, having done several type-rating courses and a degree, your example is spot on! (Fortunately, generally I had really good lecturers. Most of my type-rating instructors were good to.)

Gertie, those "today's students" would be quite right too, if as a student you should be expected to put the work in, then so should the other side of the lectern.
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Old 13th Jun 2017, 12:38
  #10315 (permalink)  
 
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My daughter is doing an engineering course and fully expects to be in a position to have to repay her loan unlike some of her friends. She doesn't appear bitter about this as she is enjoying her course and is reasonably confident of getting a job she likes at the end of it. Woe betide any lecturers who turn up badly prepared or hand out [email protected] notes. She has led a group of students to complain about two of their lecturers this year and had good results from this.

Did JC really want to pay off the student loans in place now and then fund the universities in the future?

On top of the estimated spend of £48.6 billion pledged fact sheet behind the Labour Manifesto, the cost of reimbursing the 1.75 million UK undergrads @ £9k and the 0.5 million UK undergrads @ an average of £5k comes to an eyewatering £18.4 billion.......Thus bringing Labour's commitment to the British Public to a grand total of £67 billion. Methinks that would involve a bit more than
“We are asking people to pay little bit more who are the highest earners.”
that John McDonnell said, a line lifted straight from Obama who proposed to
ask for the wealthy to pay a little bit more
taxes
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Old 13th Jun 2017, 12:43
  #10316 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Trossie View Post
PDR, having done several type-rating courses and a degree, your example is spot on!
Damn - can I go back and have another go at it?

Gertie, those "today's students" would be quite right too, if as a student you should be expected to put the work in, then so should the other side of the lectern.
I have heard some professors say that their primary job is research, and that tutoring/lecturing is only a secondary responsibility. That may sound good top the lecturer/tutor, but it makes it fraud for their employer to charge £9k/yr to students who will end up "sucking hind tit". If you charge for professional services then be professional about providing them - that applies to everyone from cheap call-girls to barristers and surgeons.

PDR
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Old 13th Jun 2017, 12:54
  #10317 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
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While undergrads may be 'paying' tuition fees they are unlikely to be paying the full cost of their degree course in the same way that an aspirant commercial pilot pays for his/her training and licence.

Today's 'economically successful' undergrads have the likelihood that at some stage they will have to reimburse the nation up to £9000 for each year of their degree so I think it right and proper that they should expect a professional standard from their university.

At the same time, though, since universities receive direct grants from the Government (although only about 20%) I think it fair that the taxpayer should expect a similar attitude from undergraduates.
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Old 13th Jun 2017, 12:54
  #10318 (permalink)  
 
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... some professors say that their primary job is research, and that tutoring/lecturing is only a secondary responsibility
Those professors are forgetting the fundamental fact that it is an educational institution that is providing the facilities for their research. Tutoring/lecturing is the primary function of that institution. They should not forget that. If they don't like it then they should find a research post in a non-educational institution. As most of those are most likely in the private sector, I'm sure they won't like that one!
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Old 13th Jun 2017, 13:15
  #10319 (permalink)  
 
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“We are asking people to pay little bit more who are the highest earners.”
That 'bit more' isn't enough for everything that is being promised. And when that 'bit more' becomes 'yet a bit more still', then those 'highest earners' will start to melt away. Tax avoidance can take many different forms. An ordinary income taxpayer has to do £1.25 worth of work to earn £1.00; a higher-rate income taxpayer has to to £1.67 worth of work to earn £1.00 (or £1.72 worth of work for that £1.00 if you add in that 2% NI 'spike'). Push that tax rate up much higher and one of the simplest forms of tax avoidance is to say "why should I bother to do more work in order to get so little in return" or even "I'll just do less work and enjoy the extra free time". Why bother with promotion or doing extra work when so much of that extra effort is confiscated from you. That 'tax take' then starts to diminish.
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Old 13th Jun 2017, 13:32
  #10320 (permalink)  
 
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If any of your children start to show an interest in Socialism, confiscate half their pocket money as "tax" and share it between their siblings, or give it to charity.

They'll soon get the message!
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