Socialist Worker

Rich students to get fast-tracked places

by Siân Ruddick
Issue No. 2251

The Tories are offering rich individuals, funded by their rich families, a fast-track to their privileged future.

Under new government proposals, universities will be able to expand courses and charge British students the same extortionate fees charged to international students.

Students applying for these places will not be eligible for a student loan—and their fees will have to be paid upfront.

This means that only the rich will get them. And the proposals are being pushed though as the government aims to cut 10,000 university places across the country.

The backdrop to this latest Tory attack is the hike in tuition fees which leaves young people with a terrible choice.

They can go to university and accumulate a mountain of debt that will take most of their lives to pay off.

Or they can join the one million under‑24s already unemployed and out of education.

The government’s Office for Fair Access watchdog, which was supposed to investigate universities that charge over £6,000 a year in fees, has proved worse than useless.

Despite over 70 percent of universities declaring that they will charge the maximum of £9,000 for at least some courses, the body has failed to ask any to justify the charges.

The Tories aren’t just doing this to stop working class people from going to university.

Their friends in big business are going to cash in too.

Asset-stripping tax adviser firm KPMG has unveiled plans to pay fees for students at universities in a training programme for an honours degree in accounting.

Big companies are using universities to train their future employees directly.

And these students fall outside government restrictions on numbers, because they are on “bespoke” courses reserved for the firm’s employees.

These moves come at the same time as the government’s 100 percent cut in humanities and arts funding. This will see universities become

profit-driven training camps for multinational companies who can dictate what is taught and how much it will cost.

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Article information

Tue 10 May 2011, 18:13 BST
Issue No. 2251
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