Socialist Worker

Private university plans to charge £18,000 fees

by Siân Ruddick
Issue No. 2255

The Tories are backing a new, private university that plans to charge students an astonishing £18,000 a year.

The New College of the Humanities in central London will follow the US model of “elite” colleges charging sky-high fees.

This new university will be a profit-making machine—and has already attracted investment from City investors and other vultures.

The university is already in trouble. It has been accused of copying its course and module outlines from the state-funded University of London.

But it hopes to pull in the punters using the celebrity lecturers, philosophers and authors who have lent their names to this disgusting project.

These include “philosopher” AC Grayling, Islamophobe Richard Dawkins and right wing historian Niall Ferguson.

These people are backing the government cuts to the hilt.

And as if the venture couldn’t become more odious, Tory right-winger and London mayor Boris Johnson supports it too.

This week a government committee predicted an education funding black hole of up to £70 billion. This is because more universities than expected are charging the maximum £9,000 a year fees.

But the government has to pay the student loans up front —so the higher fees will mean it has less money for courses.

That will mean cuts to student places. Humanities courses at all public universities have already had their government support slashed by 100 percent.

The New College plans to open in 2012 to fill some of the “gap”. It will be a place for the rich to send their spawn who didn’t get into Oxford or Cambridge.

Enraged

That has enraged students who have been fighting rising tuition fees and cuts.

An angry meeting in London on Monday brought together over 100 students to campaign against the New College.

A protest was planned for this Tuesday evening as AC Grayling was due to speak at a central London bookshop. We must join this fightback to ensure that universities do not become the preserve of the rich and powerful.


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News
Tue 7 Jun 2011, 18:23 BST
Issue No. 2255
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