Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Feez R Kool!

The Hegemon has remained suspiciously quiet about what fees we're going to charge (you could try its Twitter feed (featuring not major fees decision but an Easter Egg hunt) or Facebook page, but I wouldn't stay in waiting for a reply) - despite having informed the government what the plan is. And obviously we academic staff haven't been consulted.

We'd be mad to charge less than £8000: the cut in the teaching grant and inflation will swallow all that up without investing a single penny in staff, equipment, buildings, books etc. So we may as well go for the full £9000 - virtually every other university has done, and who wants to be the BeJam University. Given that students are going to be paying it back over 40 years, that extra £1000 won't make much difference on top of their almost £20,000 per year, taking living expenses into account.

It's such a con: graduates will be paying full taxes plus the repayment, so they'll be heavily financially stressed for a service that a) won't be any better than under the £3000 regime - and possibly worse, and which is a public good, not a private benefit (except for business, law and golf course management degrees: you people can sod off). The whole thing stinks.

Here's the direction we're headed in (click to enlarge):

Amusingly, the Hegemon's Twitter feed reports a nonsense poll on the institution's main website which finds that 80% of voters think that social networking media ruin social skills. It's certainly true of the Hegemon: it doesn't engage in dialogue, only one-way propaganda. FAIL, as the kids say.

Their current poll is even more moronic:

Do you understand the 'Alternative Vote' system?

Total Votes: 152

Er… what does this tell us? It might easily be the case that ALL the people who think they understand AV actually don't, or that all the people voting 'no' actually do: it's a perception question, not a factual one. But I bet they think it gives evidence about how many people actually understand it or not. 


Neil80 said...

The whole fees debacle has showed just how much the Government understands their precious markets!

I'd anticipate that it will also create a lot of pressure on universities to provide guarantees over things like contact hours, library opening times, better facilities in general and more guarantees about employability, all when as you point out the university will not really be seeing the money they get increasing.

I think that the government are rather banking on the fact that students will be apathetic about the amount they are paying, seeing it as an issue to be dealt with in the future when they're supposedly going to be a highly paid professional.

Sarah Williams said...

even better than that poll, is the response to it on today's twitter feed - they are asking people for their thoughts on the results of the poll. I replied telling them that I thought they were a bit too late!