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Is education a right and should it be free?

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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Namaste wrote: »
    I wouldn't have been able to afford higher education if it were £3K a year. I got in the year before the changes.

    I don't get that - you didn't pay the £3k up front and it's a non-means-tested loan. I seem to remember that it costs £9k per year to educate someone - so, £3k is / was a bloody good deal.
    Firstly, that if we are coming from the angle that everyone is equal, then people shouldn't be discriminated against for the socio-economic conditions within which they were born, by not being able to afford university.

    How can someone not afford university? You get grants and loans for living costs and a loan for tuition fees.
    Apprenticeships are shit pay and again, not everybody can live off them.

    But you are being offered free education. Why should the company pay for your qualification and at least minimum wage?
    but shouldn't all jobs pay well enough for people to keep a roof over their head, their bills paid and have enough so they can have a social life, continue education part time, or so they can save up for something nice?

    Is a social life, part time education or saving up for something nice a right, now?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Melian wrote: »
    I don't get that - you didn't pay the £3k up front and it's a non-means-tested loan. I seem to remember that it costs £9k per year to educate someone - so, £3k is / was a bloody good deal.
    My student loan didn't even cover my halls costs. I had to pay for my course out of my savings.

    How can someone not afford university? You get grants and loans for living costs and a loan for tuition fees.
    Firstly, not everyone can afford to do their A levels, which EMA covered... As for university, it's hugely expensive. As I said before, student loans (at least when I was a student) don't cover a whole lot. Not everybody has parents who can help them out and the majority of students who have to work to support themselves would now have to find a job in an extremely competitive employer's market are often unlikely to be able to find a job. Many university finance departments also run out early... Mine ran out before March, when I came to them for financial help in 2008.
    But you are being offered free education. Why should the company pay for your qualification and at least minimum wage?
    Because you are working for the company and generating profit for them. Or shall we pay £2.50 per hour for any employee who is doing some kind of training for their job? How about when you work and you are doing your training, or learning something.

    Imo, it's just a way to get cheap labour and offer a bit of paper at the end. There's no job guarantee for the person who has completed it either.
    Is a social life, part time education or saving up for something nice a right, now?
    Is free healthcare a right now? Is affordable accommodation a right? How about healthy food?

    Have you ever lived hand to mouth? The social isolation, plus not being able to afford bills, or to save up for a hair cut or new clothes are not a lot to ask for, unless of course we're aiming for a race to the bottom. Around 24% of adults in the poorest fifth of the population are at higher risk of developing a mental illness, than people of middle incomes 14% (source). How about people who are in debt?

    Why should people who work 40 hours as a cleaner be denied basic things such as having a social life and not having to live hand to mouth when somebody who does the same amount of hours, but works in an office live by hugely better standards? How do we define who should live hand to mouth and who shouldn't? I think all people should have a roof over their heads, social interaction, be able to pay bills, be able to eat healthy ect
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Link

    Just read here that the maximum student loan somebody can get is £6,928 if you're living in London...

    To break things down, say you're paying £400 per month rent, £30 per month bills... £5160 per year. That leaves you with £34 per week for food, studies, travel ect.

    Granted I wouldn't have gone with £3K because I didn't want the debt, though I'm already in debt anyway lol

    But yes, unless you can find part time work, university is near impossible for people who don't have families well off enough to support you. Grants exist of up to around £3K which I guess can help some of the poorest people, but it's still a tight budget. I guess that's why some people choose to stay at home or not go at all.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I agree that socila interaction is a universal need, that it's the most vulnerable in society who struggle most to get it, and are most in need of it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Not having new clothes isn't the end of the world and charity shops do sometimes have decent clothes too. Not having a hair cut isn't going to kill you either. A social life doesn't need to cost either. A lot of mine last year was either just sitting in the kitchen with hallmates and their friends, or going around a friends' house. The only cost for the latter was the £6 taxi home.
    Why should people who work 40 hours as a cleaner be denied basic things such as having a social life and not having to live hand to mouth when somebody who does the same amount of hours, but works in an office live by hugely better standards?

    1. They are two completely different jobs. I have a friend who works in an office - he also works in a highly skilled job that he needs qualifications and a lot of experience for. Or does a cleaner need to be that qualified these days?

    2. No-one is being denied a social life. It's called priorities. A social doesn't cost a huge amount either.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Do you really live in the same world as many do?

    Not having decent clothes, not being able to afford a hair cut and having it grow out of style is embarrassing. People judge you for it. It affects your self-esteem. It affects you at job interviews. If you are overweight, it can be very hard to find clothes in charity shops and they aren't an option for everyone, especially in areas of high poerty if everyone were to go there.

    My family and some other people have said before, the worst part of growing up and having less money than most people wasn't heating the house, or wearing second hand clothes, it was the stigma and the way that society treats people.

    Give me one good reason why people should not be paid a living wage, or are you arguing for the sake of it.
    1. They are two completely different jobs. I have a friend who works in an office - he also works in a highly skilled job that he needs qualifications and a lot of experience for. Or does a cleaner need to be that qualified these days?

    2. No-one is being denied a social life. It's called priorities. A social doesn't cost a huge amount either.
    1. I work in a job which pays £19K. My previous job paid £12K for four hours extra work. I needed the same skills set for both. I have a degree unrelated to my job and work with people who don't have formal qualifications. Having a degree doesn't mean you're hard working, more intelligent, that you have social skills or life skills, it means you can read a book and then paraphrase bits of your book on to exam sheets and essays. There's no difference between 30 hours of lessons and study a week and 30 hours of cleaning. Both jobs are of equal value to society. Too many people expect things on a platter because they have a qualification and too many people expect too little of life because they don't.

    I'm not arguing against going to university... But I think that cleaners, care workers, shop workers should get paid more, even if they don't hold 'formal qualifications' (increasingly, care workers have to) because the work they do is valuable. Why shouldn't these people get paid more, rather than people scrutinise how they are not spending their money right because hey, who needs to go on a night out once in a while? How decadent.

    2. No it doesn't have to cost a lot, but in reality, the cost of living mounts up. If you can't go to your friends stag do, if you can't afford to visit family, if you have the embarrassment of not being able to afford to buy something to go out in and the embarrassment of not being able to afford to get home. Most people don't live in student halls or socialise entirely around friends' houses... Transport is a cost, child care can be a cost... You really can't judge other people by your own experiences as a student.

    Do you think minimum wage is enough then?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    eh? You mean unlike others, I don't think the world revolves around needing loads of money, education being free and a social life being some sort of right? It's called being sensible and prioritising things. Or maybe unlike others, I've actually learnt how to budget properly.

    Oh, and I have been there and done that. Yes, I did spend the first 6-8 weeks of uni with very little money.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Wait till you've had no money for 6-8 years, a family to support and rejection after rejection for jobs you are told you aren't qualified enough for but you could do them stnading on your head with both hands tied behind your back. Then see how much you think people need access to free formal education, and a supportive social network, clean and presentable clothes as well as just a roof over their heads. Citing 6-8 weeks of having little money is a piss-take, a total insult to the people who work hard all day every day of their lives and still have nothing.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Melian wrote: »
    eh? You mean unlike others, I don't think the world revolves around needing loads of money, education being free and a social life being some sort of right? It's called being sensible and prioritising things. Or maybe unlike others, I've actually learnt how to budget properly.

    Oh, and I have been there and done that. Yes, I did spend the first 6-8 weeks of uni with very little money.
    And I've spent time at uni with very little money and a year earning less in a full time job than I would have on benefits. It's far easier being a poor student than a poor worker, especially when people are looking down their nose at you because you're the scruffy one in work, or when you can't afford the bus fair to see your mate who used to live across the way in halls.

    No, the world doesn't revolve around money, but money helps. If bankers are entitled to £6 billion bonuses and MPs to second homes, I don't see why people shouldn't be entitled to buy new clothes, to not be in debt, to go out and to be able to afford some degree of education at some point in their lives for pleasure, or career. People shouldn't need to live hand to mouth when they work hard all week.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Namaste wrote:
    it means you can read a book and then paraphrase bits of your book on to exam sheets and essays.

    No it doesnt, whilst I agree with most of what you have said, I disagree with the above quote.

    Some degrees do require a level of intelligence and the ability not to just repeat, but also to understand.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    G-Raffe wrote: »
    No it doesnt, whilst I agree with most of what you have said, I disagree with the above quote.

    Some degrees do require a level of intelligence and the ability not to just repeat, but also to understand.
    Maybe some do... Mine was more about reading and regurgitating.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    IME experience the people who just did the reading then regurgitated the info ended up with second class degrees.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    G-Raffe wrote: »
    No it doesnt, whilst I agree with most of what you have said, I disagree with the above quote.

    Some degrees do require a level of intelligence and the ability not to just repeat, but also to understand.

    In the Sciences you have to understand. In the Arts and Humanties pretence is liable to serve you well.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Melian wrote: »
    It's possible to be highly educated and not have a degree from university. Not everyone needs a degree.

    Yeah, and we're talking about a population of 60 million people. I'm just guessing here, but I suspect that if most of them stayed in education until degree level, the average level of education might be slightly higher than if we relied on them all to go to the library in their own time.

    Sorry, but it's ridiculous to present these tiny minority of cases, like the odd person who will move abroad, or the odd course that's a bit of a skive, as if they're an argument to remodel the entire funding system of higher education. You know what? Sometimes people qualify as doctors in the UK and then fuck off to America or Canada too.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    katralla wrote: »
    IME experience the people who just did the reading then regurgitated the info ended up with second class degrees.
    Either way... Some of the most intelligent people I know don't have degrees...

    Whatever these grades mean or arguments surrounding it, a degree is not an excuse for people to live hand to mouth whilst others in another job get a more cushty salary because they did a course. It doesn't mean they contribute more to society, so why get paid so much more (not that you're disagreeing with me Katralla). I'm not in favour of lowering graduate wages, but putting wages of the lower paid UP. I think less people would go to university if there were enough other good payin' career options... Many are going right now 'cause they fed up of the dole.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Agree, even lower wages should be livable wages, which they're currently not. And any argument that there isn't enough money is clearly bullshit, the money needs to be distributed more fairly.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Namaste wrote: »
    a degree is not an excuse for people to live hand to mouth whilst others in another job get a more cushty salary because they did a course.

    Well it kind of is if someone works in a job that does require a specific qualification.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    G-Raffe wrote: »
    Well it kind of is if someone works in a job that does require a specific qualification.
    I actually don't understand what you're arguing for...

    I'm arguing for better wages for people who earn £6 per hour, like a care worker. I'm not implying that hospitals should employ medical staff with no degrees.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    whilst others in another job get a more cushty salary because they did a course

    See now, I agree with what you are saying, but by saying things like "cushty" salary instead of using the word better/bigger kind of suggests perhaps to some that you hold those who have a degree (those who have worked hard) with perhaps a little bit of disdain.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think there the BBC and the OU should run TV channel soley focused on education. I imagine the amount of archive material available to both the BBC and the OU should cover gaps in the programming while the operation establishes itself.

    I'm not involved in education with the exception of studying a few OU courses, but I remember when I was at school very few pupils were interested in science, maths and technology. I think more of us would have been interested if we were taught the principals behind levitating a frog or tesla coil music.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    G-Raffe wrote: »
    See now, I agree with what you are saying, but by saying things like "cushty" salary instead of using the word better/bigger kind of suggests perhaps to some that you hold those who have a degree (those who have worked hard) with perhaps a little bit of disdain.
    You're putting words in to my mouth. If you'd read what I wrote before, I mentioned that I've been to university (and hope to be pursuing a Masters and maybe even a PHD in the future). I don't have an issue with people who have degrees, I have an issue with the fact that people who do jobs such as care work are paid peanuts, whereas some people get graduate jobs and are paid two, three times more than care workers because they have a degree.

    I don't think that somebody who has a degree is "worth more" than somebody who doesn't. I think people should be paid more in line with each other, as it is impossible to really value how much somebody's "wage labour" is worth. Do we measure it by contribution to society? Expenditure of calories? How much profit their create for share holders? The argument could go on for ages... But what I am really saying and shall say for the last time is that I don't think anybody should live hand to mouth when they work full time, especially given many of them work a solid 40 hour week (or more) and I do believe a lot of jobs are undervalued by society.

    I don't see graduates as this or that. Graduates are people. Individuals with no qualifications are people. People are equal.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think there the BBC and the OU should run TV channel soley focused on education. I imagine the amount of archive material available to both the BBC and the OU should cover gaps in the programming while the operation establishes itself.

    I'm not involved in education with the exception of studying a few OU courses, but I remember when I was at school very few pupils were interested in science, maths and technology. I think more of us would have been interested if we were taught the principals behind levitating a frog or tesla coil music.
    How is the OU? I'm thinking of continuing my studies through them.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Namaste wrote: »
    I have an issue with the fact that people who do jobs such as care work are paid peanuts, whereas some people get graduate jobs and are paid two, three times more than care workers because they have a degree.

    Surely this is because there is more money/profit in say banking than there is in a care home, unless you charge more for care to pay the staff more? I'm not saying it is right but that is why things are the way they are.

    I'm not putting words in your mouth here, but it could be taken that what you have said above means that people get paid more purely because of a degree? Surely if you had a problem with that then why bother taking any qualifications at all, some jobs require better qualifications than others, someone who wants to be an accountant should surely be able to count, much as those who want to teach should have a teaching qualification surely?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    There's enough money in care homes for everybody to get a living wage out of it, some people would just have to get paid less though.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Namaste wrote: »
    How is the OU? I'm thinking of continuing my studies through them.

    I think its great because you can work independently of others towards your own development, and participate in group discussions and lectures as you wish. I enjoy it because I can take charge of my own development without relying on others.

    Not that I don't trust anyone or anything :P
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