Letters Extra: Top-up fees don't reflect well on society

29th November 2002 at 00:00

As a sixth form tutor in a state comprehensive school, I expend considerable time and energy supporting my students in their search for universities and courses which are best suited to their abilities and personalities.

For some that will mean science at Oxbridge and for others a much more economical course at a less prestigious university which is nevertheless the best option for that student.

The government would have us believe that these choices are made because of their pecuniary advantage: what then is the argument against increasing the higher rates of tax to find the increased funding our universities undoubtedly need?

In a civilised society a university education would be available to those who can fully benefit from it (accruing responsibilities to weigh against that privilege) and society as a whole would benefit.

Under the given proposals we shall see massive socio-economic skewing of universities, means-testing or not, and a severe dilution in entry to less well-paid careers. Are these the values of a well-educated and caring society?

Jenefer Golding MA, MSc

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today