Britain: Nothing in life is truly free

Especially in education. But, in a civilised society, tertiary education has to be.

As students march through London demanding that education loans be scrapped and university education available to all, regardless of ability to pay, I stop and think: would I have wished to be saddled with humungous loan debts?  

The answer is clearly "no".  Who would be?  All of the cabinet ministers who propogate such policy would, like me, have received a free university education.

Yet the problem is that - somewhere along the line - too many people wanted to crowd out tertiary academic education. There was a time when people trained in trades at technical colleges or in apprenticeships. Whatever happened to them?  Apprenticeships exist, but they are few and far between.

Not everyone can be educated in media studies, or whatever. And the nation doesn't need that many media people, anyway.  But it does need plumbers and carpenters.

Reduce the number of university places and make those which remain free. Reduce the number of foreign students by subsidising colleges to establish campuses on foreign soil, like the University of Nottingham in Malaysia. And bolster trades and manufacturing by promoting more apprenticeships and setting up more techs and polytechs.

Not many things are more worrying or debilitating than debt. And to encourage young people to shoulder that burden while undergoing training in their first jobs is ill-conceived policy. 

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