Let’s pretend for a moment that university fees are as progressive as the government says
Following on from my previous post, here’s a little thought experiment. Let’s pretend that economic inequality plays a limited role in university recruitment. Let’s pretend that working class kids and their families are not deterred by university fees of between £6000 and £9000 a year, and let’s suppose also that the incursion of debt of around £45,000 before your 21st birthday is neither a financial disincentive nor a psychological barrier to progressing into higher education.
Also, let’s assume that working class kids are blissfully unaware of the relatively high drop-out rates among low-income recruits; that their projected grades will in all likelihood be lower than middle class peers and that they will struggle to secure positions in the top paying professions. Or let’s say that they are aware of these disadvantages but are undeterred anyway.
In other words, let’s suppose that charging a fee for higher education deters no-one; has no prohibitive impact upon enrolment; that government policy is as progressive as it says it is and that the benefits of HE are the same for everyone. It would still be a disgrace, because it proposes withholding our accrued and collective knowledge from the young (and adult learners) unless they pay for it. It is quite simply the commodification of knowledge and skills fundamental to human existence.