The Campaign for the Public University has posted a response to the UK Government’s White Paper on higher education, arguing that the Government has turned its back on the principle of higher education as a public good.
“The Government has turned its back on the public good that higher education provides and is planning to open it up for competition by for-profit providers.
“A public higher education system that is internationally acclaimed for its excellence is being dismantled because of ill-thought out proposals to make savings by removing the block grant and shifting the burden of costs onto students through higher fees. Now that it is evident that a system of loans that would mean that a degree was free at the point of purchase will be more costly than the system it was replacing, it plans market shock treatment.
“Government ’spin’ describes this as enhancing the student-consumer experience. Yet, the National Student Survey shows high levels of satisfaction of students with their courses across most programmes and universities. At the same time, there is a high degree of public support for public funding of universities. The current system of public universities offers an enhanced student experience; that is, an experience enhanced by good teaching by subject specialists within the context of a university community serving the public good not private profit…”