Despite their concerns and expressions, I cannot see how this new private university in the UK is going to be anything but a new university college providing education for the elite (and for those lucky few who lack funds but are supported by scholarships to expand the ranks of the governing elite).
The philosopher A.C. Grayling, in the Guardian today, ‘says he was motivated in part by fears that government cuts to university humanities and arts courses could leave “the fabric of society poorer as a result”.’ Well, I think, most people in the UK and beyond are well aware of that.
“Society needs us to be thoughtful voters, good neighbours, loving parents and responsible citizens,” he said.’
Of course it does, but why should it be for only those who can pay for it? (Well, at least there will be a few neighbourhoods with those few people wealthy enough to afford such education! Elites can continue to look down on the rest of us poor, benighted fools….)
Surely if the new New College claims, in the words of Grayling, that: “If we are to discover and inspire the next generation of lawyers, journalists, financiers, politicians, civil servants, writers, artists and teachers, we need to educate to the highest standards and with imagination, breadth and depth.” (http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2011/jun/05/new-university-college-humanities-degrees?CMP=twt_fd)
Yes, most of us would and do agree with Grayling’s sentiments. But, paying £18,000 a year?!
Why was compulsory schooling introduced and expanded during the 19th and 20th centuries and why was access to and provision of post-secondary education, including vocational and professional training, expanded in the 20th century?!
It feels like we’re moving back to the 19th century.