Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I just had a very pleasant chat with Bill Rammell, Higher Education Minister.

Back in the day, I was Education & Welfare Officer for Loughborough Students Union, so I'm glad that I got the opportunity to quiz him on something, other than debt, that students have been concerned about.

I don't doubt for a second the importance of getting more people, from all backgrounds, in to Higher Education but I put it to him that, as with any market, the more people that have something (i.e a degree) then the less it's worth. He quoted recent studies by the South Bank University (which I'll try and dig out for this blog) which he said proved that degrees are still worth the debt, he did suggest that as a party, we need to be better at communicating such messages to the student population - an interesting comment to make given New Labour's reputation as media obsessed.

I also pressured him to look at helping to improve funding for Student Unions that help supply students with the transferable skills they need to be successful in the jobs market. SU's play a valuable role in a student's employability - and they need to get more help from somewhere.


At 9:53 AM, Blogger Paul Leake said...

Would certainly be interested in seeing the in-depth breakdown of the South Bank study. The last time I looked at the figures while doing a degree was (financially) worth it - as a whole - the benefits concentrated on certain universities and certain subjects. Arts students from new universities in particular could end up worse off in the long run with any future degree related earnings outweighed by 3 years of lost seniority, lost wages and maintaining oneself. It is new universities that are picking up many of the new students, and as always arts subjects are more profitable for a university to put on than most science subjects.


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