For university fees all seem to be at the high end of the indicated range, leading to:
He predicts that there will be a slump in demand for the bottom-ranking 20 or 30 institutions, which will lead to them suffering \”severe financial difficulties\”.
But that it to assume that this is either an unwelcome or undesired outcome of the fees changes.
It is, unfortunately, rather going against the current collective wisdom to say that too many people are going to university these days. For the mantra is that ever more education will cure all our economic ills.
Entirely nonsense of course. But to stand up and say that it\’s nonsense, that the 30 worst unis in the country will no longer be funded is simply not a politically possible statement or action.
Similarly, to point out that it might be a good idea that instead of those 30 (or more!) establishments might stop trying to ape that rather more selective group that attempt to teach people how to think and instead teach their intake how to do….you know, some vocational work, why the hell not day release schemes for plumber\’s mates?…..is verboeten.
However, if you turn it all over to a market (and note, unless you\’re something weird like a New Classical, no one actually thinks that markets clear immediately, thay they get relative prices, signals, correct at first stab at it) then in time, we\’ll find that the punters don\’t think that a \”feminism in meda studies\” degree from Neasden Poly Uni is worth the £9k a year. And Neasden Poly Uni will go bust, or start teaching assistant nurses to wash their hands or something.
And thus, by exposing the education system to the chill winds of the market we\’ll end up doing what we cannot do politically: point out that trying to stick 50% of the age cohort through an academic education system is simply insane.
Which is why thinking that Dave Willetts is dim is rather dangerous: he\’s not known as \”Two Brains\” for nothing.