Letter: Dearing, do... (2)

October 12, 2001

Peter Lampl contends that "rich students should pay the full cost of tuition fees to subsidise poor undergraduates" ("Lampl: fee system is rigged", THES , October 5), but there are few rich students, even if their parents are wealthy.

The error lies in the failure to accept that a student is an adult and, as such, must be treated on their own standing, not their parents'. No student would want to be patronised in the way Lampl proposes.

Eighteen-year-olds only become adults when the government wants them for cannon-fodder. Earlier governments recognised - or were properly informed by civil servants - that money paid out through grant and tuition fees was amply returned via general taxation, usually many times over. The loans plus up-front tuition fees model has worked perfectly to preserve higher education and the higher-paid professions for the well-off.

The government must grasp a simple truth - that higher education is no more a luxury than primary education. A society that does not ensure that anyone capable and willing should gain the opportunity of higher studies will face economic collapse.

Andrew Morgan
Swansea

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