Readers' reactions

May 7, 1999

Last week in The THES ... George Walden suggested that tuition fees should rise above Pounds 1,000 so academics can be paid more

Max Roberts Department of psychology University of Essex

Students should be charged full economic rates for tuition for two reasons:

* It will focus people's minds. All too often students neither know nor care why they are at university. Many cynically seek degrees with the minimum of work.

* It will end government interference. Once money comes from the user rather than the government, half-baked initiatives and pointless bureaucracy will be harder to impose.

John Hassall Senior lecturer Wolverhampton Business School

The government, in cutting grants and introducing tuition fees, has introduced selectivity by financial resources into higher education. The logic is that higher education conveys such an advantage in earning potential that students should pay for their education.

In truth, the introduction of fees and reduction of grants is a tax contrived by borrowing out of future income, in effect a mortgage, necessary because governments have increased spending on things such as social security that offer little measurable return.

The issue of student fees versus higher pay for lecturers is a red herring. Government needs to get spending priorities right by concentrating on education because it is a sensible investment in the future for us all.

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