Student protests.

Sarah - posted on 11/26/2010 ( 20 moms have responded )

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-1183...

So here in the UK recently, students have been protesting against a rise in tuition fees for University. I saw footage on the news last night, and some of these protests seem to have turned into all out riots.

I was reading about some of the proposed changes : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-1148...

To me, it doesn't seem like it's such a bad thing, their debt will be wiped out at 30yrs old anyway, and they have to be earning a certain amount of money before they have to start paying it back anyway.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but in the US, you have to pay for University yourself anyway don't you??

So my questions are, do you think protesting/rioting is the right way to go about orchestrating change??
And should they even be protesting about this in the first place?

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Stifler's - posted on 11/27/2010

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And yeah if you don't unenroll out of courses you have to pay whether you did them or not. I have to pay for 2 subject I never did because I forgot what the date was to unenroll.

Stifler's - posted on 11/27/2010

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You can pay but you don't have to. I haven't paid anything off my HECS at all.

Amanda - posted on 11/26/2010

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I don't think the raise of a university enrollment is going to be changed by a riot or a protest. I think that's going to anger the ones in charge and nothing will be done. In the US it does cost a lot for college, but for those who qualify there is financial aid. And after graduation the loan will be paid off within a certain amount of time due to the student having a well paying job. If you want a decent education you're going to have to pay for it. End of story

Jenny - posted on 11/26/2010

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I like to see people demanding an education, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I believe ALL education is a fundamental right and should free to the highest levels as it truly benefits society as a whole.

I only took my first year of college because of not weanting to borrow another 10K. I am very lucky i had an opportunity to get a good job learning on the job and saved myself a buttload of time and money.

Isobel - posted on 11/26/2010

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I don't know about you but as a single mom, I had to borrow living costs for me and my kids too, but...a portion of that money is automatically forgiven...still I owe a LOT of money, and there's still more to go.

Jodi - posted on 11/26/2010

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That's a large debt Louise. Is that a 4 year degree? I can't imagine ANY 4 year degree costing that here in Australia. Probably around AU$30,000 would be average here for a 4 year degree I think.

Jodi - posted on 11/26/2010

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Actually, I think it gets wiped out after 30 years, not by the age of 30........if I read it correctly.

Lacye - posted on 11/26/2010

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I'm a college student in the USA right now and it sounds like they have it made! In the US, we do have to pay back any student loan that we get. doesn't matter if we are in the field we studied or not. I think it's ok for them to protest, I mean that's their right. But I'm just scratching my head as to why because the debt will be wiped out by 30? wow. dream come true!

Meghan - posted on 11/26/2010

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My sister is in Switzerland right now Louise...she is doing what they call distance education-she pays fees here, has Canadian tutors but does the work on her own...maybe that could be something to look into?

Louise - posted on 11/26/2010

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I live in the UK and my eldest son is in his first year at uni. My son has worked from day 1 to finance his way through uni as we simply do not have the money. If his fees go up it will be an additionall £5,250 he will have to find on top of being able to feed himself and live. Quite honestly I do not know how he is going to do it. To top it off his course that he is studying is Maths with French he will be sent to live in Switzerland for a year to complete his course. Switzerland is very expensive to live. More fees more worries. It the govenrment get there way the fees for finishing his degree will be £36,000 plus living costs on top. So by the time he is 22 he will have a debt of around £50,000 if he does not continue to work when he can. Ouch that is something I would not of taken on. It does not pay to go to uni these days as there is no guarantee of a job at the end of it and so much debt to worry about. It keeps me awake at nights!

Meghan - posted on 11/26/2010

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Our school did a little rally about it.
Apparently there is a 13 billion dollar debt here in Canada (and that isn't including provincial loans). It's great that those funds are there but the interest is high- however there is no interest while you are in school and I believe 6 months after..then you have to start paying back. There are options for interest relief as well.
Its a scary thought that I will be over 16,000 in debt after this...so I am trying not to think about it right now.

Desiree - posted on 11/26/2010

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In South Africa we pay for it too and we have them protesting every year. They strike to get free education and then when they go out and get jobs they strike to get better wages and then strike not to pay taxes. So can someone please explain to me who is going pay for it all....

Jodi - posted on 11/26/2010

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Really? I am pretty sure back when I did it, your debt was payable from the moment you accrued it......There was a particular date that was set in the semester whereby if you didn't cancel out of the subject by that date, it went onto your debt, regardless of whether you completed the subject or course, or not.



I'll be honest, I am HOPING I'll be in a financial position to help my kids with their fees (maybe pay some up front) if they choose to go to Uni, but I think at least the option is open to be able to have it accrued by the government in the way it is.

Stifler's - posted on 11/26/2010

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No it gets cancelled if you die so your family don't have to pay the rest. I think they should crack down on the HECS stuff, it's too easy to quit uni and not pay anything, you haven't had to pay anything except for textbooks and you don't have to pay anything unless you actually finish. I know people who have just quit their degree after doing $10000 worth of subjects and will never have to pay it back because they will never go back and finish.

Jodi - posted on 11/26/2010

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Wow, Emma, fees have gone up since I completed my degree...... It cost me about $12,000 to do mine, but I guess it WAS 20 years ago.

We have a similar system in Australia, where you accumulate the debt and then pay it off once you reach a threshhold in earnings. I can't remember the exact details on what the threshold or percentage is (and it has probably changed).

However, I agree with Cathy about the disincentive to pay it off early. Our government encouraged us to pay off our debt early, and pretty much offered all sorts of deals at the end of each tax year for us to put our entire tax return to paying of the debt. I did this a few times, and ended up having my debt paid off before I finished Uni (i was only doing mine part time). I'm pretty sure some people take years to pay it off. Others may die with the debt still intact (although I believe it does NOT pass on to the estate).

I actually don't have a problem with it. One reason I say this is that I think sometimes kids use University as a means to try and work out what they want to do (in fact, I think quite a number do). This is something we have talked at length with my step-daughter about. She is still undecided as to whether to start University in February or not, because she is not sure it is what she wants. As we said to her, it is a lot of money if she isn't sure, maybe she should think about getting a job and trying some different things before she decides to accrue a huge debt just because she feels she *should* go to university, when she's undecided as to what she wants to study.

Sarah - posted on 11/26/2010

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Yeah, I'm not opposed to them protesting really, but some of the footage I saw was just crazy!! There were loads of students rocking a police van back and forth, and they showed one student smashing a bus shelter to pieces. I just don't see how that's accomplishing anything.



I guess I feel like there's more important things that *could* warrant a riot, but not student fees!



I didn't realise if you paid back early you get penalised, that's just stupid.

I do think that if your university education has helped to get a really well paying job, that you should have to repay your fees though, pass the money back to the next lot of students who want to get the same education.



(Must admit, I don't know loads about this subject, but I still feel like it's not THAT bad)

Stifler's - posted on 11/26/2010

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I live in Australia and when I finish uni my HECS debt will be $25 000. The UK sounds like they've got it made. They should protest. Not riot though, that usually does nothing and gets people arrested.

Johnny - posted on 11/26/2010

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I don't know, being saddled with paying off large student loans (which we did do by the time we were 30 in my case and 34 in my hubby's case) has put us in a situation where it was too late for us to get into the housing market. We basically ended up choosing children over home owning. I know the real estate market in the UK is quite expensive, like here, so I think it could lead to people who take on massive debt for university being held back in other areas. It is really quite discouraging, especially when most people we know who do own homes were people who never bothered with post-secondary. We are actually poorer because we got an education. How sad is that?

I strongly agree with the protesters in this case. I think that education is the key to building a strong civil society, and when you make it so expensive that only the very wealthy can attend, you most likely end up actually lowering the quality of students that you attract. There was a recent study done in my province (I will look for it to post) that suggested that students graduating with better grades were not even bothering to apply for university because they could not afford it, and this was bringing down the entry grades for new 1st year students. The more you head in that direction, the more you just end up with a bunch of dumb rich kids with college degrees and poor smart kids running the autobody shop. Probably not the best hope for bright minds exploring our future. This is how guys like George Bush end up as President. He would have never gone to Yale without Papa's $$.

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