Phil Willis, chairman of the Commons select committee covering higher education, says a cap on student places in England will result in thousands of teenagers going on the dole instead of continuing their education. Increased funding of student places is inadequate to keep track of the big increase in applications this year.
This seems to contradict the governments own policy of having 40% of all adults in England with a University education by 2020.
Universities in England and Wales are warning that a funding shortfall will mean a freeze on extra places. The statement came in response to a letter from the Higher Education Funding Council for England, saying “at this stage” there will be no allocations of extra places until 2011. More from the BBC…
However, there are no plans to limit access to courses offered by the NCS College and more are in the pipeline.
Trent Batson of Campus Technology has raised the question: “Is College Necessary in a Knowledge-Drenched World?” The point being that, when we have so much technology in our homes that libraries, art galleries and other institutional places have difficulty competing, do people need to attend a college to get an education?
Well, it seems that most of the facilities of a college can be replicated at home, apart from one. Face to face contact with a tutor is still at the heart of learning. Only a real human tutor can take a student’s questions in the context of that student’s current state of knowledge and produce a meaningful answer at that moment in the student’s learning. Something that the New Curiosity Shop has always tried to promote, with a real tutor on every course.
Read more at Campus Technology.
Academics are becoming worried that government policies that emphasize learning as a route to employment are undermining the ethos of our universities and colleges. Vice-chancellors throughout England and Wales report that students are taking courses which they hate in order to enter high-paid work on graduation and that fewer and fewer students are taking subjects for the love of them. A similar story is revealed in Scotland despite the absence of tuition fees.
More in the Education Guardian.