First of all, let me declare myself. I didn’t go to university and over the years I always resented paying for other people’s children to go to university through the tax system.
We need children to be better educated, but at present this is not happening.
We need to take the decisions out of politicians’ hands for a start. Perhaps to create an organisation to set the standards, the curriculum and the educational requirements of teachers. It will be up to this new organisation to work to a longer time-frame than five years so we have continuity of education rather than chopping and changing every five years.
This new organisation will need to structure education so we have schools which cater for the brightest children, the average children, and children with lesser abilities. Then we need to have a structure so that kids who don’t go to university have a further education which will provide for their role in society. This could be education in the trades (building, wood and metal working and other similar skills). And, of course, technical colleges. Then there could be an expansion of apprenticeships.
The cost of education for university and technical colleges should be paid for by loans and repayment by the student. But in not quite the same way as it is done at present.
When you go to a bank for a loan or mortgage you are quizzed on how you are going to pay it back and your salary is taken into consideration. There should be a body that supplies “bank manager types” to interview the student. Asking questions like what is their ambition, what do they want to do, what do they need to study etc. Then they should be assessed on their ability for choosing a discipline which will pay high enough salaries to be able to pay the loan back. Suudents studying to be a Doctors, lawyer, scientist, computer scientist or other top paying position should therefore have a better chance of getting the money than those who want to do, as an example, media studies – very, very few journalists ever make it to the Nationals or television.
Those students who aren’t sure of what they want to do should be encouraged to work for a year or two to see what they really want to do in life. We should have more mature students at university, ones who know what the big bad world is really like.
Those who choose a path where they will be unlikely to be able to repay the loan should have the opportunity to have a wage earning adult to guarantee the money will be paid back in a reasonable period. They should be a householder and willing to put up their property to cover the debt.
Going to university is not a God Given Right! And students shouldn’t go with a begging bowl to poorer tax-payers to help them earn a lot more money and then look down on these people in society who have made this possible for them.
I feel better now!