Saturday, 19 November 2011

Less fees more gees: the lofty aspiration of middle-class Irish students

While the Irish middle classes have no problem paying fees for little Oisin and Roisin’s secondary education, they feel that third level should be “free”.  That is, the ubiquitous “taxpayer” should stump up for their brats’ passport to economic advancement.

When third level fees were abolished in 1996, it was trumpeted as an initiative that would open further education up to all classes. It didn’t, of course, as a report by Dr Kevin Denny, in May 2010 found:

“..while all taxpayers, including those on lower income, end up paying for free education for third-level students, it is the children of the better off who literally cash in, getting their ticket to a better future and a higher income for free...
Meanwhile, disadvantaged students still enter third level education at the same dismally low levels."

Plus ça change.

It seems that third level education in Ireland will remain the preserve of the better off, given the lack of targeted, properly means-tested initiatives to increase the participation  -  and cultivate the innate intelligence  -  of those who don't traditionally make it to campus.

But we are in safe hands, as the future elite - as currently constituted - is certain to rescue the country from its present sorry state.  

Witness the thought-provoking placards you see here, with legends such as DOWN WITH FEE'S and LESS FEES MORE GEES
("Gee" being "vagina" in Hiberno English, for the benefit of the uninitiated).

Or perhaps it is time to simply put more resources into decent primary and secondary education? 

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Anonymous said...

The problem is not so much fees (which exist anyway in the form of "registration charges") but the lack of a state student loan system like they have in the UK.

Such a system would do more to enable working class students access third level education than either grants or "free" fees. And given that the loan would someday have to be repaid would strongly disincentive the practice of going on a six month binge before dropping out.

Besides whats the point in "free" third level education in a country where "free" first and second level education costs a bloody fortune ?


The Gombeen Man said...

Howdy Netgeek. Good to hear from you.

Yes, the issue certainly needs to be targeted to broaden the third-level demographic.

Ella said...

"Or perhaps it is time to simply put more resources into decent primary and secondary education"

Couldn't agree more GM. Perhaps then they might know not to put an apostrophe in Fee's

Down with fee's - they need to learn the basics before they even think of going on to third level. This really is first level stuff.

It's true middle class parents think nothing of paying for a private school for their offspring, but baulk at the idea that they might have to pay for university. I wonder is that a peculiarly Irish thing or is it the same the world over?

Anonymous said...

mr gm if i may go off topic for a minute here and recommend a viewing of KYLE BASS interview on bbc hardtalk its on utube20 mins long a real eye opener for buffons like noonan in govt world wide, btw kyle is a very good friend of a very good friend of mine whoe is very rich very glamorous very famous and very blonde CHEERIO ---BH

The Gombeen Man said...

I can't imagine it is, somehow, Ella.

Thanks for that BH.

Dakota said...

Ah yes GM, all "classes" of this illustrious isle are in hock for billions to Germany and France and the "middle classes" still think their pampered and preened are going to be paid for, ad naseaum, by the 100% of tax payers. Anyone who can see beyond their own greed will admit, that the Irish educational system is one of apartheid and nothing more than a GRAVY TRAIN for cute hoors. But any admittance will be short lived and garbled GM, as greed is well and truely instituionalised in Ireland. The propagandist drivel which feeds the myriad of cultural anomalies percular to this "soverign nation" (LOL...) shores up any intellectual resistance to this disfunctional hegemony. Not to mention too many CUTE HOORS per capita and a culture which values same, and the game is over before it began.

All systems in this isle are rotten to the core, what passes for an educational sector here is just a reflection of this.

The Gombeen Man said...

Afraid so, Dakota. And isn't education the future? Things aren't looking good if this lot is anything to go by...

John said...

Left school without chance of University, just now finishing law degree and have had to pay out of my own pocket as it is evening study. Lucky it was not private college but fees at DIT high enough.
I would love to organise a rally against fees for all the many noght students that have to pay full fees. I notice the Stidents Union of Ireland never bother with us night students.