Tuesday, 7 December 2010

My letter in The Times: the alternative to "no alternative" on funding universities

This letter appeared in today's Times.

Sir,

Professor Smith’s argument that “without extra funding student numbers will be slashed” is based on the false premise that the Government’s cuts to the higher education budget are inevitable and therefore the slack must be taken up by students through higher levels of debt.

As a nation we could afford to fund the HE sector properly and prevent an increase in fees if we just choose different priorities than, for example, international development or Trident. If we cut the NHS budget by a huge amount to pay for new fighter jets, would it be acceptable to ask patients to start paying for their treatment because, as the Government is prone to say, “there is no alternative”?

John Slinger
Rugby

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