Higher education becoming again a privilege of the wealthy?

The culture and education committee of the European Parliament on Tuesday 27 November 2012 adopted the new YES EUROPE.

The culture and education committee of the European Parliament on Tuesday 27 November 2012 adopted the new YES EUROPE.

Over the past few years higher education tuition fees have skyrocketed all over the European Union. Last year thousands of British university students took it to the streets of London and the other major cities protesting against the planned increases of tuition fees. Incidentally, this really huge protest movement gave Scotland Yard the opportunity to show off its new techniques and expensive gadgets of controlling street rallies.Tuition fees for higher/university education degrees have been increasing continuously in Britain and in some other EU countries even from the 1980s. But let’s briefly examine education policies in Europe during the past decades.

After WWII, university education tuition fees became nominal all over Europe and families had only to bear the student’s maintenance cost. On top of that governments and local authorities started subsidising poor families with children in higher education.

Education for growth

Those policies helped produce huge quantities of well qualified European scientists, who staffed the exponential expansion of secondary and tertiary education during the 1960s and 1970s, even exporting scientists to the United States. As a matter of fact higher education became a strong instrument of not only helping children from low income families to ascend in the social ladder, but also greatly helped European economies modernise, acquire dynamism, rebuilt the devastated from the war Old Continent and hugely strengthen technological development in Europe. Family income had ceased being a major impediment to children’s education. Medicine, sciences, law, economics and engineering became accessible to all and this helped reduce overall income inequalities.

Margaret Thatcher in Britain and Ronald Reagan in the US however didn’t like this. Neo-liberalism became again the ruling political ideology and government spending on higher education was demonized and started to be trimmed down. This policy gained momentum during the 1990s and 2000s. As a result tuition fees in higher education have become again a major impediment for children of low income families.

In view of all that, the culture and education committee of the European Parliament on Tuesday 27 November adopted “the new YES EUROPE programme for youth, education and sport, merging all the EU programmes for education, training and sport and Erasmus for higher education…MEPs amended the Commission proposal to facilitate guarantee loans taken out by master’s students and simplifying the administration of grants….Students wishing to take a master’s degree in a different EU country will be able to apply for a loan which will be guaranteed from a new facility under the YES Europe programme. To qualify, the student must study abroad for one to two years. The committee voted for loans of up to €12 000 for a one-year master’s programme and up to €18 000 for a two-year master’s course”.

Universities for the few

The European Parliament however doesn’t say anything about students who wish to take up master’s degrees in their own country. In many EU countries there are no supportive policies in favour of their own nationals wanting to inscribe for a masters course or even to enrol for a first degree. In short the European Parliament doesn’t question the now established practice all over the EU, of imposing extravagant tuition fees on all higher education degrees, even in public institutions. In reality the huge reductions of government spending on higher education has transformed the entire tertiary sector into a private operation. Universities are being encouraged to secure more income from the business sector, by undertaking not basic researche the results of which could benefit equally the entire productive apparatus, but custom made R&D as if they were the innovation department of certain big private firms. In reality, the amounts that governments are still spending to support public universities do not subsidise their students but mainly the big business, which use for free the historical infrastructure of those institutions to promote their own proprietary technological interests.

The subject matter of the currently applied education policies is that governments should not cover the full cost of higher education with taxpayers’ money, and rather spent it on armaments or security or whatever. In any case they don’t not pave the way to higher education for children from low income families. Again, higher education is gradually becoming a prerogative of wealthy families, while the historical infrastructure of universities is been exploited for free by the big multinational companies. They pay only for the current cost of the research conducted to support their proprietary technologies. As a result general purpose research is overly underfinanced in universities, if at all.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

Euro-Mediterranean Assembly fixes its permanent seat in Rome

African cities will double in population by 2050. Here are 4 ways to make sure they thrive

Global Citizen-Volunteer Internships

Back to the future: flying cars are becoming a reality

Is Eurozone heading for disinflation?

Fostering global citizenship in medical students through exchanges

The miserables and the untouchables of the economic crisis

Disintegrating Tories will void May’s pledge for Brexit deal in seven weeks

We’ll succeed together

Fostering global citizenship in medicine

Counting unemployment in the EU: The real rate comes to anything between 16.1% and 20.6%

Christine Lagarde: the three priorities for the global economy

European Court rules that ECB’s OMT program of 2012 is OK; not a word from Germany about returning the Greek 2010 courtesy

New EU rules ensure better protection for 120 million holidaymakers this summer

How the EU crisis hit countries saved the German and French mega-banks from bankruptcy and still pay the costs

For video game addiction, now read official ‘gaming disorder’: World Health Organization

What next after more sanctions against Russia, will the Ukrainian civil war end?

Jeroen Dijsselbloem new Eurogroup president

What can stop the ‘too big to fail’ bankers from terrorising the world?

Brain Drain remains a crucial and unresolved issue

Presidents of pan-European youth organisations call upon the European Council to preserve the Schengen principles

Can Obama attract Iran close to the US sphere of influence?

Obese people more likely to smoke, says new gene research: WHO

EU Summit consumed by the banks

Nuclear test ban treaty critical to global collective security – UN chief

EU-wide penalties for money laundering: deal with Council

We can build a carbon-neutral world by 2050. Here’s how

Spanish and Polish voters are crying out for an imminent European change while US urge now Germany to change route

The Swiss will pay dearly for voting out fellow Europeans

Millions of young lives ‘at risk’ says UN labour chief, calling for an end to child labour

UNICEF appeals for end to ‘war on children’ in Syria and Yemen

GSMA Mobile 360 Series – Europe – 14 June 2016

Be a part of the World Forum on Future Trends in Defence and Security

This is how people in Europe are helping lead the energy charge

New Report Offers Global Outlook on Efforts to Beat Plastic Pollution

UN says ‘many humanitarian achievements’, one year after ouster of ISIL from Mosul

UN mission welcomes Afghan government’s announcement of Eid holiday ceasefire

INTERVIEW: Advancing human rights, a ‘never ending process’ says new UN rights chief

‘Virginity testing’: a human rights violation, with no scientific basis – UN

Draghi joined Macron in telling Germany how Eurozone must be reformed

Embrace ‘people-centered multilateralism,’ UN-civil society forum urges

‘Safe Eurobonds’: a new trick to betray the south euro area countries

IMF: When high yield goes boom

EU and India re-open talks over strategic partnership while prepare for a Free Trade Agreement

At the edge of humanity: refugee healthcare in Greece and the EU

Further reforms can foster more inclusive labour markets in The Netherlands

France v Croatia: How the World Cup finalists stack up off the pitch

New chapters in EU-China trade disputes

Trade, taxes and other takeaways from Li Keqiang’s speech to the World Economic Forum

The EU Commission lets money market funds continue the unholy game of banks

These countries are ranked highest – and lowest – for human development

It’s not summer holidays what lead to the bad August of the German economy

Zuckerberg preaches that Artificial Intelligence will protect Data Privacy in Facebook whereas Verhofstadt demands the big European state to take charge

How Hawaii plans to be the first US state to run entirely on clean energy

China-EU Summit on 16-17 July 2018: “Work together to address common challenges”, by China’s Ambassador to the EU

Businesses succeed internationally

The EU risks trade relations with China over the Tata hype about steel

When it comes to envirotech adoption, NGOs can lead us out of the woods

Subsidiarity and Proportionality: Task Force presents recommendations on a new way of working to President Juncker

Slight easing of G20 GDP growth in first quarter of 2018

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s