Entitlement protests in England

When I studied in England, I did so using money I’d saved from a decade of work (starting when I was ten).  I took care of neighbor’s houses, mowed their lawns, babysat their kids, cleaned their cars, etc.  I had a goal and I worked to pay for it.

I was taken completely aback by the fact that all of the students I met in England had government subsidies for their education.  The working class students were completely subsidized.  The upper class were partially subsidized.  All had running overdrafts at their banks, meaning none had to live within a budget.  Each told me earnestly that this was to ensure that everyone had equal access to education.  Considering how class stratified England still was 30 years ago, that made a kind of weird sense to me.  Universities weren’t about education or hard work, they were about breaking the class barriers.  I got it.  (Or at least, I thought I got it.)

This week, we learned that certain Brits think that education is about breaking more than class barriers:  it’s about breaking budgets, windows, heads, etc.  As it happens, the outsized violence of the protests against tuition increases is not coincidental.  The leaders of the protests, the ones who took it from a march of spoiled children to a mob of violent anarchists, had far left ideology as their drummer.

Nowadays, wherever there’s bloodshed and violence, you can be virtually assured that one of two forces is behind it:  Islam or Leftism.

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  • JKB

    I can’t find the post but as one blogger observed:  Can you guess what the majors of these protesting students might be?  Something in the colon category probably.  As in Western Civilization: Why those who built the world suck…
    Now, I’m not opposed to paying tuition if need be but their should be some requirements.  Such as, two semesters of Calculus.  A basic understanding of engineering, etc.  The real question is why are their elective requirements in the liberal arts for science students but no corresponding elective requirements for he humanities majors in the sciences?

  • 11B40

    Several things occur to me in regard to the ongoing agitation concerning the cost of a college education both here and abroad.
    The first is that, in spite of the “progressive” organization and leadership of these activities, the participants fail to see or understand that they are, in fact, campaigning for taking the wealth of the many to benefit the few.  All taxpayers, rich and not so rich, are responsible to fill the public coffers to maintain the economic position of those already smart enough and capable enough to get into college.  And, as we have come to expect, the media reporting on these demonstrations never deign to question the agitators about this aspect of their logic.
    The second reflects my college experience of the mid-70s.  At that time, I was doing my undergraduate work at a part of the City University of New York.  There was a “no-tuition” policy at CUNY at that time; we only paid an $80 fee each semester.  The City of New York was in great financial distress at the time and awaiting President Ford’s infamous “Drop Dead” response to its pleas for a bailout.  Each semester, most classes and especially the higher level ones, would start out with about 30 students enrolled.  As the semester progressed, a more than noticeable attrition rate would begin until by the time for “Withdrawal without Penalty” about half the class had emptied.  Now, admittedly, this was to my benefit as it allowed for much more professorial access and interaction.  However, financially, it certainly contributed to the strain on the city.  Many of those partial-semester students seems to be both politically “progressive” and publicly subsidized.  The age of the “professional” student had arrived.  How shall I say it, completing your undergraduate work in fours years was no longer expected or required.  Come in, take your seat, relax.
    In the mid-90s, I returned to college as part of a career re-orientation.  I enrolled in a public university on the Left coast.  The seeds that had been planted in the mid-70s had come to their fruition.  Undergraduate work had been reshaped to a pretty much six-year endeavor.  Childcare was publicly subsidized or free.  Remedial classes were available for those who shouldn’t have been at a university in the first place. Unsecured loans were readily available. The university had morphed into catchall public service institution as opposed to a place to acquire knowledge and skills.

  • suek

    >>The university had morphed into catchall public service institution as opposed to a place to acquire knowledge and skills.>>
    The university had morphed into a means of indoctrination of young adults who would be expected to move on into bureaucratic positions which don’t particularly require knowledge and skills.

  • Danny Lemieux

    11B40, it sounds as if you are describing the university as a “parent” for these students. With all their wants and needs taken care of and subsidized by others, there is no need to grow up. If your wants and needs aren’t met, why…throw a tantrum.
    My daughter recently completed a semester abroad at a French university. She found the students to be juvenile, to say the least. They hardly worked, they disdained their professors (who disdained them back), they lived high on their parents money (tuition was virtually free plus they got an expense allowance) and pretty much valued their education at what they had paid for it, which was pretty much nothing. University was viewed as a process they had to go through in order to be “guaranteed” a job, preferably a government job.
    We made sure our kids had to pay for at-least a portion of their education. It made them value it.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com David Foster

    JKB…elective requirements in the sciences for humanities majors. In an essay written about 50 years ago, CP Snow observed that a humanities major who is not familiar with the second law of thermodynamics is as ignorant as a science major who hasn’t read any of Shakespeare’s plays.
    We’ve solved that problem now, by producing college graduates who are familiar with *neither* thermodynamics *nor* with Shakespeare.

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