I really, really wanted to write a post about the government's decision to slash the teaching and research grants to universities and shift the cost onto students. I have been too unspeakably angry so far to write anything coherent. I understand that saving money at the moment is essential, given the country's finances, though I fail to see how allowing the super rich to get out of paying taxes is justifiable, given the current climate. There seems to still be money sloshing around in the upper echelons.
Personally, I believe that people should be encouraged to reach their full potential irrespective of financial circumstances. I believe that the country as a whole benefits from providing well-funded education that is accessible to all. I also believe that the value of education extends far beyond an individual's earning power and that the value of a university education is greater than the degree obtained at the end of the course.
Here is a wonderfully comprehensive breakdown of the current situation, written by an American who is studying for his post-doc at the London School of Economics. It is a far more thorough analysis of the situation than anything I could have written.
The blogger commented under his first post on the subject, As one of the Lords said last night, the government’s plan appears to take all the worst parts of the American system without adding any of the things that mitigate those deficiencies.
The picture above is of me at my graduation ceremony in 2006, when I received my Masters in medieval and early modern history. I fear we medievalists are a dying breed.