University Fees

May 20, 2011 at 7:03 am Leave a comment

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This wasn’t me, but, I wish I had said it. I would never have been able to go to university if the present circumstances had existed. Well said, matey!

“Dear Provost

Thank you for you email. I had read your article in the recent College newsletter and wanted to comment so your further communication on this important matter is most welcome.

I matriculated in 1984, having attended a state school with no Oxford connections and was the first in my family to attend university. I was lucky, in retrospect, not only to have my fees paid, but to receive a full maintenance grant. I recall how daunting a prospect Oxford was given my background and, whenever I consider the fee debate, I try to think how someone situated as I was then would feel now.  I am led to the conclusion that the prospect of attending Oxford would seem to be even more of a mental hill to climb if I had to face the current fees.

I was therefore particularly disappointed to see you floating the idea of even higher fees as a means to independence. Whilst I understand the dilemmas you face, my reaction to this is that it is a certain way to ensure the continued or increased importance of privilege over ability as the basis for entry to Oxford. I can see that there are laudable efforts to provide bursaries etc but one of my concerns is that I am now in the position of having a family of three and considering their future. My education has served me well and I have a good job. However, the potential cost of supporting three children through to university causes me significant concern: my wife and I regularly discuss whether it will be affordable. I worry that this Government’s policies stand a good chance of turning the clock back so that the offspring of people like me who were lucky to have been funded to attend Oxford will see that opportunity denied to our children. I do hope that the college does not adopt a policy that makes that prospect more likely.”

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