Students took to the streets of London on Thursday in another attempt to "make the Government change its mind" as the leader of the Young Liberals, Charlotte Henry put it. Was this democracy in action, thousands of mindless thugs throwing golf balls, snooker balls, placards, lumps pf metal, fragments of glass and sundry other items at our police force? The issue was, the increase in HE tuition fees but the result was a
display of gratuitous thuggery from a section of our society who spend most of their time boozing and taking drugs (I await the comments but I have had four children go through the University system; none of them, I believe, were drug users but they all gave evidence regarding the high intake of alcohol).
Of course, they are only young/students/ frustrated/misunderstood members of society (I am sure I will be told) - give them a break.
|Our Royals should not have to face street violence|
I can accept demos against impending legislation, in fact, it's a scandal that we, as Catholics, do not peacefully march on Parliament to express our views on abortion and euthanasia, but I cannot accept violence on the scale that I witnessed yesterday. I cannot accept the heir to the throne and the Duchess of Cornwall being mobbed in their car, war memorials being vandalised, honoured statues of leaders past being urinated upon, Government buildings being smashed up and above all, our police officers being seriously injured. Who will pay for this event? The injured police officers will pay with pain and fear as they, hopefully, recover; and we, the taxpayers will pay big time to repair the damage.
I have long harboured a feeling that thugs who beat up old men and women should face the birch and now I am moving towards including demonstrating visigoths also. It's either that or chain gangs to scrub off the graffiti and repair the damage but I think flogging would give more satisfaction and produce better results.
Now, I would also sack every lecturer who unlawfully (in breach of teaching contract)took part in yesterday's demonstration and suspend any student who did the same.
NOW, A SOLUTION FOR THE COALITION THAT SHOULD PLEASE ALL PARTIES EXCEPT THE VICE CHANCELLORS! (AND THE LECTURERS)
The drop out rate in the first term of University averages out at c. 20%. That's a high figure in anyone's language and does perhaps demonstrate the fact that many young people who elect to go through Higher Education, are not actually cut out for it.
But, part of the reason is that, the Unis offer, in the main, a culture shock to ex sixth formers. Lecturer contact in a classroom or lecture hall situation is around 6 hours per week - PER WEEK! The rest of the week is self supported study time and most find this hard to cope with coming, as they do, from the 30 plus hours of teacher contact that they received in school. The result is lying in bed till midday, going down the pub, in fact, anything that does not require study.
This regime continues for 6 weeks and then the Uni gives the poor dears a 3 to 4 week holiday and this is then repeated at more or less similar intervals throughout the year. Not exactly a hothouse of learning.
Most Universities work to a 28 or 30 week academic year - small wonder that we have the drop out rate and the spate of 'Desmonds' after the 3 year programme.
Why not crank this programme up a few notches so that students are studying for say, 40 weeks each year? That would mean that their degree could be achieved not in 3 or 4 years but in c. 2 years. Even more interesting is the cost element which would reduce from £18,000 - £27,000 to £12,000 - £18,000.