Thursday, January 10, 2008

Second degree cut survives vote

BBC NEWS | Education | Second degree cut survives vote:

"The government has survived a vote trying to block its plans to cut funding from students taking a second undergraduate degree.

A Tory motion in the House of Commons opposing the withdrawal of funding was defeated by a majority of 53.

But a number of prominent Labour MPs also spoke against the plan and called on the government to re-consider."

Hmmmm... chances of this not ultimately happening? Not looking good...

Wonder if I'd have started a second undergrad degree if the funding issue hadn't existed? Honestly? I probably would although it's less certain especially since I had to ask my employer for sponsorship initially and even asking for a few hundred pounds several years ago seemed like a big ask at the time. Maybe I would have been part sponsored, part-self-funded... but it's not as easy as it once was. Would I have found an interest in elearning if I hadn't started that second degree? Doubt it. Would I have started my Masters if I hadn't been able to take that second degree? Very very doubtful. Would I have been able to do a second Masters degree? Not a chance...

It may not affect me now as I'm out virtually of the system, but this sort of policy decision has far reaching consequences that extend way beyond 'give everyone a fair go first time round' and negates the aspects of education which can't be quantified by a simple test of 'have they got a first undergrad degree or not'. Why is it so hard to grasp that education does not have a single, quantifiable, across-the-board benefit? That lifelong learning should be lifeline and the doors shouldn't slam shut because one arbitrary measure no longer applies.

I despair.

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