Realsociology

Posts about Buddhism and Sociology

Clegg argues tuition fees will raise social mobility

Posted by Realsociology on December 11, 2010

Karl argues – Clegg’s full of s**t

Social mobility measures the degree to which people’s social status changes between generations. If social mobility exists it suggests that individuals are not being advantaged or disadvantaged by their class, gender or ethnic background.  

Now for most ordinary people – education is the key to social mobility -it’s not the only way of rising up the social status ladder, obviously – but a good education – GCSEs – A levels – Degree – tends to be equated with going on to getting a good job – as a general rule.

Furthermore most people would argue that the idea of social mobility – the idea that even someone from the poorest background can get a decent education and achieve highly – is good – it is obviously good for the individual rising up, but also good for society as a whole – and good because social mobility equates with fairness and justice – it shows that people can achieve on their own merits rather than people achieving based on who their parents are or how much money their parents have.

Nick Clegg insists the tuition fees package will make universities “more effective engines of social mobility” and that the policy will “stand the test of time”. Some of the measures to help those from disadvantaged backgrounds include -

  • Scholarships of up to two years’ tuition for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and delayed repayment of fees until graduates are earning £21,000.
  • There is a £150m national scholarship fund which would help the poorest applicants, and there are tougher access requirements for institutions charging up to the £9,000 fees cap would open the doors of the best universities to a wider mix.
  • Universities charging more than £6,000 in fees would be required to give a second year free to poorer students.

However, the thinktank Million+ calculated the scholarship scheme mentioned above could fund 8,333 students at £6,000 a year, or 6,944 at £7,200 a year. If fees were £9,000 a year, it would fund 5,555. Yet figures show that of the students graduating last year, there were 10,670 who had been in receipt of free school meals.

So what do you think – will increasing tuition fees increase social mobility? Personally this arguement makes no sense to me whatsover! But then again Clegg is a desperate politician – I can smell the desperation.. and something else too…..