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Mikhail Liebenstein

Cambridge May Go Private

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http://www.telegraph...go-private.html

An interesting article and understandable in the case of Cambridge  which has a much stronger scientific base  than other universities and unlike Oxford it doesn't have such a a vast array of royal bequeathed assets .  If you study English Lit or PPE then you just need some books and a tutor, but if you want to be a world class engineer of scientist then you need tens of thousands of pounds worth of lab equipment.

Edited by Mikhail Liebenstein

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In submissions to Lord Browne’s review, Oxford and Cambridge both called for a rise in tuition fees amid claims they were losing £200m a year by subsidising degree courses.

So they are claiming Oxford and Cambridge are losing £200m a year between them teaching? How have they managed to fund this shortfall over the past couple of years?

It would appear that the elite Universities will become the playground of the elites.

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http://www.telegraph...go-private.html

An interesting article and understandable in the case of Cambridge  which has a much stronger scientific base  than other universities and unlike Oxford it doesn't have such a a vast array of royal bequeathed assets .  If you study English Lit or PPE then you just need some books and a tutor, but if you want to be a world class engineer of scientist then you need tens of thousands of pounds worth of lab equipment.

Oxford threatened to do this a few years ago. It is a clever threat, as the govt really does not want universities to do this. The underlying point is that he who pays the piper gets his tuned played. The government wants universities to rely on handouts so that they can meddle in admissions policy and (hence indirectly) standards. If oxbridge went totally independent and charged everyone £15k a year (current overseas fees) they would simply take those able to pay and with the best ability/schooling (allowing for the odd child of person who made large donation to college swimming pool fund). Very rapidly there would be no UK students at these universities and the govt would have to admit that the school system they preside over is s**t. It is exactly for the same reason that the govt has always been so antagonistic towards european qualifications like the baccalaureate being used in our schools. It would allow a direct comparison between our schools standards and those of our competitors.

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Can someone explain how sitting in a lecture hall with sometimes hundreds of other student, about 10-15 hours a week costs 16,000GBP.

The best private schools in the country with 10 kids per class, offering 30 hours teaching costs a little less then this.

Or is it a case the undergraduates are funding the universities to do research.

On a brighter note Blackburn college are paying kids 5k to fail their A levels ....an idea backed by college governor Jack Straw, the Blackburn MP. :rolleyes:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1321290/Blackburn-College-introduce-unprecedented-scheme-pays-A-Level-students-5-000-FAILING-exams.html

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Can someone explain how sitting in a lecture hall with sometimes hundreds of other student, about 10-15 hours a week costs 16,000GBP.

The best private schools in the country with 10 kids per class, offering 30 hours teaching costs a little less then this.

Or is it a case the undergraduates are funding the universities to do research.

On a brighter note Blackburn college are paying kids 5k to fail their A levels ....an idea backed by college governor Jack Straw, the Blackburn MP. :rolleyes:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1321290/Blackburn-College-introduce-unprecedented-scheme-pays-A-Level-students-5-000-FAILING-exams.html

There have always been lots of hidden cross subsidies in higher education particularly between arts students and those doing sciences, engineering etc. They pay the same fees in most cases but the latter require far more resources in terms of labs equipment etc which needs to be constantly updated. Even in the simple area of text books science literature goes out of date much faster than its arts counterparts where a classic work of history or study of literature may remain relevant for many decades. One of the problems with the expansion in University education is that many arts students now get seriously short changed in the quality of their teaching as many institutions no longer provide as much in the way of small seminars and tutorials as they did in the past. Consequently arts students are paying a high price to sit in a big hall listening to lectures and to use a university library. In the future I can see web casts providing the former and digitised book collections the latter. This would significantly cut costs for the student. Many arts courses could also be condensed to two years without much loss of quality which would also keep the bills down. There are already signs that some commercial education providers can see opportunities in this area. The problem is that many Universities have tried to build themselves on the Oxbridge model (hardly surprising as many of their dons are ex Oxbridge graduates) which is sadly the most expensive to maintain. Oxford and Cambridge can support the costs because their reputations means students are willing to pay the premium fees and they also are often blessed with generous foundations from past benefactors. The rest of higher education is less fortunate which is why it is going to really suffer in the years ahead.

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Can someone explain how sitting in a lecture hall with sometimes hundreds of other student, about 10-15 hours a week costs 16,000GBP.

It doesn't. The lectures are the starting point. Add on top tutoring them weekly on a ratio of 1:1 or 1:2. Then add on the costs of the salaries for the staff that do the lecturing, the technicians and support staff that keep their labs & libraries running,the cost of the IT infrastructure that runs silently in the background, the maintenance cost of the buildings (many of them historic monuments), and the cost of heating and powering the same and you might start to get somewhere close to the cost of an Oxbridge education.

Edited by Uitlander

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Many arts courses could also be condensed to two years...

Not without employing a lot more lecturers, or reducing the workload in other areas for the existing ones in order to absorb the 33% increase in their teaching load that would result from condensing the same degree programme from three years down to two.

Edited by The Ayatollah Buggeri

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So they are claiming Oxford and Cambridge are losing £200m a year between them teaching? How have they managed to fund this shortfall over the past couple of years?

It would appear that the elite Universities will become the playground of the elites.

And why not? Exactly what is the point of having money if everything has to be made available irrespective of money?

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So they are claiming Oxford and Cambridge are losing £200m a year between them teaching? How have they managed to fund this shortfall over the past couple of years?

It would appear that the elite Universities will become the playground of the elites.

Is it because that is just the shortfall based on what funding they get from government & the student fees? The colleges in Cambridge will also have sizeable funds donated from previous students, gifts, income from businesses (e.g. land leases).

I don't think they are actually going to go bankrupt in the near future but they can't afford to exist like this indefinitely.

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It doesn't. The lectures are the starting point. Add on top tutoring them weekly on a ratio of 1:1 or 1:2. Then add on the costs of the salaries for the staff that do the lecturing, the technicians and support staff that keep their labs & libraries running,the cost of the IT infrastructure that runs silently in the background, the maintenance cost of the buildings (many of them historic monuments), and the cost of heating and powering the same and you might start to get somewhere close to the cost of an Oxbridge education.

but when we ask our students (especially EU/overseas) why they want to study in the UK, they say 1.English language. 2.small group tutorials (something you do not find outside the anglo-saxon world) .

wrt salaries, what i (as an academic) get absolutrly irate about is this constant bleating from bankers, CEO's etc that they will leave the country if they are not paid enough. To me academia is the one area of activity where this is the absolute reality, there is very free and frequent movement of staff internationally in top-level academia.

British academia is still world class, compare that to cars, ships, textiles, banks etc. it almost as though the govt have a desire to stamp out anything the outside world thinks is good (i.e. will pay for) about the UK. I put it down to some sort of british disgust for people making money from innate ability as opposed to having the right background

Edited by debtlessmanc

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Not without employing a lot more lecturers, or reducing the workload in other areas for the existing ones in order to absorb the 33% increase in their teaching load that would result from condensing the same degree programme from three years down to two.

Plus the massive existing pension liabilities for the university courses the boomers took for free.

Oh wait... we aren't allowed to talk about that are we...

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Can someone explain how sitting in a lecture hall with sometimes hundreds of other student, about 10-15 hours a week costs 16,000GBP.

The best private schools in the country with 10 kids per class, offering 30 hours teaching costs a little less then this.

Or is it a case the undergraduates are funding the universities to do research.

On a brighter note Blackburn college are paying kids 5k to fail their A levels ....an idea backed by college governor Jack Straw, the Blackburn MP. :rolleyes:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1321290/Blackburn-College-introduce-unprecedented-scheme-pays-A-Level-students-5-000-FAILING-exams.html

Actually boarding is approximately £30,000 pa NETT.

So all the whinging about university fees are misplaced.

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It was sometimes said that you could walk from Cambridge to Oxford, and not step off university land. They own huge tracts of countryside. Friend of mine is a tenant farmer in a university farm, just had his rent doubled.

Edited by corevalue

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Can someone explain how sitting in a lecture hall with sometimes hundreds of other student, about 10-15 hours a week costs 16,000GBP.

Lecturers frequently teach only 1-5 hours a week following the same script that they have followed for the past few years. Then they might spend some time marking exams/ exercises, although they try to palm this off to phd students anyway. The rest of the time they are trying to do world class research. So really, you are not just paying for the tuition, you are paying for the tuition PLUS the research.

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It was sometimes said that you could walk from Cambridge to Oxford, and not step off university land. They own huge tracts of countryside. Friend of mine is a tenant farmer in a university farm, just had his rent doubled.

Both Universities are a collegiate system. There is the University (Lecturers, support staff, some building and facilities) and the Colleges (Fellows, more support staff and more buildings). The Colleges are separate corporate entities and their money is not pooled with the Universities. The Universities are not great landowners. Some of the Colleges are.

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wrt salaries, what i (as an academic) get absolutrly irate about is this constant bleating from bankers, CEO's etc that they will leave the country if they are not paid enough. To me academia is the one area of activity where this is the absolute reality, there is very free and frequent movement of staff internationally in top-level academia.

British academia is still world class, compare that to cars, ships, textiles, banks etc. it almost as though the govt have a desire to stamp out anything the outside world thinks is good (i.e. will pay for) about the UK. I put it down to some sort of british disgust for people making money from innate ability as opposed to having the right background

So what have you got to say with respect to salaries?

How much has the Cambridge wage bill increased from 2000 to 2010?

What's you percentage increase?

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I wonder if they'll be eschewing public funding for research as well if they go down this road. That'd free up a lot of funding for the research councils to distribute to other universities.

Edited by Scunnered

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So what have you got to say with respect to salaries?

How much has the Cambridge wage bill increased from 2000 to 2010?

What's you percentage increase?

I cannot speak for cambridge as i am not based there, however the usual rule of thumb in academia is that the more prestigous establishment the less they pay! As an example, i have performed the role of external examiner for PhD at various uk universities. The going rate for this is typically £150-250 a time. I was asked to do one at oxford a few years ago, i was told there was no payment as they expected me to do it for "the privilege" :unsure:

don;t want to give away too much, but i am closely associated with certain recent nobel prize winners and, as i have been on grant proposal with them, i get to see their salaries; no surprise that they are very generous. But then the university expects to get its payback in terms of attracting talented and full fee paying overseas students .

its a busniess like any other...

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Both Universities are a collegiate system. There is the University (Lecturers, support staff, some building and facilities) and the Colleges (Fellows, more support staff and more buildings). The Colleges are separate corporate entities and their money is not pooled with the Universities. The Universities are not great landowners. Some of the Colleges are.

Yes, I should have said college farm, not university. The older ones are the ones with all the endowments, the more recent have to make do with fees I guess.

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And why not? Exactly what is the point of having money if everything has to be made available irrespective of money?

Financial means should never be an obstacle to the most able pupils getting the best education.

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...true....but I'm sure it has been throughout history.... :rolleyes:

True - but all prestigious educational institutions recognise that the most able pupils are not necessarily those with the most financial means. Hence the existence of scholarships and bursaries.

For example, Eton, generally regarded as the school catering most directly to the super-rich, does, in fact, waive some or all of its fees for nearly 20% of its pupils.

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True - but all prestigious educational institutions recognise that the most able pupils are not necessarily those with the most financial means. Hence the existence of scholarships and bursaries.

For example, Eton, generally regarded as the school catering most directly to the super-rich, does, in fact, waive some or all of its fees for nearly 20% of its pupils.

..I'm sure US Universities / Colleges have a good record on this also .... :rolleyes:

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...true....but I'm sure it has been throughout history.... :rolleyes:

Up to a point. But go back to pre-grant days and there were open scholarships to support bright but poor students through university.

What the anti-elitists don't like is that education might be opened to the less-than-bright based on wealth. So in typical confused fashion, they've let the scholarships wither to ensure ability no longer gets you any money, and provided grants/bursaries on arbitrary criteria instead.

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  • 145 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
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      • Even
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      • up 5%



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