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University Bubble Making Hissing Sounds

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3 hours ago, Dorkins said:

Personally I would lower the school leaving age to 14 and let the 5% of the population who really get nothing from formal education at that age go out in the world and do what they want. I'd use the money saved from reduced special educational needs units in secondary schools to fund more adult education classes so if the early leavers do calm down by their mid-20s and realise they need maths and English GCSE to get where they want to go they could come back and study them at college for free.

There was easter leavers til 85ish.

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20 hours ago, Dorkins said:

Personally I would lower the school leaving age to 14 and let the 5% of the population who really get nothing from formal education at that age go out in the world and do what they want. I'd use the money saved from reduced special educational needs units in secondary schools to fund more adult education classes so if the early leavers do calm down by their mid-20s and realise they need maths and English GCSE to get where they want to go they could come back and study them at college for free.

That would work fine if you enforced a parallel system whereby at a certain age people had to legally stop working... or you end up with it all bunged up like it is now.

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For those unaware, this is what is happening to the University Pension scheme (USS). Over 1/3 of remuneration soon going into the workplace pension. With NI, close to 1/2. It is getting expensive to employ people on that basis, and that is to provide a pension much less generous than the old final salary scheme around before 2011 (see below).

match-article-graph.jpg?la=en&hash=62C88

 

It all started going south after 2008. Reasonable summary on Wikipedia here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universities_Superannuation_Scheme

2011: Final Salary Scheme closed to new members and replaced by Career Average Model (ladder pulled); retirement age linked to state retirement; RPI to CPI; move to balance of cost model

2016: Final Salary Scheme closed to pre-2011 members; contributions raised; defined contiribution scheme introduced alongside career average defined benefit scheme

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17 hours ago, Council estate capitalist said:

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2018/dec/11/struggling-uk-universities-warn-staff-of-possible-job-cuts

Reading university, £27m loss on it's Malaysia subsidiary. Redundancies coming, Accounts held up by one off pension gain + one off gain reclassifying a property as "Investment assets" and revaluing it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Bell_(university_administrator)

Scratching my head on the ex Reading VC career.

Hes 59.

Did a History + Phil degree (3 y). Then PGCE (1y ) Then a Masters i nEdu + Admin (1y)

whos who:

Teacher, Cuthbertson Primary Sch., Glasgow, 1982–85; Dep. Headteacher, Powers Hall Jun. Sch., Essex, 1985–88; Headteacher, Kingston Primary Sch., Essex, 1988–90; Asst Dir of Educn, Newcastle CC, 1990–93 and 1994–95; Harkness Fellow, Atlanta, Georgia, 1993–94; Chief Educn Officer, 1995–98, Dir of Educn and Libraries, 1998–2000, Newcastle CC; Chief Exec., Beds CC, 2000–02; HM Chief Inspector of Schs, 2002–05; Perm. Sec., DES, later DCSF, then DFE, 2006–11. DUniv Strathclyde, 2004

Thats a lot of public sector churn and change of direction. I make that about 15 changes in ~30 years.

Most hv started planning his exit as soon on the 1st day ...

 

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BBC: Could student loans ruling mean the system is redesigned?

Quote

The total outstanding student loans at the moment have reached more than £100bn. That's expected to rise to £1tn in cash terms by the mid-2040s and £1.5tn by the late 2050s.

Clearly, these are very large sums of money, and the ONS is going to rule on how that money should be treated on the government's balance sheet.

Every year at the start of the Budget you will hear the chancellor announcing the forecasts of what will happen to the deficit and the debt in the coming years.

Remember, the deficit is the amount borrowed in a single year - the debt is the total amount owed on money borrowed by successive governments.

The way the national accounts currently treat student loans is "genuinely bizarre", according to Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).

He explains that when the government lends students £14bn this year (that's £17bn in loans minus £3bn in repayments), government debt increases by £14bn, but the deficit is unaffected.

And, if counted, it would make a big difference to the deficit - last year's deficit was £40bn, so £14bn is a significant amount.

 

The reason that the money goes on the debt and not the deficit is that it is treated as a loan that will all be paid back one day.

That means the only time it would affect the deficit is in 30 years, which is when any unpaid loans and interest are written off - well outside the time horizon generally targeted by governments.

This is strange because nobody expects all of the money in student loans to be repaid - the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) estimates that only 38% of the money and interest will be repaid.

Another odd thing about it is that, every year, the amount of interest added to the loans counts as money the government has earned, even though most of it will never be paid.

Now the ONS is going to decide whether to change the system after the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee described it as a "fiscal illusion" that concealed the real public cost of tuition fees, and the Treasury Select Committeesaid the system had meant higher education spending "escapes scrutiny".

Grants not loans

The OBR looked at options for the treatment of student loans and decided that two of them would make sense:

  • All money loaned to students is treated as a grant not a loan (so no assumption of repayment) while all money repaid by graduates is treated like tax receipts.
  • Treat the proportion of the loans that the ONS expects to be repaid as loans and treat the rest of it as grants. Only count the interest charged on the loans as government income.

Both of these methods mean that more of money loaned to students affects the deficit when it is lent, rather than in 30 years.

The government has commissioned a review of the student loans system led by Philip Augar, which will not be reporting until after the ONS has taken its decision.

 

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1 hour ago, Bear Hug said:

I thought they were already accounting for the lack of repayment with the RAB charge. Absolute lunacy if they're keeping this debt on the books at par value of 100p/£1.  

Next thing they'll remark it above par on the basis of the gilt /student loan spread on the interest rates!

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3 hours ago, Council estate capitalist said:

I thought they were already accounting for the lack of repayment with the RAB charge. Absolute lunacy if they're keeping this debt on the books at par value of 100p/£1.  

Next thing they'll remark it above par on the basis of the gilt /student loan spread on the interest rates!

I guess it's just one of many ways of money printing. Somehow we ended up with education that costs lots for the government and for the students.  Worst of both worlds.

 

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9 minutes ago, Bear Hug said:

I guess it's just one of many ways of money printing. Somehow we ended up with education that costs lots for the government and for the students.  Worst of both worlds.

 

Government intervention always leads to having the worst of both worlds because of their inability to do it properly. 

The pretense by Cameron/Clegg that universities operate in a "free market" is a joke with a race to the bottom in entry standards and a state subsidy/fee cap that prevents proper price discovery.

In my opinion the state should fund university education (No mickey mouse) for a restricted number, with uni salaries restricted. + invest the surplus in non-uni adult education. (Night schools, Trade school etc). 

 

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6 hours ago, Council estate capitalist said:

I thought they were already accounting for the lack of repayment with the RAB charge. Absolute lunacy if they're keeping this debt on the books at par value of 100p/£1.  

Next thing they'll remark it above par on the basis of the gilt /student loan spread on the interest rates!

They need to put the HE sectors pension fund between the loan book and the tax payers cash.

How very Brownesque. Outcome is known.

 

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2 hours ago, Council estate capitalist said:

Government intervention always leads to having the worst of both worlds because of their inability to do it properly. 

The pretense by Cameron/Clegg that universities operate in a "free market" is a joke with a race to the bottom in entry standards and a state subsidy/fee cap that prevents proper price discovery.

In my opinion the state should fund university education (No mickey mouse) for a restricted number, with uni salaries restricted. + invest the surplus in non-uni adult education. (Night schools, Trade school etc). 

 

Accomodation cost is a huge cost.

Should have looked to address that - maybe 1st year at home.

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8 minutes ago, spyguy said:

Accomodation cost is a huge cost.

Should have looked to address that - maybe 1st year at home.

I think a lot of the lectures could be delivered remotely as a webinar, or pre-recorded video with a live Q&A session at the end. My friend at university tells me that many lecturers just read from a powerpoint presentation anyway. 

 

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1 hour ago, Council estate capitalist said:

I think a lot of the lectures could be delivered remotely as a webinar, or pre-recorded video with a live Q&A session at the end. My friend at university tells me that many lecturers just read from a powerpoint presentation anyway. 

 

Cough texttospeech cough.

Or... read a book.

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On 16/12/2018 at 20:15, Council estate capitalist said:

I think a lot of the lectures could be delivered remotely as a webinar, or pre-recorded video with a live Q&A session at the end. My friend at university tells me that many lecturers just read from a powerpoint presentation anyway. 

 

1

they're judged on how many (dross and mediocre if necessary) papers they publish each year anyway, not whether they teach well or not. At least in the established university sector anyway. I've met a few people in HE teaching within FE colleges - qualified teachers needing a Masters rather than a PhD to teach, permie though less well-paid contracts than unis. Lower fees.

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1 hour ago, Si1 said:

they're judged on how many (dross and mediocre if necessary) papers they publish each year anyway, not whether they teach well or not. At least in the established university sector anyway. I've met a few people in HE teaching within FE colleges - qualified teachers needing a Masters rather than a PhD to teach, permie though less well-paid contracts than unis. Lower fees.

Also how much grant money they bring in.

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2 hours ago, iamnumerate said:

Also how much grant money they bring in.

oh yeah that too - still focuses on mediocrity these days tho'

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On 14/07/2017 at 22:16, debtlessmanc said:

I am in before 8:00 and leave after 5:00 most days and I am starting to take my foot off the pedal. Still i have seen large parts of the world at the expense of research funders and the university. Also used some amazing machines (free electron lasers etc) to do amazing things, funding from the us military etc- so it was an interesting gig from my perspective.

Going back to this bit, there's some pushback against ludicrous long working hours - such long hours that push against creativity, so not what a lot of aspiring researchers want.

So instead the suggestion is to do a normal job most of the week giving you spare time to do research.

Impossible if you need expensive funded laboratory time, say, but given incredibly cheap computing power available then possible for many these days.

And you'd need an institution to help you get library access and collegial support:

https://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v543/n7647/full/nj7647-747a.html

http://www.coresscience.co.uk

http://ronininstitute.org

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On 16/12/2018 at 19:54, spyguy said:

Accomodation cost is a huge cost.

Should have looked to address that - maybe 1st year at home.

But people living away from home will be amazing and is a rite of passage etc (not views I share).  Of course if accommodation had gone up with inflation it would be a lot cheaper.

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4 minutes ago, Saving For a Space Ship said:

Student loan ban: some universities could lose a third of their intake https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/jan/15/student-loan-ban-universities-could-lose-third-of-intake

A depressing article, academics rather than using anecdotal examples to explain why this is a bad idea, should use student loan repayment figures to show that it is a bad idea.  They should know that this as academics

If people with 3 DDDs pay off their loans as quickly as people with AAA* then this is a bad thing.  If they don't then maybe it is justified.

 

Of course it is possible that the data shows this is a great idea and they are trying to hoodwink gullible Guardian readers.

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1 hour ago, iamnumerate said:

A depressing article, academics rather than using anecdotal examples to explain why this is a bad idea, should use student loan repayment figures to show that it is a bad idea.  They should know that this as academics

If people with 3 DDDs pay off their loans as quickly as people with AAA* then this is a bad thing.  If they don't then maybe it is justified.

 

Of course it is possible that the data shows this is a great idea and they are trying to hoodwink gullible Guardian readers.

What the EFF is someone who can't even achieve DDD doing applying to university in the first place?

It is obvious and disgusting that higher education is simply a debt mill to get more people into debt and having their pay garnished for the rest of their working lives.

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