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University Bubble Making Hissing Sounds

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11 hours ago, PeanutButter said:

average tuition fees by country infographic

 

It's slightly skewed by the fact that in England everything from Oxbridge to the lowest polyversity charges £9k (which is presumably $11.5k at the exchange rate used) whereas in the US, 'public universities' excludes the expensive top tier, Ivy League type places are over $50k. There is also generally a situation where going to  University in your own state is much cheaper than going elsewhere. A degree from Oxbridge/Imperial/LSE is worth 9 grand/year, basket weaving at a polytechnic, less so.

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Just did some fit-out work at a university in Kent with a new building. Workmanship is shocking and most of the facility not fit for purpose. The expensive London consultants used for the design of one area must be employing people with severe mental difficulties so wrong is the technical design of some of the rooms yet a small business like mine, local to the area, wouldn't get a look in. Knowing some of the staff, my comments have led to extensive re-design but I doubt the original designers will care or b sanctioned.

Massive waste of student money and you know the prospectus will just be full of 'state of the art' comments when in reality it really is anything but. I have experienced this in every university job I have been involved in - millions spent on buildings not fit for purpose. This particular university's expansion rate in regards to new buildings has been  almost exponential. Has to stop some time soon when reality hits home to students that the jobs are not out there.

Other funny thing is I met an old lecturer there from when I went to this university (my job is unrelated to the degree I got there) and he was with two students - I was doing manual type work and the two students seemed to pity me for having been reduced to working on a construction site although i was getting paid handsomely as it was a last minute thing I helped a contractor out with. I can guarantee that 75% of the people on the site are earning more than 90% of the students there ever will. 

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5 minutes ago, Longtermrenter said:

 Has to stop some time soon when reality hits home to students that the jobs are not out there.

 

When this becomes part of the way of thinking it will end

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Ask most students as to why they go to university they would say meeting other students, the making of new friends, starting a new independent life away from home.......thousands of school leavers in the past did that by joining a good company where met new colleagues, learned new skills, made new friends, earned enough new money so could use it to live in shared accommodation with others and have a great social life outside of work......no debt accruing, learning as you are earning.....😉

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University of Portsmouth under fire over £800,000 rebrand costs as departments face cuts

Oxford Student Union’ rebrand cost over £17,000

Queen's defends £300k on new brand identity as watchdog says spend 'excessive'

Plymouth University under fire for spending hundreds of thousands of pounds to add 'of' into its name

THE cost of Southampton University's controversial new logo has shot up by an additional £200,000

King’s College London ditches 'pretentious' rebrand after student anger (The full cost of the attempted rebrand is not known because the spending was mixed up with the general marketing budget, but has been estimated at somewhere between £87,000 and £300,000.)

Warwick students angry at 'aubergine' university logoA petition urging the university to halt its £80,000 rebrand has received over 4,000 signatures

UCLU rebranding estimated to cost £68,125 (Just over a year since UCL’s last rebranding and a year since UCL signed the biggest loan in British university history of 280 million pounds)

These are just the ones people made a noise about.

Turning education into a competitive business model mutates institutions into hungry hippos, ever gobbling down their student fodder. Giving an education is no longer the goal. Obtaining as many students as possible is the goal. 

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1 hour ago, Council estate capitalist said:

https://thetab.com/uk/2019/02/14/the-uks-weirdest-vice-chancellor-has-just-resigned-and-nobody-knows-why-92410

I'd need a pretty solid reason to leave a £350k job.

He is the third member of the management to leave recently + another 3 more senior people left when he resigned. 

This is why: "De Montfort University boss had business link to chair of committee which awarded him £64,000 pay rise"

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/de-montfort-university-vice-chancellor-pay-rise-income-leicester-dominic-shellard-antony-stockdale-a8777306.html

Talk about greed/shady practices/pigs in the trough/backhanders etc!!!! 😲

More info here:

https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/news/leicester-news/ex-de-montfort-university-chief-2536061

https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/news/leicester-news/de-montfort-university-confirms-3-2537127

https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/news/leicester-news/investigation-launched-after-de-montfort-2530847

https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/news/leicester-news/former-de-montfort-university-chairman-2523864

I wonder how common this is within university boards and Vice Chancellor appointments? Pretty common i'm betting. As i was saying it is all starting to unravel, De Montfort being the first to be exposed perhaps? DeMonfort I think is one of the bigger ex poly uni's too.

Oh one more (very important) thing, the Leicester mayor Sir Peter Soulsby, a right arrogant slimy Labour tosser, who I always thought was in the pocket of Demonfort university simply because it felt like absolutely "any" planning the university wanted got approved..no matter what. Like a lot of university towns, Leicester has seen it's university campuses spread out far and wide to the point where the univeristy(s) are the biggest things in town. I'm sure there are others here that can relate?

Anyway Sir Peter, like a lot of high up politicians has his slimy snout in a lot of things, i think a construction/building firm (will find the details later), but this following link is very very interesting!!

https://thoughtsofaleicestersocialist.wordpress.com/2015/09/28/the-wages-of-soulsby/

"...In November, the City Council will be reviewing the salaries of Leicester’s most powerful politicians, including not least Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby. Reportedly, Council officials will “appoint members to an independent panel who will determine whether politicians’ pay is increased, frozen, or perhaps reduced” (September 24, Leicester Mercury)."

"...A third panel member was Dominic Shellard, who has been the chief executive of De Montfort University (DMU) since 2010 (note: Kapur has been a DMU trustee since 2009). Needless to say, Soulsby has always worked closely with DMU, and earlier this year he sold them a former Council-run youth centre (The Watershed), which used to serve the public good when it was funded (March 24, Mercury)."

See also:    https://thoughtsofaleicestersocialist.wordpress.com/2019/02/11/let-the-investigation-of-dominic-shellard-commence/

And:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Soulsby#Salary_review_controversy

I always suspected something was going on with the links between the university and the council/mayor in Leicester, and I only really started looking in to this today, and frankly it's astonishing (IMO), but at all not surprising as we know how greedy and corrupt politicians/people in positions of power are.

And I really do wonder how wide this corrupt spider web spreads out, everyone seems to be keeping everyone else sweet using the public purse/tuition fees...i.e. the university board/Vice Chancellor in cahoots with local mayor and vice versa etc etc. And I'm guessing this is happening elsewhere too? It might be worth doing some digging.

 

Edited by highcontrast
Info overload!

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...I feel like the Robert Redford character in "all the presidents men" lol ;)

P.S. I'm sure there's someone more knowledgeable than me about Higher Education board/Vice Chancellor appointments and their links to councils/mayors/private businesses...is everything i mentioned in my above post actually what normally goes on!!? 😲

 

Edited by highcontrast

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On 12/02/2019 at 06:18, PeanutButter said:

Turning education into a competitive business model mutates institutions into hungry hippos, ever gobbling down their student fodder.

No, it doesn't. Giving taxpayers' money to kids to spend on a degree in ******** Studies does that.

Most kids don't care about whether they get an education in anything useful, because they're not paying for it, and they're told it doesn't matter anyway, because they can use that time to 'find themselves' or 'learn to learn' or some such crap.

If they had to save or earn the money to pay for a degree, they'd be far more careful about where they went, what they studied, and how they evaluated the value of that study.

But, hey, a socialist university where they got paid regardless of results would totally be better. Because they're so dedicated to educating students. LOL.

Seriously, I remember a discussion with one of my tutors at university where he pretty much admitted that all he really cared about was where the money for his next research project was coming from, and the students he was teaching were an irritation that took him away from his research.

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10 hours ago, highcontrast said:

...I feel like the Robert Redford character in "all the presidents men" lol ;)

P.S. I'm sure there's someone more knowledgeable than me about Higher Education board/Vice Chancellor appointments and their links to councils/mayors/private businesses...is everything i mentioned in my above post actually what normally goes on!!? 😲

 

Unfortunately, a lot of this kind of stuff does go on, particularly in ex polys (in my experience)

Also there are a lot of masons in senior university positions. ( I kid you not)

the main stuff I have encountered over the years has been blurring of spin out company activity and university funding. To be frank many spin out companies are money laundering activities. 

Edited by debtlessmanc

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2 hours ago, MarkG said:

No, it doesn't. Giving taxpayers' money to kids to spend on a degree in ******** Studies does that.

Most kids don't care about whether they get an education in anything useful, because they're not paying for it, and they're told it doesn't matter anyway, because they can use that time to 'find themselves' or 'learn to learn' or some such crap.

If they had to save or earn the money to pay for a degree, they'd be far more careful about where they went, what they studied, and how they evaluated the value of that study.

But, hey, a socialist university where they got paid regardless of results would totally be better. Because they're so dedicated to educating students. LOL.

Seriously, I remember a discussion with one of my tutors at university where he pretty much admitted that all he really cared about was where the money for his next research project was coming from, and the students he was teaching were an irritation that took him away from his research.

I'm not quite sure what you're getting at here. Are you against all university education, against university education that is free (ie the vast majority in the UK until 1998), against paying tutors, or against university fees? 

"because they're not paying for it," - how so? 

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1 hour ago, debtlessmanc said:

 

the main stuff I have encountered over the years has been blurring of spin out company activity and university funding. To be frank many spin out companies are money laundering activities. 

Can you make up a generic representation of this?

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1 hour ago, PeanutButter said:

 

 

4 hours ago, MarkG said:

But, hey, a socialist university where they got paid regardless of results would totally be better. Because they're so dedicated to educating students. LOL

It probably would be better. Do you ever stop during the day and think wow I'm really motivated by the fact that I just earned £X in the last hour? I doubt it. Money is very motivational when you're on the breadline but not so much if you're well off. University tutors aren't coal miners; they are going to be reasonably comfortable. And when you're comfortable, motivation to do something well comes from believing in what you do. Education for the sake of education is much more compelling than education to make a profit. 

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1 hour ago, Si1 said:

Can you make up a generic representation of this?

It’s always the same kind of thing, spin out sells widgets “it makes”. In reality university staff and facilities are used to make them (using research funding) and the profits from their sales are pocketed

Edited by debtlessmanc

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1 hour ago, bushblairandbrown said:

 

It probably would be better. Do you ever stop during the day and think wow I'm really motivated by the fact that I just earned £X in the last hour? I doubt it. Money is very motivational when you're on the breadline but not so much if you're well off. University tutors aren't coal miners; they are going to be reasonably comfortable. And when you're comfortable, motivation to do something well comes from believing in what you do. Education for the sake of education is much more compelling than education to make a profit. 

To be honest, in terms of research, academics usually crave appreciation of their work. I must admit, entering the last 10 years or so of my career, I’m finding myself wanting to take on problems that matter to the human race, eg cheap renewable energy, rather than the military stuff I did when ambition was all.

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2 hours ago, debtlessmanc said:

It’s always the same kind of thing, spin out sells widgets “it makes”. In reality university staff and facilities are used to make them (using research funding) and the profits from their sales are pocketed

Is this abuse of PhD students and postdocs perchance?

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3 hours ago, Si1 said:

Is this abuse of PhD students and postdocs perchance?

In the cases I have known usually experimental officers and technicians. It would be a risk with students because they might complain if their degrees were affected.

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4 hours ago, Si1 said:

Is this abuse of PhD students and postdocs perchance?

No.

Its generate a large number of complex accounts and skimming.

 

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3 minutes ago, The Preacherman said:

There's a toxic mess coming to the surface at Swansea University. 

Formal criminal complaint made following Swansea University suspensions

Swansea University has referred the matter to South Wales Police and Dyfed Powys Police

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/business/business-news/formal-criminal-complaint-made-following-15818816

Im sure these academics will be able to wow the judge with their yo 1% IQ.

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On 16/02/2019 at 09:08, PeanutButter said:

university education that is free

It is mind blowing that you would even think to say something like this.

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On 16/02/2019 at 06:25, MarkG said:

No, it doesn't. Giving taxpayers' money to kids to spend on a degree in ******** Studies does that.

Most kids don't care about whether they get an education in anything useful, because they're not paying for it, and they're told it doesn't matter anyway, because they can use that time to 'find themselves' or 'learn to learn' or some such crap.

If they had to save or earn the money to pay for a degree, they'd be far more careful about where they went, what they studied, and how they evaluated the value of that study.

But, hey, a socialist university where they got paid regardless of results would totally be better. Because they're so dedicated to educating students. LOL.

Seriously, I remember a discussion with one of my tutors at university where he pretty much admitted that all he really cared about was where the money for his next research project was coming from, and the students he was teaching were an irritation that took him away from his research.

I think the problem is that people are told when at school, all degrees are equally useful and just do what you want.  Hopefully soon people will realize that this is a lie.  I wish the Government would publish the percentage of students loans repaid by uni and subject so people know what to study.

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On 12/02/2019 at 12:18, PeanutButter said:

University of Portsmouth under fire over £800,000 rebrand costs as departments face cuts

Oxford Student Union’ rebrand cost over £17,000

Queen's defends £300k on new brand identity as watchdog says spend 'excessive'

Plymouth University under fire for spending hundreds of thousands of pounds to add 'of' into its name

THE cost of Southampton University's controversial new logo has shot up by an additional £200,000

King’s College London ditches 'pretentious' rebrand after student anger (The full cost of the attempted rebrand is not known because the spending was mixed up with the general marketing budget, but has been estimated at somewhere between £87,000 and £300,000.)

Warwick students angry at 'aubergine' university logoA petition urging the university to halt its £80,000 rebrand has received over 4,000 signatures

UCLU rebranding estimated to cost £68,125 (Just over a year since UCL’s last rebranding and a year since UCL signed the biggest loan in British university history of 280 million pounds)

These are just the ones people made a noise about.

Turning education into a competitive business model mutates institutions into hungry hippos, ever gobbling down their student fodder. Giving an education is no longer the goal. Obtaining as many students as possible is the goal. 

Always has been.

Those VCs and lecturers were never paid buttons.

 

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