Tertiary Education Should Be Free as a Right

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education is damaging to both society and the individual. Free tertiary education is both desirable and affordable. It would result in a much better society.

Getting a university, polytechnic or apprenticeship qualification means that society, as a whole, is more educated. We all benefit. Everyone benefits from having plumbers who understand the entire pipe system thingy, scientists who understand the problem and can effectively deal with it (whether it is bio-security, nuclear reactions, or finding a cure for AIDS), accountants who can book-keep properly or teachers who can actually teach your children. This is beneficial for everyone. No one benefits from poorly done jobs, it is annoying and costly. Having a highly trained workforce means that no one needs to worry about quality, we become more efficient as a whole.

By giving free tertiary education, the government would provide a level playing field for everyone. Many would argue that the loan scheme achieves this. It does not. People from poorer backgrounds are less likely to burden themselves with debt as, relative to what they have lived their lives of, it is higher. They are frightened away from taking on too much debt (comparative to their parent’s income). They thus do not get a tertiary education. The student loan scheme works to keep poorer people out of university, not to get them into it.

Reducing the cost of tertiary education would also reduce unemployment. Many of those who are long-term unemployed are so because the skills they previously used working in state-subsidised industries are no longer desirable or useful in this ‘information age’. Retraining former railway staff to be able to work in a 21st century workplace would be beneficial to all. By providing free education, many more people will up-skill and unemployment will be able to fall even further. There is currently a skills shortage in a number of sectors, but there are also numerous people unemployed who do not have the skills...
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