[lbo-talk] posh as fuck

shag carpet bomb shag at cleandraws.com
Sun Dec 4 06:16:01 PST 2011

During the Occupy Debate hosted by Jacobin, Lennard snickered at the idea that instituting "free" education, here and now, was a worthy reform since, being from England, she has seen how poorly the model has held up and how little the model actually does to dismantle economic inequality. Lennard snorted at the whole concept that publicly funded university is anything other than another sorting mechanism that legitimates inequality and said something like, "Yeah, education is free where I come from and it's still posh as fuck."

Article about the dismantling of college education in GB which the author pins with the Robbins Report which is normally interpreted as the golden age of publicly funded higher education:


"Never before has the idea of the university been so feverishly debated in England, and for good reason. The restructuring of the country's higher education sector around a student-debt-financed, fee-driven model is a fundamental recasting of the university's place and purpose in society. But this process did not begin with the government's higher education White Paper or even with the Browne Report that laid the ground for it. And neither is it confined to the UK.

The neoliberal transformation of higher education is a global phenomenon. In the Americas, Europe, Russia and its former colonies, the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and Australasia, higher education is being rebranded as a private investment and the university repurposed to generate profit and economic growth. As a consequence, academics and students are confronting very similar conditions across the world: the escalation of fees and student debt, the expansion of management and administrative systems for measuring the efficiency of services, the quest for a plethora of new types of fee-paying consumers, and the casualisation of academic labour.

Nonetheless, England's university system - which Howard Hotson has shown to be the best publicly funded system in the world - has been privatised further and faster than anywhere else. Despite the many exposés of the flawed rationales, contradictory mechanisms and indecent haste of this process, no one has yet asked why it has happened in England. Remarkably, the story of how English universities became the canaries in the coal mine has gone largely untold.

That story begins with the Robbins Report of 1963, which is often assumed to have ushered in the golden age of the publicly funded university. The year after the Conservative government convened the Robbins commission in 1961, there were just 118,000 undergraduates (4 per cent of their age cohort) attending 31 universities. This was a considerable advance on the mere 50,000 students (1.7 per cent of their age group) who went to university in 1938, and it was made possible by the scholarships provided through the Education Act of 1944 as well as a trickle of new campuses at Nottingham, Southampton, Hull, Exeter, Leicester and Keele. Nonetheless, by 1963, fewer than one in 100 working-class children made it to university. The 8 per cent of young people who were privately educated accounted for just under 40 per cent of university places."

-- http://cleandraws.com Wear Clean Draws ('coz there's 5 million ways to kill a CEO)

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