Apparently, the goverment’s latest figures show that the number of pupils from state schools going on to university has fallen again. As the title of this post suggests, I happen to think that this is a restatement of the bloody obvious. Interestingly, the politicians are saying little: Bill Rammell describes the figures as ‘disappointing’, while his shadow, the usually wonderful Boris Johnson is pretty equivocal.
One reason for this is actually discussed pretty well in an opinion piece in yesterday’s Guardian. It not only hits the nail on the head, it stands there banging it until it can be banged no more. The psychology of debt is quite interesting and, when you have very little, any debt is bad. Unfortunately, the people pushing this policy forward have no conception of that mindset. How can they, when the prime minister is apparently mortgaging himself to the hilt in buying his post-Downing Street abode.
At this point, I have to declare an interest and say that I went to a state school and ended up at a university where many of the students were not. I can also say for certain that, had I been in the current funding climate, I would not have gone to university. It’s all the more troubling because university was the one place that was perfectly suitable for me; this is a good thing, considering I work in one.