When doing some research for another piece I came across an article written by Michael Gove in 2003 that he would rather have left hidden in the archives at The Times. At the time, fees of £21,000 were being discussed. The language used is so callous that at first I thought I was reading a Daily Mash article…but to my surprise it was verified. Here’s what the Education Secretary had to say about increased fees:
The Government is about to introduce a new test for those considering a university career. The central question will be punishingly direct. Do you want to run up a debt of £21,000 in order to go to the best British universities?
Some people will, apparently, be put off applying to our elite institutions by the prospect of taking on a debt of this size. Which, as far as I’m concerned, is all to the good.
The first point that needs to be made about the so-called deterrent effect of a £21,000 loan is that anyone put off from attending a good university by fear of that debt doesn’t deserve to be at any university in the first place. Incurring such a relatively small debt to pay for the huge economic benefit conferred by proper higher education is a fantastic deal.
Over a lifetime, the direct financial benefit in higher earnings is around £400,000. Those who attend our best universities can expect to earn even more. Borrowing £21,000, at preferential rates, to secure twenty times that sum, is an offer you’d have to be a fool to turn down. And if you’re such a fool that you don’t want to accept that deal, then you’re too big a fool to benefit from the university education I’m currently subsidising for you.
Those of us who are net contributors to the State, graduates or not, are getting a terrible deal for our money …
So there you have it…if you have any concerns about increased student fees you are too stupid to go to University. Oh and if you use a foodbank you probably do it because of your own poor financial management.