Free higher education becoming a thing of the past

Philosophy of education

Education in general is supposed to remove the differences that is born out of the accident of birth. The preference for education is at the top of the agenda in all or most of the countries in the civilized world. Education (formal degrees) is a common way people use to judge an individual’s character, for evaluation. Education, without even knowing what’s actually there inside in the mind, gives a presentability, an appearance .. identity in society. A common marker that makes one equal with others or at least, brings one in a recognised, standard classification system to be part of society .. saving one from being an outcast, a social pariah. No matter how much prescriptive, stereotypical and indoctrinating education might be, making one a loyal conformist of social conventionalities and idiosyncrasies, it’s the orthodox way of being a part of mass, the group nonetheless.

Education and cost of it

Due to the huge importance of education in incorporating the backward and marginalised classes into the mainstream civilized world, it was always at the top of the list of things to be made costfree by the state (political establishment) and goverments throughout the world used to follow the demagogic principle, no matter how much populist it might sound. But, as more and more students are pouring in and populating the system, the ‘ideal’ of keeping education completely costfree from top-to-bottom is increasingly becoming hard to implement. And, as any government would hardly dare to impose burden on primary education which is the most basic and rudimentary step towards being educated, the first effect of making education a paid venture can be seen in the univesities. Both in the West and in the third world coutries, this trend can be seen to enter the arena of education industry, increasingly.

Increasing privatization in education

As private parties are entering education industry, not everything is remaining government-sponsored and subsidised anymore. As the goverment is battling to meet the need to educate all, the shared responsibility in turn bringing private players who are accelerating the process of making education paid, as they have an eye towards profit as well.

The target group of paid universities

As the popular public opinion is in favour of taxing the rich people (e.g., corporate businessmen) more to take the social responsibility of uplifting and providing basic amenities to the poorer classes as charity, in case of education as well, making university education paid for those who can afford is the concept to be explored. If education is to be made paid, then their must be some ‘quota’ or similar thing, to screen those who are eligible for the same.

Remedies of the problem

In the UK, where free education (including higher education) has always been a mark of cultural sensitivity, in nation building and making of a new intellectual elite of new generation; making education paid even in the highest level of university, has inescapably been the heralding usherer of heated debate in the political field. Already after the decline of popularity of Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats, for tripling the admission fee in universities, the probable resulting abolition of the tuition fees altogether after the possible re-election of conservatives into political power, seems to be the the buzz in the pundit-circle. Fees that were 1000 pounds in the year 1998, became 9000 in the year 2012, being 3000 pounds in the year 2006, in the middle. Online education can provide a good solution to the problem, as theoretical classes can be efficiently replaced by online sessions with online version of the textbook as the standard point of reference for study. Practical laboratory work apart, theoretical knowledge can be transferred just as effectively as the conventional mode of classroom education, through online mode as well. Promotion of online courses in giving away degree (certificate) and knowledge can help in keeping both sides in the debate moderately satisfied.

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