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March 24, 2009


tom s.

But wouldn't lifting the cap increase the effect?


A US study used the neat trick of comparing people admitted by Harvard who accepted their places, and those who rejected the offers and went elsewhere. Even that method has potential flaws. But at least the choice of Harvard - rather than, say, Princeton - excludes the possibility of better teaching at the higher prestige place having any effect.

Tom Addison

I reckon it's more to do with people who are going to do well anyway going to good Uni's. I went to an ex-poly Uni, and people in my classes were either not too bright and generally spent most of the time struggling (a lot failed, and if they graduated none got a 2.1 or higher) and those who were naturally bright but did shit in their A levels (because of booze, laziness etc) and either pulled their finger out at Uni or kept to their bad habits and failed or got below a 2.1. Can't see you getting people like that applying to Oxford.


This suggests there might be a case for lifting the cap on university tuition fees. The current ceiling, of £3145 a year, has the effect of suggesting that all universities are the same, as almost all charge the maximum. But this is not so.

...which would be more or less what the government wanted all along: to signal quality through the price mechanism rather than, say, through the reputation or the quality of the teaching and or the resources. This is more likely to exacerbate the difference between well-endowed universities and those less fortunate: 'We charge more because we're worth it (or we'd like you to think we are)' It then becomes a question of whether students will choose their course based on 'how much?' rather than 'how good?'.

Starting an Online Business

One of Labours failed policies in my opinion was the goal to educate half the population to degree level. What a farce - we now have the most over educated call centre staff in the world.

Given how much emphasis has been placed on money rather than 'high' standards, I wouldn't be surprised if more prominent establishments made exams easier to increase results & thus their value.

Sceptical? Me? lol :)

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