Monday, 7 March 2011

A Consequence of Westminster's Higher Education Policy

Maastricht is a typical Dutch town being well versed in English, German and French as well as Dutch.  I've only visited once and that was a day trip to hear a concert in the old Music Hall and not the splendid glass apparition which houses today's performances.

Throughout Europe universities offer more than 2,400 courses in English and Maastricht university is benefitting from providing its share.  UK students are choosing the Dutch town because the annual fees are only about £1,450 while those in England are due to rise to an annual maximum of £9,000.

Another bonus is that Maastricht university's entry requirements are low in order to allow everyone a chance.  The dropout rate is initially high then quickly drops.  They are currently processing more than 200 applications from the UK, six months before the deadline for the next academic year, and expect many more.

Professor Taun Dekker, vice-dean of University College:

"We love David Cameron," he joked, "His policies are doing a great thing for European integration!"

He and fellow vice-dean Dr Mark Stout, are passionate about their university and with 94% employment rates for students within six months of graduation, the results support their ethos.

"Our mission is to bridge that gap and let UK students and their families know that there is an alternative here. Maastricht is comparable to most Russell Group universities. It's not Oxford but on a level with Edinburgh or St Andrew's".

I'm not too sure Edinburgh or St Andrews would agree and Dr Stout seems unaware that Scottish universities will not be charging fees to those who live in Scotland.

However, Valencia and Milan universities are also seeing a rise in UK interest.  It's encouraging to see young people choosing to study abroad even though it is mainly for financial reasons. Experiencing other cultures in this way is far more intriguing than gap year trips.

This trickle towards Europe will increase and affect the English universities which are not part of the Cambridge/Oxford group; a result of the UK government's badly planned higher education policy.



WitteringsfromWitney said...

At the back of my mind SR, there lurks a witty comment but for the life of me it won't appear - probably due late in the day, brain is tired and I am getting old.

But bear with me.........

Anonymous said...

It will do the English good to go abroad for their educations. Most who ever venture oversees have only gone to the States, but they are usually only the very bright.

It will do them good to see how other people live. Maybe they will come back and try to achieve the same standards of living in their own country.

I take exception to his implication that Edinburgh offers a lower standard of Education than Oxford. I think you would need to look at a subject by subject comparison. There is a great deal of snob value in Oxford.

However, I hope that the Vice Dean has no part in the delivery of the International Politics courses, for he certainly appears to think that both St Andrews and Edinburgh are within Cameron's jurisdiction when it comes to education.

As for loving him... I'm sure the bulk of the English would be happy for the Dutch to have him. But then I suspect that the man does mean that he's good man to have in charge somewhere else.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Perhaps we could export our pensioners and the real welfare scroungers.

But on second thought would any sensible country want a mass influx of Lords, Ladies, political jobsworths and bureaucratic savants?

subrosa said...

It was similar here WfW, although perhaps what stopped me in my tracks was the fact my brother went to the Sorbonne. Paid for by our grandmother, not our parents who disapproved of universities as they were a waste of 'working' time.

subrosa said...

It will do them good Tris and it will do all Uk universities good too insofar as they now have serious competition with Europe providing English-based courses.

Interesting time ahead with English unis certainly.

subrosa said...

Can't we have a sabbatical Crinkly? I wouldn't mind a year of study in Maastricht, Valencia or Milan. I know the area around Milan quite well.

banned said...

"This trickle towards Europe will increase and affect the English universities" but they will not care because the main interest of English universities is in recruiting students from overseas who pay top dollar without any fuss.

subrosa said...

For the moment banned, but in years to come I see English students being more courageous and going to Europe. Especially since they don't need high qualifications.

Glasgow Caledonian university is a new one and used to be a good technical college. So many skills lost now.

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