Leave university to the elites, not idlers

Hugo Wynston-Chamberlain

Earlier in the month, Education Minister David Willets announced there needs to be a greater push in getting more white working-class males into university, as recent figures highlighted only 30% of male school-leavers continued into Higher Education. According to Willets, this put these young men into the ‘disadvantaged groups’ category, that need a watchdog to help them achieve. But immediately my question for this argument was: why?

Why should we force people who clearly have no desire or are not smart enough to get into university to go? Why should loans and grants, that other much more capable and motivated young persons are in need of, be given to those who clearly have no desire to learn? Why should the taxpayer have to partially fund a drunken student’s lifestyle, not to support those who have worked hard enough to earn their place?

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not against allowing people into university who genuinely want to be here. But in many of my own classes it is painfully obvious that a lot of the students just aren’t interested, and have simply come to university because it offered an alternative to getting a job. I dread to think what other less prestigious universities are like. The amount of people getting degrees has gradually been increasing over the years, thus gradually devaluing the degree as an achievement in itself. A degree no longer means what it used to be, they are no longer worth as much as they once were.

Even worse is that fact that these less intelligent people will only be able to get places at sub-par universities, increasing the numbers of students swarming away from the prestigious Russell Group or similarly reputable institutions. This creates an imbalance in funding, so more government money will be poured into worse universities, thus detracting from the great ancient British universities. It would be a crying shame to watch Oxbridge or similar drop lower in league tables simply because the University of the West of Scotland (or rather, the University of Paisley) managed to get more – yet less intelligent – students.

The degrees from these ‘lesser’ universities will not be considered to be worth as much, leading to these graduates not getting as good a job as the elite university graduate. These worse jobs inevitably have worse pay. Despite the fact that student loans are meant to be paid back, they might not necessarily be. Such a graduate may never earn enough money to pay back said loan in full. It can only lead to the government losing a huge amount of money in unpaid loans. This is only detrimental to the taxpayer – they contribute to such a person’s education and receive little or nothing in return.

In addition, due to the way the current Student Loan Company works, students from lower income backgrounds who have applied for means-tested loans will receive a substantial amount in grant form. This is money that will never need to be paid back. It is free money for the student that doesn’t care to piss up the wall.

It is unfair for hard-working tax payers to fund the life of someone who has simply gone to university to avoid getting a job. There are much better things that the white working-class male can do with his time to help the wider society – (s)he can get a job and pay his/her taxes like the rest of us, rather than spending 3 or 4 years stagnating in a place at university that a much better, motivated person should have been given. This absurd notion that everyone is equal should be put to bed once and for all – not everyone should get the chance to go to university. Some people simply aren’t suited to the studious, mentally tiring life that is university.