University education is not an automatic right,
but something which is a privilege.
In many parts of the world even the most rudimentary form of
education is something which a lot of people still strive for.
Those of us who are in our 60s & over can remember a time
when university was only available for those who came from a
while the majority of the population started work at 15 or
When my father wanted to get some qualifications in order to
improve his prospects at work, then he had to get his City &
Guilds qualification by studying it at evening classes.
That was the way in which things were done in an earlier age.
An age in which the expression ‘Gap Year’ did not exist.
You just left school and went straight in to work.
If you came from the working class then getting to go to
university was an unthinkable dream for most people until
some time around within the 1970s.
Yet even then it was more something which the middle class
was able to achieve.
The majority of the working class still just left school and
went straight in to the work force.
In this earlier age there was a higher regard for education,
and even more so for self education.
It was also a time in which the expectation was to work for 50
years before receiving a state pension.
You worked long and hard for your pension, and there was no
free university education for all.
This is of course the other side of the question of extending
the age at which the state pension kicks in.
How pensions might best be looked at in terms of how long one
has made a contribution within the workforce.
Students might well complain about having to pay more for
their education, but the alternative might be that they might
have to see their working lives extended to that which was
very normal for the older generations.
Yes it is all so very unfair, but that’s just the problem which
comes from living in a world where education is regarded as
just another commodity.
We all pay one way or another.
Yet education is not just about the acquisition of knowledge,
but about how to increase those skills which might bring
better wealth for us all.
When it comes to education we should all remember the old
‘ To each according to ones abilities,
from each according to ones means,’
Of course the ideal should be free education,
and a ‘living wage’ pension for us all,
but we just don’t live in that kind of world.
We are now living in an era of rising unemployment, and far
less money being spent upon basic social needs.
So perhaps we need to rethink just what higher education is
all about, rather than just concentrate upon how it is to be
Which brings me back to the question of how we might
encourage more people to undertake some self education,
and just what kind of skills really do need to be taught within
The questions of university tuition fees is not just about how it
is paid for, but what We All Need to get out of any form of