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Paying for knowledge
8:20am Thursday 26th April 2012 in Letters
Sir – In your update of the ‘Occupy Brookes’ action you report that the group is opposed to the ‘marketisation’ of education.
Education has always had to be paid for so that lecturers such as Dr Lucy Ford, who apparently supports the protesters, are able to receive a salary — I hope I am not doing her a disservice by assuming that her devotion to imparting knowledge does not extend to doing so gratis.
If I am correct in my assumption, Dr Ford expects somebody else to pay her to impart knowledge to students, who also expect somebody else to pay for this, and who, if the quotes at the end of the report are representative, do not think the knowledge they receive is worth the price.
What has been changing over a number of years is that rather than higher education being paid for out of general taxation an increasingly direct connection is being forged between those who receive a benefit and those who, after they have received the benefit and as and when they gain the wherewithal, pay for it.
If we lived in a land of unlimited milk and honey things might be different but, since we don’t, is it not inherently fairer that he or she who benefits should also pay when in a position to do so rather then expecting a part of this burden to be shouldered by people who have never had and who never will have the opportunity to receive such benefits? Neil Stratton, Hinksey Hill