Universities have always been a really important part of the society in United Kingdom. As we all know that some famous universities here are among the best universities around the world. For example, Cambridge University, The University of Oxford, The University of Warwick and so on. However, following the university funding crisis, every university has to build the road for gaining money by themselves; tuition fee is the most vulnerable target.
Based on this reality, more and more poor students cannot enter to universities normally, because of the tuition fee is too expensive. At the same time, poor students’ education level always not as high as rich students, because of area, economy and other factors. Shepherd (2010) states that Ministers were warned today that students would be put off studying for degrees from the poorest families at prestigious universities.
On the basis of the current situation of universities’ policy in UK, the poor students’ admission standards are as same as rich students. Then the poor students are facing the stress of entering to universities. It is well believed that whoever take charge of political situation, an important event is the cut of university funding will occur. Undeniably, important budget cuts will be introduced and this will have a significant effect on the tuition fees. In fact and as demonstrated by Richardson (2010), there will be a cut of approximately £573 million from the budget devoted to universities.
This will have some serious results on the employment department in universities but also on the rate of admission into universities of poor students. In an article of BBC news, published in 2003. It is stated that the education secretary said the poorest students could be completely exempt from university top-up fees. Therefore, it was decided for this extraordinary research, in order to get first-hand information, to focus on people’s opinion about universities should reduce the tuition fee for poor students. Meanwhile, there is a fact that the poor students’ admission standard is as same as rich students.
The poor students always have larger stress than rich students, because the education level is not same. In generally, due to the poor students have not enough money to pay for the higher tuition fees, so they always learn in poor high school in undeveloped areas. The facilities and educational level of poor high school are not advanced than exclusive school. Government officials said that students who have a better family environment, their admission criteria should higher than poor students. Another debate is that whether the universities should reduce the admission criteria for poor students. As a research team, our particular aim was to survey the public opinion that whether the universities should reduce the admission standards and tuition fees for poor students.
Therefore, this report will focus and explain a survey created in order to discover public opinion about poor students’ particular policies, but also about how to improve the poor students’ quality of life. Our expected findings are that the population believe that reduce the admission standards and tuition fees will take more advantages to poor students. At the same time, the support of society organizations will give poor students more opportunities for jobs. We also suppose that respondents would support this study in the majority, so the poor students would not face larger stress of study and life.
Methodology: In order to discover whether the universities should reduce the admission standards for poor students or not and what consequences was perceived, a questionnaire composed of eighteen different questions was realized (see appendix). It mainly focused on questions about whether public agree universities change some policies for poor students, to discover people’s particular opinions. Furthermore, a second party was conducted of the questionnaire, including more personal questions, such as age and occupation. After some first-phase preparations, it was decided not to limit the interview to any specific age group, occupation and gender, because it was considered important to get a varied group of people.
It was believed that a diverse group would be more interesting considering that varied people would have diverse opinions about university education and it would representative a more general opinion. The research was conducted in Sheffield the Moor but also in some students’ accommodation and library, and a sample of 40 people was interviewed, among which 23 female and 17 male. During the survey, no significant difficulty was met although it seems that 40 respondents are not enough to represent the general opinion of the public. Furthermore, the survey might be incorrect, because of it was mainly conducted around the small scope. Results and discussion
At first, it had to be defined how many of the interviewees are or have ever been at university, so as to discover whether or not they would actually feel concerned about our report. An expected 80% of them have actually experienced or are experiencing university. In fact, when asking about reduce the tuition fees for poorer students, an overwhelming majority of the respondents either strongly agree or agree with the fact that reduce tuition fees for poor students. (Figure 1)
The answer to such a question might not seem surprising at all but is worth discussing. Most of the respondents agreed that the fees were already too expensive and poor students have not enough money to pay for the tuition fees. In fact, 67.5% of the interviewees explained that their tuition fees come from family funds, and 32.5% of the respondents replied that their tuition fees come from loans, as exposed on Figure 2. As a result, most of the students need to take money to pay for the tuition fees from family, so this phenomenon increases the parents’ stress.
Unexpectedly, from the Figure 1 we can get that 7.5% of respondents replied that they did not agree universities reduce tuition fees for poor students, explaining that because if students are all receiving the same education, and working towards the same qualification, they should pay same, and all students should pay the same to make it equal. Sometimes, the tuition fees affect the society steady.
At the same time, the question of how the university help poor students with tuition fee got positive respond. Someone believed universities should offer bursaries to less affluent students. Especially for good students and got good mark students give them scholarship. Meanwhile, somebody reflected that universities should offer possible free education for poor students. Along with the increase of economy and the enhancement of comprehensive national strength, free education is necessary.
The government has duty to enhance national’s intellectual ability. Not only increase comprehensive national strength, but also help poor students to finish higher education. Another debate is that whether the universities should reduce the admission criteria for poor students. In fact, according to Figure 3, a majority of respondents did not agree universities reduce the admission criteria for poor students. Especially, 22.5% of interviewees strongly did not agree this policy. This result is the opposite of the attitude of reduce tuition fees for poor students. This is worth discussing.
Based on the above question, another question was discussed that is whether the grade is the only entry requirement. 57.5% of respondents explained that the grade of students is only requirement to enter the universities. However, 42.5 % of interviewees reflected that the administration requirements have other aspects. Through sum up, someone stated that vocational qualification, life skills, and experience could include in the entry standard. Somebody believed that universities should open more interviews, to determine people’s passion and drive. Base on the issue of reduce admission standards and tuition fee for poor students, the government, school and society organization could adapt some measure to help poor student.
Via research, 57.5% of respondents agreed that government have not adapted enough measure to support poor students. Learning City (2009) states that government has a significant role is that help the department of children and schools deliver its education strategy. The answer was quite clear since 42.5% of interviewees reflected government have adopted some measures to help poor students. For instance, government provided bigger loan to poor student. At the same time, government focused on the income level of poor family, make them have ability to repay the loan in the future.
Someone thought that government have provided more learning resources and educational opportunities to poor students. The aspect of school, a majority of respondents explained that universities should reduce the fee of public facilities. For example, lower the fee of student canteen. Meanwhile, 77.5% of interviewees supported that social industries could supply the part time jobs for poor students for improving their quality of life and enhancing their confidence.
Conclusion: To conclude, this survey was intended to discover whether the universities reduce admission standard for poor students. Another aim of the project was to reduce tuition fee for poor students to ease their parents’ stress. First of all, the results of the survey reveal that most of source about tuition fee come from loans and family funds. In generally, a large number of students have not jobs during the period of university. As a result, their every fund has to via parent’s support.
Especially, poor students’ economy standard is not high; their parents have to attend more jobs to pay for the expensive tuition fees for their children. Secondly, a great majority of interviewees explains that universities should reduce tuition fees for poor students. In order to carry out this issue, some respondents argued that the universities should offer bursaries to less affluent students. Meanwhile, universities should offer possible free education for poor students to lighten their stress of study and life. Furthermore, the sample of the population agrees that admission standard should be reduced for poor students, and even claims that grades are not the only entry requirement. At the same time, someone reflected that vocational qualification, life skills, and experience could include in the entry standard. Finally, the survey reveals government, school, and social organization maybe do something for poor student to increase their quality of life.
The majority of interviewees reflect that the government should adapt some measure to support the poor students, and then universities could reduce the fee of facilities for poor students. Such as student canteen could give poor students some discount. Meanwhile, social organization should provide some part time jobs for poor students to relieve their parents’ stress. This study about whether universities of UK reduce the admission standard and tuition fees for poor students. Of course, from the sample of opinion provided the majority of respondents agree universities should reduce admission standard and tuition fee for poor students, and expounded some individual standpoint.
In my opinion, universities reduce the entry standard and tuition for poor students is necessary, because of poor students have not a good family condition, their parents have a large stress of pay for the expensive tuition fee. Government could make special rules about how much poor students should pay. Of course, this rule must fair. At the same time, University can set up some experiences lecture to teach poor students built a healthy psychology, after graduation they may have positively mind to attend jobs.