By Gilad Atzmon
The Daily Telegraph revealed today that one in five university graduates becomes a millionaire. More than two million British degree-holders have a net worth of £1m or more as new statistics reveal the education gap between rich and poor”
£1M is a lot of money, it is certainly not sufficient to define the term ‘rich.’ However, the above confirms that social mobility in Britain (and in the West in general) is deeply associated with cognitive ability. The clever move up and swiftly, while the intellectually challenged are left behind.
David Willetts, the universities minister, told The Telegraph that the figures were “more evidence of why going to university is a very good deal.” Willets may be correct, yet not many youngsters can afford tuition fees anymore. University tuition fees tripled in Britain in recent years and in practice, academia has priced itself beyond the reach of the poor.
Minister Willetts further contends that recent findings explain, “why it’s fair to ask graduates to pay back the cost of their higher education.” Mr. Willits ignores the four in five university graduates who have not become millionaires. And the facts suggest that fair or not, many graduates are unable to repay their loans or are doing so only by sacrificing the quality of life the degree was intended to assure. The BBC revealed recently that student debt has risen dramatically in recent years, leaving many university graduates unable to buy their first homes. Willetts is obviously wrong: more and more graduates will never be able to pay back their student loans.
Britain could correct the situation, amend its policy and raise the level of its universities while saving money. The Government should abolish all tuition fees immediately. Universities should be maintained and funded by the state as long as they are very selective and choose candidates based solely on cognitive abilities. Such a shift would promote justice and equality. It would also allow the poorer but able to climb the social ladder. Such a shift would mean fewer universities and academic institutions. It may also mean fewer degrees in ID studies, art history, music technology and so on. I believe that society could cope with academia being an exclusive precious institution guided by merit instead of the greedy, self-obsessed industry academia has become.