Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Pay As You Learn

Micro-charging university education
  (+2, -6)
(+2, -6)
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Many universities and colleges have a swipe card system for the canteen or dining hall, so each students swipes for their meal, and is billed at the end of the week/month/term.

I propose using this system for the entirety of the university education, to replace course fees.

Each lecture would be priced according to demand. Time in the university library would be priced according to demand and convenience (cheaper at 10am; more expensive at 4pm; bollock-tinglingly expensive at 3am over the winter recess)

Tutorials would be charged according to the seniority of staff, ration of tutor to students, and demand for the subject. Similarly for lab time, etc.

Exams and assessments would also be charged on the same basis.

As now, the university would declare at the beginning, the amount of units and credits required for a degree, and it would not be a problem to publish alongside that a "minimum", as well as an "average", cost for each degree.

Wealthy students could simply pay to increase the university resources available to them. Poor students could get a degree on the cheap by being organised and resourceful. Dilettantes could drop in and out with no intention of getting a degree.

Category suggestion: public: education: fees

pocmloc, May 17 2011


       All that is going wrong with the UK education system, posted as an idea. (-)
Twizz, May 17 2011

       I thought this would be literally pay as you *learn* - I.e. if you haven't learnt anything, you don't have to pay. Perhaps by way of a refund when you fail your exams.
idris83, May 17 2011

       Yes. And while you're at it, smash - smash! - the monopolistic education markets that exist at each university, and allow smaller educatioal entrepreneurs into provide their services on the premises, at whatever rates their preferred market segments deem acceptable. EasyEducation sits alongside brand-conscious old giffers of Oxbridge
calum, May 17 2011

       [idris83] Yes, and there should be higher fees for higher marks.   

       Also, after you graduate, as the years pass, and you forget everything you learned, there should be refunds. The refunds would be large and frequent, at first, then rare. But years later, you'd still receive the occasional, unexpected check in the mail, for things you'd forgotten you ever knew. "Honey, look at this! $37.43 for the the second declension genitive!"
mouseposture, May 17 2011

       so basically a finer-grained version of the Open University...
prufrax, May 17 2011

       [mouseposture] Assuming that was possible, which it clearly isn't, it would be a bit like The Game. You forget something, then the university sends you a letter explaining exactly what it is that you don't know, which would mean that you know it and so don't get a refund.   

       They would also include a Did You know... section at the bottom which you can't resist reading and so have to send them a fiver, unless of course you already knew it.   

       Furthermore, universities would have health insurance against you getting a head injury and you would be prohibited from sports like boxing.
marklar, May 17 2011

       I also thought this would be literally pay as you *learn* - I.e., you pay nothing until, while studying calculus, for example, late at night, and a bulb goes off in your head when you finally understand the 'fundamental theorem,' you have to whip out your PayPal account and send a set amount to your school.
sqeaketh the wheel, May 17 2011

       So, if I flunk the final exam, do I pay anything? Can the system be cheated by first flunking out of a class and then testing out of it to receive credit for it?
RayfordSteele, May 17 2011

       [marklar] That's not a bug, it's a feature. A financial incentive for universities to provide a *real* education, one that didn't drain out of your head in a few years like maple sirup out of a collander. True continuing education.   

       //bulb goes off in your head// If I could get that by paying for it, I'd be bankrupt in a week. Also, my head would explode, but what a way to go ....
mouseposture, May 18 2011

       Is the higher education really necessary ? How much of that do we actually need to do our jobs ?... I think on-the-job training / job-specific training is much more valuable than generalized, one-size-fits-all higher education.
VJW, Jun 10 2011

       [VJW] You're assuming the purpose of education is to educate. There's a theory that it's just a screening process, allowing potential employers more readily (and more cheaply) to identify the intelligent, hardworking people.
mouseposture, Jun 11 2011

       what [twizz] said [-]
pertinax, Jun 12 2011

       RIP OFF U. From my experience. I'm supporting 2 students (1 grad) 1 who is being crushed under the anvil of profit at any cost and neither of the 2 are my own children.   

       Great work they are doing robbing the future of their dreams.
Zimmy, Jun 14 2011


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