In the United Kingdom, at least, the 2011-2012 period saw university fees jump substantially, no thanks to the broken promises of the Liberal Democrats and their leader, Nick Clegg, who actually made a pledge to freeze, lower or nullify university fees and subsequently went and gave in to the demands of the Conservative party in tripling. But many do not know some of the most important factors why the fees shot up so dramatically.
During the recession we’ve seen families forced out onto the street under crippling debt, lives ruined through the loss of budget-excessive bosses and the devastating effects of a product-intensive-character-non-existent school system on our children. Now it seems, we have a new issue as our children progress into university to become full-time academics, this route is riddled with debt, frequently breaking the £60,000 mark. And what caused it? Take a look at some of the figures below and you’ll easily draw a conclusion:
- The basic pay plus pensions for bosses in the Russell Group jumped up to £318,500.
- Steve West, Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West of England, had his pay jump up to £314,632.
- Malcolm Grant, Head of University College London, has seen his salary rise to £365,432 for working three days a week.
- Worst of all, Craig Calhoun, LSE Head, saw his salary jump substantially to £466,000.
This speaks volumes about the education sector in the United Kingdom. It reminds one of the media’s claims following Obama’s 2014 State of the Union Address, reporting that in America, over 40% of the country’s wealth is possessed by less than 1% of the population. It’s become rapidly apparent that the United Kingdom is no different from the US in this regard.
Especially when you consider that the average employee needs to work more than a month to earn what the CEO of your average company earns in an hour, and although the lower staff of the universities mentioned above took a 1% pay rise, after inflation this actually works out as a pay cut. Even more apparent are the researchers struggling to make ends meet who are bled dry for the sake of their universities’ names and the cleaners and support staff of the universities who are dismissed to outsourcing companies who don’t allow for sick pay, forcing what many in the west would call ‘slave labour’.
As important as it may seem for these university leaders to be paid the ridiculous salaries, the money doesn’t seem to be finding its ways back into the universities, as recently it became apparent that many top scientific journals including Springer and IEEE removed computer-generated gibberish papers from their subscription services after computer scientist Cyril Labbe of Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, France, had over 30 of his computer-generated papers published in said journals. What’s shocking isn’t just the fact that these reputable journals didn’t proofread the papers, but that these same papers have been used for academic submissions and have subsequently received passing grades. This goes to show just how little the academic agenda in the UK matters to its government and leading academic staff, that faked papers could land degrees for graduates.
Meanwhile across the ocean, dedicated staff is needed for the workforce. Trained engineers, architects and scientists are needed desperately and these staff must be of the utmost quality. Thus the governments of the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and many others invest into their universities, because without this investment these countries will see progress stifled dramatically, especially seeing as how fast these countries are developing due to the discovery of oil and natural gas deposits in the regions in the past few decades.
It’s apparent that the Middle East’s universities have a lot of potential and are much more likely to succeed and produce high-quality graduates than those of their western counterparts, additionally, the quality of life in these countries has rapidly improved to that of a first-world country and the next decade is due to see this region take charge in leading the world and setting an example for a growing economy. SeekTeachers has a plethora of positions within the region; so why not consider taking a look?