The Electric Commentary

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Oxford to eliminate students as a means to boost their reputation.

Apparently Oxford, one of the most prestigious universities in the world, is thinking about eliminating its undergrad program to "maintain its international standing." Also, they're in the red to the tune of £200 million. While most businesses selling a high demand product would simply raise prices, Oxford is instead going to simply eliminate the product line.

I suppose you're thinking that maybe Oxford already charges an arm and a leg, and can't raise prices anymore. Well...

It makes clear that Oxford's problems over the next five years will not be resolved by the rise in student tuition fees to £3,000 a year from 2006.

£3000! Where can I sign up! According to the currency calculator that's about $5,426. No wonder they're losing money, they're charging 1/5 of what comparable US Universities charge. Harvard, for instance, charges $28,752 just for tuition (of course, it costs much more than this in reality). Cornell charges 23,500. The University of Chicago? $31,629.

Oxford is on the verge of taking a ridiculous step here. If they are not going to provide a world class education (except to grad students, of course) what is the point of even having Oxford?

I wonder if the government has anything to do with this...

But Oxford was losing at least £7,000 a year on every undergraduate and tuition fees would cut the deficit by only £1,000, it said.

"Under these circumstances, growing student numbers whilst maintaining a commitment to the quality of the student experience would lead to unsustainable losses," the report said.

It added: "Oxford's reputation for undergraduate education resides in the quality of its teaching, not the number of students admitted. Indeed, increases in the latter are capable of compromising the former."

The university could set its own fees for graduate and international students, but not for British and European Union students. The report added: "When considering the issue of shape and size it will be necessary to take account of these financial considerations." (Emphasis added)


(Hat tip, Jodi)


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