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Sunak to replace ‘rip-off university degrees’ with apprenticeships


Rishi Deems Degrees “Rip-Offs”

A storm of outrage is brewing as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak threatens to demolish degrees in UK universities. 

Sunak has labeled thousands of qualifications as “rip-offs” and vowed to axe them, showing his disdain for non-vocational education. By eliminating fields of study that don’t immediately boost corporate profits, the elite ex-banker is trying to reshape higher learning in his own narrow image. 

Sunak’s view of education is painfully narrow, seeing it only as a path to higher earnings, with no regard for developing well-rounded individuals or fostering an enlightened, compassionate society. 

This policy is a prime example of the lack of vision plaguing Britain’s privileged rulers. The country needs leaders who are brave enough to nurture the arts, culture, and dissent that have always been part of its greatness. 

Yet, Sunak clings to an outdated view of progress, failing to realize that a truly rich society cultivates more than just wealth. 

With this latest imposition of his limited worldview, Rishi Sunak proves just how out of touch he is with the diverse dreams and potentials of the people he’s supposed to represent.

Sunak Reveals Plan To Destroy “Worthless” Degrees

The out-of-touch Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has sparked outrage across the country by vowing to destroy what he brands “rip-off degrees” at universities and replace them with 100,000 apprenticeships per year. 

In yet another out-of-touch move from millionaire ex-banker Rishi Sunak, he’s planning to use government power to shut down university courses that don’t hit arbitrary earnings and progression targets set by his administration. 

Sunak’s latest attack on universities just shows how disconnected he and the Tories are from the lives of regular Brits. 

He talks about replacing degrees like they’re outdated products to be pulled from shelves, ignoring the fact that these are hard-earned qualifications representing years of study and personal growth. 

Reducing education to nothing more than a way to increase earnings overlooks the countless cultural, intellectual, and social benefits of going to university. Plus, many lower-paying degrees are in fields like social work, charity, and public service, which offer immense value to society even if they don’t come with high salaries. 

By calling degrees “rip-offs” if they don’t instantly lead to high incomes, Sunak pushes the profit-first mindset that’s been his trademark in finance. 

University should be about expanding minds and opportunities, not just bank accounts. But Sunak can’t seem to see past the pound signs, showing his lack of appreciation for the true value of education.

He hasn’t even said which degrees would be targeted, leaving humanities and arts programs worried they’ll be the first to get the axe. 

Once again, the Tories show their chronic lack of imagination and appreciation for culture. While most of us find nourishment in art, literature, music, and more, the Conservatives see only inefficiency and impracticality. 

By threatening to cut off educational paths that don’t directly benefit corporate profits, Sunak is just continuing the Tories’ long-standing disdain for learning for its own sake.

If Charles Dickens were alive today, his novels may well have been labeled “rip-offs” by this government given the initially low earnings from his creative writing. 

The country desperately needs the inspiration and alternative perspectives that the arts and humanities provide, now more than ever. But the Conservatives fail to value anything that can’t be measured in pounds and pence.

Beyond his flawed concept of education’s purpose, Sunak’s policy also rests on the dubious assumption that apprenticeships are an adequate replacement for university degrees. 

While apprenticeships have an important role in training skilled workers, they are not a substitute for the in-depth, multi-disciplinary learning and flexibility that degrees offer.  

Apprenticeships funnel students directly into narrow vocational routes, reducing their options and ability to change careers later. 

University education equips graduates with adaptable knowledge, problem-solving abilities, communication skills and other assets useful across many industries, even those unrelated to their degree. 

Apprenticeships simply cannot provide the broad foundations and intellectual agility fostered at university.  

Sunak is essentially proposing a two-tier education system, where those from disadvantaged backgrounds are channeled into narrow vocational training while the wealthy continue enjoying the fruits of broad academic study at elite universities. 

This would rigidify Britain’s class system and social mobility, betraying Sunak’s promise as the Conservatives’ first British Asian leader.  

And for all his blind confidence in apprenticeships as the path to “financial security,” Sunak overlooks the poor pay and job uncertainty many apprentices still face in Britain. 

The average apprentice earns just £6.40 an hour, far less than the £10.42 minimum wage for regular employees over age 23. Clearly the Tories’ have more work to do on improving apprenticeships before they can be touted as the golden ticket for UK youth.

Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson said: “It is laughable that the Tories, who have presided over a halving of apprenticeships for young people, are now announcing this.

“Why on earth should parents and young people believe they’ll create training opportunities now, after 14 years of failing to deliver opportunities for young people and the skills needed to grow our economy?”

The National Union of Students said: “We are delighted to see the Conservatives recognise the value of apprenticeships, but to suggest that 1 in 8 degrees are low quality is an insult to the students who work hard to study them.

“The Conservatives’ only offer to young people seems to be conscription and course cuts.”

The Liberal Democrats also condemned the Conservatives’ policy announcement, with their education spokesperson Munira Wilson saying the party had “broken the apprenticeship system”.

“The shockingly low pay for those on apprenticeships will remain, doing nothing to encourage more people to take apprenticeships up or tackle soaring dropout rates,” she added.

“This treatment of apprentices as second-class workers will only continue under the Conservatives.”

Academic Freedom, Student Dreams Sacrificed To Sunak Scheme

Hardworking students who poured their savings and sleepless nights into earning a degree at world-class universities like Manchester, Kings College London, Edinburgh and others now find themselves serving coffee or stocking shelves at Tesco, not because their degree is worthless but because the Tories have made life unaffordable.

And the education minister Damian Hinds keeps yapping about scrapping so-called ‘Mickey Mouse’ degrees in an attempt to convince voters to support them. Talk about delusional!

Rishi Sunak’s disdain for arts and humanities is clear, but his proposal doesn’t even make sense financially. 

The Tories estimate that creating 100,000 new apprenticeships a year will cost £885 million annually by 2029, while they expect to save only £910 million by cutting so-called “poor-performing” degrees. 

This results in a net gain of just £25 million, which means no significant boost to education or skills funding.

Cutting degrees to marginally fund apprenticeships is just a pointless reshuffling of resources that doesn’t properly invest in either path. 

Plus, the low projected savings make you wonder how “poor-performing” those degrees really are if getting rid of them saves so little.

Sunak’s plan to axe degrees isn’t just out of touch – it reeks of authoritarian overreach. He’s basically proposing to strong-arm universities into shutting down courses that he doesn’t like. 

This is a huge hit to academic freedom and gives the government way too much control over what we can learn. It’s like going back to the days when kings or paranoid leaders suppressed knowledge they thought was a threat to their power.

Sunak might call this “reform,” but it’s a slippery slope. What’s next? Cutting economics degrees because they don’t like free-market theories? This move opens the door to politicizing education in dangerous ways, hurting society in the long run.

All this just to push more young people into vocational training that mainly benefits businesses? It shuts down paths to careers in academia, public service, culture, and more. 

Sunak’s plan clearly aims to boost the labor supply for corporations rather than support students’ dreams. His claims of helping youth are totally hollow.

Apprenticeships and degrees both have their place. They should exist side-by-side, not replace each other. Sunak’s either-or approach shows how disconnected he is from the diverse needs and dreams of British students. 

He arrogantly assumes that immediate earnings potential is all that matters in education and career decisions.

This echoes the Conservatives’ repeated failures to base policy on solid evidence. It’s the height of arrogance for him to impose his narrow views on the country’s universities.

Sunak is exposed as an elite charlatan. He shows no true understanding of the transformative power of education, seeing it merely as a pipeline to corporate jobs. 

He has no problem using government power to invade institutional autonomy and restrict access to fields of study he deems unworthy. 

And he continues the Conservative tradition of undervaluing the arts and humanities, despite their immense cultural importance.

Sunak’s latest display of arrogance and inflexibility proves he is dangerously out of touch with the people he claims to serve. 

Britain needs a change in direction – one that values knowledge for its own sake and recognizes the many ways young people can contribute to society, not just those that boost corporate profits. 

It’s time for the people to stand up and make their voices heard. Our ambitions shouldn’t be limited by the narrow vision of Rishi Sunak and the Conservative Party any longer.

Let’s hope we can all unite and vote them out in July and send them packing faster than a train before they inflict more disastrous schemes on us.

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