Monday, October 13, 2003

Ahh, there's aye a something

So an ever-increasing number of European universites are facing the financial reality that they're going to consider charging (more) tuition, eh? As we say here in Glasgow, with a tip of my hat one way to K. and another to my current loan provider, boo-fookin'-hoo. Keeping this in mind, my award for today's pure blethering skite (it's Glasweigian dialect day here at Silentio, if you couldnnae tell) goes to Humboldt University's own, Herr Thomas Sieron.

The prospect of tuition fees has caused dismay among students, many of whom already work to make ends meet. Student union president Thomas Sieron said that fees would be a disaster.

[. . .]

What, then, was his solution to the problem of university under-funding? "We don't have a perfect solution. Our perfect solution is to smash capitalism," he said. "The need to smash capitalism has become even more obvious over the past three or four years."

He's a right wee nyaff, that yin, intheno?

Seriously, though, there's something seriously short-sighted with this either/or reasoning; and, in truth, it seems like something that could and would only come out of a university (or, conversely, The Wall Street Journal editorial page). Compound the ivory tower / corporate scrum syndrome -- with its problematic dialectic of 'pure' Marxism set against its archnemesis 'pure' capitalism -- with a system in which it's not odd to see forty-year-old students who've never paid a dime for the education (or, hell, the course[!!!] they've no real intention of ever finishing, and this kind of mince is gonnae keep being spouted by more than naff Student Union presidents. (The tragedy being, of course, that people who might realise that 'purity' ain't what it's cracked up to be, and that finding a tenuous, adaptible middle-way between socialism and capitalism might be worth actually implementing, that is, non-[debt-ridden]-Americans, are probably hanging out in the Humboldt University Student Union coffee shop, thinking about switching majors for the fifth time.)

Reading this today was enough to neerly maek me gag on me Irn-Bru. Oh, there's aye a something.