Should Tuition Fees Be Abolished?
Debate Rounds (5)
1 - Acceptance
I want to thank con for accepting the debate and hope we can have a fair debate on this.
I believe that tuition fees should be abolished because if they are not banned then it means that some people most notably from a poorer background will not be able to go to university. As we all know university is the route to the most highly paid and powerful jobs and if only the richest can afford to go to university then continuing with tuition fees will create higher class seperation.
"...some people most notably from a poorer background will not be able to go to university."
There are community colleges as well as many merit-based and need-based scholarships. On average, 31% of a student's college tuition is paid by a scholarship or grant.
"As we all know university is the route to the most highly paid and powerful jobs and if only the richest can afford to go to university then continuing with tuition fees will create higher class seperation."
First of all, my opponent should explain why exactly class separation is an issue because if he fails to do so, then the above point is meaningless. Also, even the first part is false. Not all universities are obnoxiously expensive, so even if a person isn't very rich, he/she can still attend college.
I will now present some of my own arguments.
1. Taxation- If college was free, then taxes would have to increase in order to pay for everyone's college education. In the end, people still have to pay because nothing is really free. In fact, this would be unfair because even those who do not have children or don't go to college would have to pay a tax for someone else's children going to college.
2. Quality of education- If funding is spread more evenly among colleges, then the overall quality of education would decrease. Skilled individuals wouldn't want to be professors because of the lower pay and therefore the quality of educators at universities would decrease, which is the opposite of what we want.
3. Personal merit- There are not many who can't afford even a community college and in the end, it is PERSONAL MERIT that determines success, not the university the individual attended. While a person from a higher tier university could indeed have an initial advantage, it all comes down to how much each person worked and what kinds of accomplishments and grades they made.
I await my opponent's response.
2 - I am sorry for not explaining why I believe class separation is an issue and will do so now. If as we have had in the UK before and still do in some cases where someone cannot achieve what they want in life because of the family they were born into, that is the effects of class separation. In class seperation you have a lower, sometimes a middle and a upper class. It is unfair and unacceptable if you are born into a class other than the upper class that you cannot achieve the same as someone who is.
3 - University is the route into politics and if everyone in politics is from the same class, the upper class then you are unlikely to achieve real change to improve life for the working class or the middle class.
4 - My opponent says that you would have to raise taxes which I agree would be unfair. He fails to point out though that there are many other ways to save money, cracking down on tax evasion from company's like google or Facebook would be a big way of making lots of money or cancelling trident is another one. I don't want to get into a debate about these proposals merely to point out that raising taxes isn't the only way of paying to cancel tuition fees.
5 - I understand my opponents last point about personal merit but although merit can sometimes win though in the end it is far more difficult to be successful if you lack a university degree. Many careers such as medicine, architecture, law and many others are effectively no go zones without a degree.
1. As mentioned, the individual's family will have to pay out 70% of the tuition. If we assume even a three person family, the cost is not so huge that three people can't pay it out. Don't forget about loans, so the entire tuition doesn't have to be paid at once.
2. My opponent's argument here is essentially that class separation creates inequality because people born into lower classes have a disadvantage by default. I agree with this, BUT there are many opportunities to compensate with merit.
3. "University is the route into politics and if everyone in politics is from the same class, the upper class then you are unlikely to achieve real change to improve life for the working class or the middle class."
I sort of agree with this point, BUT people with money will either influence or be directly engaged in politics anyways. Money is power and so politics will always be dominated by the upper class. However, this connects to my point about merit because if, for example, an individual from the lower classes wants to make a difference, he/she can work hard, earn a degree from a good university and end up in politics anyways to fight for the lower classes.
4. "He fails to point out though that there are many other ways to save money, cracking down on tax evasion from company's like google or Facebook would be a big way of making lots of money or cancelling trident is another one. I don't want to get into a debate about these proposals merely to point out that raising taxes isn't the only way of paying to cancel tuition fees."
I will heed my opponent's request and not attack his proposal, HOWEVER, I would like to note that realistically, raising taxes is the easiest and fastest way for the government to increase revenue. It is by far the most likely option.
5. "I understand my opponents last point about personal merit but although merit can sometimes win though in the end it is far more difficult to be successful if you lack a university degree. Many careers such as medicine, architecture, law and many others are effectively no go zones without a degree."
My point here was not so much about post-university life, but rather during the PRE-university stages. If a student comes from a poorer family, he/she has many opportunities to compensate with merit and earn scholarships, grants etc.
Overall, my opponent's main point is that college tuition help richer people stay rich/powerful and keeps poorer people from doing so. As a result, he suggests abolishing tuition. However, by abolishing tuition, the overall quality of education decreases, meaning the scientific and technological fields would suffer significantly. Isn't it better for at least SOME people to be able to get high quality higher education and other, poorer individuals, to have the opportunity to still get this education with some extra effort? Isn't that better than equalizing the colleges and making it nearly impossible to get high quality higher education for anyone?
I agree that raising taxes is the principle way of raising money for abolishing tuition fees but I also believe it is very negative and false to pretend that raising taxes would be a reaction to abolishing tuition.
My opponent says that taking a student loan would be a idea to pay for university which it is. However if you have young people coming out of university with huge debt then it is not only difficult for the individuals but you also have a enormous economic problem because if you are in debt you are far less likely to invest in businesses, start your own businesses, employ staff which means if you have no tuition fees then a small number of extra jobs will be created.
One of my opponents points is that politics will always be dominated by the upper classes, however a lot of a bad thing is worse than a little of a bad thing and surely if there were more working class politicians then politics will be less dominated by the upper classes and if tuition fees were abolished then there will be more working and middle class politicians.
As I said earlier on I want to thank my opponent for heeding my request to not debate my suggestions on how to raise money.
I understand that I misunderstood my opponents point on personal merit but still believe my arguments in that field were very valid.
I do not buy into the belief that the quality of education would suffer because it all depends on the funding and if university's receive proper funding(yes that could involve raising taxes) then the quality of education would stay at the current level. Also on this point Germany, France, Belgium, Holland etc all have either no tuition fees or very low ones and they have a high quality of education.
I look forward to the final exchanges.
TheRussian forfeited this round.
I will now post my closing statement.
1 - Tuition fees make it more difficult for the poor to go to university and leave many people in an awful lot of debt. Some careers as I've already stated are no go zones without a degree. Medicine, law, architecture to name but a few. In 2013 the number of jobs that needed a degree overtook the number of jobs that didn't in Britain.
2 - I have no actual figures on this but I believe that abolishing tuition fees will also benifit the economy. This is because if you have young to middle aged people in high debt, this could be in excess of "50,000 or "60,000 in some cases then they are far less likely to employ workers, invest in a business or create their own business.
3 - People say that if we took away tuition fees then the quality of education would plummet. However in most EU nations they have no or low tuition fees but a high quality of education.
These and the other argument I have laid out in this debate are why we should abolish tuition fees.
I apologize for my forfeit, I meant no disrespect.
I suppose at this point, my main point is simply that...if tuition fees are abolished, taxes would be spiked. It is unfair to those who don't have kids/don't go to college that they must pay very high taxes (as people do in Europe) in order to pay for SOMEONE ELSE's college tuition.
I thank my opponent for the good points he laid out and for proposing the topic.
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