FUNDING MESSIS GETTING USNOWHERE
he arguments over fundingthe system of Higher Edu-cation that have been rag-ing since the publication of theDearing report in July stillhaven’t stopped
What used to be separate issues havebeen blurred into one long row.Students are now worried: are theygoing to be hit by demands for moneyfrom the Exchequer, from their univer-sities, from loans companies or theirparents? Or all of them together? Uni-versity Vice-Chancellors are alsounhappy. Under current proposals, theirstudents are soon to be paying tuitionfees which look unlikely, for the firstyear at least, to be directed into Univer-sity budgets. Even the government hasmanaged to run with three differentpolicies on HE funding during themonth of August alone.The National Union of Students hasbeen doubly confused: The LabourParty, to which they had pinned all theirhopes, and which they have backedunquestioningly for the last two generalelections, is not behaving quite as theNUS had hoped. Several senior NUSmembers, including the President, Dou-glas Trainer, are also members of theLabour Party, leaving them with divid-ed loyalties and difficult decisions totake about who, and how loudly, to crit-icise. The indecision can only be harm-ful to universities, to industry, and tostudents. An end to the principle of freeeducation may have been inevitable, butits effects have yet to be seen.Over thenext month or so, as the dust begins tosettle, Bare Facts will be bringing youits own coverage of events. You will beable to rely on your paper to bring youindependent analysis, and to keep youupdated on anything that may affectyou. If anyone has information, presscuttings, or propaganda from any sidein the funding row, send it to BareFacts.
With any luck, this will be the last A4edition of Bare Facts you will ever read.After weeks of ‘fixing’ everything,from the printing specification and thecomputers used for layup, right down tothe new letterheads for advertisers, itlooks as if everything is finally ready.Moving onto a new tabloid format hasmany benefits (you’ll be reading a realnewspaper, for a start), but demands agreat deal of change in the way thepaper is produced. The need for con-tributors on the editorial side (writers,photographers, and reviewers) and onthe production side (advertising, finan-cial and computer people) is greaterthan ever, as the new format will work best if the content is spot-on. Editorialmeetings are on Mondays at 6pm. Con-tributions (on disk if possible) can beposted into the Bare Facts box at anytime.The first Tabloid issue will carry twoweeks worth of news (this issue is forweeks 0 and 1, and has been dominatedby the usual start-of-term information-and-notices-bonanza), and should getoff to a great start. Like any studentnewspaper, though, it can only existwith the help of students....