The National Union of Students (NUS) has suggested ten ways the estimated £60 million needed to buy a yacht for the Queen could be spent on improving FE and HE.
The Guardian reported how the education secretary, Michael Gove, wanted the public to donate a royal yacht as part of the Queen’s diamond jubilee celebrations.
David Cameron has since rejected the proposal, saying it would be an inappropriate use of public money.
The ten alternatives suggested by the NUS include:
- £9,000 tuition fees for more than 6500 students for a year.
- Provide 45,000 students with Education Maintenance Allowance for a year.
- More than 20,000 ten-week internships paying the London Living wage.
- Continue the £60m investment in improving college buildings announced last year.
- Extend the first year £1,000 bursary element of the National Scholarship Programme by two years for 30,000 students.
- Treble the enrichment budget for college students upping the amount of time spent of things like pastoral support, tutorials and extra-curricular activities from 30 hours per student per year to 90 hours.
- Replace more than ¾ of the budget for AimHigher – which promoted widening access to higher education.
- Train 7,500 apprentices at a cost of £8,000 each.
- Fully fund the training of 4000 secondary school teachers.
- Ensure the survival of the Care to Learn scheme with £15m to spare.
Liam Burns, President of the NUS, said: “At a time of record youth unemployment and slashed education budgets these are just a few initial suggestions of what £60m could achieve.
“I’m sure the Queen would rather her Diamond Jubilee was celebrated by funding the future, than frittered away on pointless luxuries.”
He added: “Thankfully this ridiculous idea has already been ruled out but we felt it was important to remind Mr Gove and Mr Willetts what benefits £60 million could bring to education.
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