Violence doesn't help student cause

IT seems that many young people think they have divine right to attend university and yet complain about the effort and expense it takes to get there but it is their choice.

In the past, it was only those who could afford to support the further education of their children; ostensibly free but requiring books, clothing and other expenses and it was only those of above average intelligence who got the opportunity as universities were extremely selective in their choice of applicants, which seems to be not the case today.

While all parents want the best for their chidlren, we would be in a sorry state indeed if there were no manual workers to do the jobs the intelligencia could not or would not want to do.

As to the increased fees, alleged to be around 9,000pa, where is there any guarantee about where and how that money will be repaid?

Those who subsequently obtain posts in the upper echelons of business, such as the legal professions, civil service, the arts and other better paid jobs, should have little difficulty repaying the loan, even if it takes a little time.

But as the old saying goes "there is no gain without pain".

It is however, noticeable that many students go on to take a "gap year" before or after gaining their degress and before seeking employment. What is all that about when there is plenty of time to enjoy such things when their financial security is assured?

There are many young people learning trades and studying on the side to improve themselves, who would welcome the loan of similar amounts of money untils such time as they could afford to repay them.

Alas, there is no such scheme available for them.

So why is it that those who have that opportunity don't put up with the problems involved, when so many others never get the chance?

Nothing in this life is free but fortunately the lack of a university degree doesn't stop the determined from becoming useful citizens, making a success of their lives.

We all have to tighten our belts but the kind of scenes we have seen recently in London and elsewhere will do nothing to help the students' cause.

K G Johnson, Leeds 17

Drop philosophy from curriculum

RECENTLY you printed a comment from a student who said the violence at the students' demonstration was justified. Fair enough, that's his opinion but then I saw he was a student of philosophy.

As an avid viewer of University Challenge, I am increasingly annoyed when the contestants say they are reading philosophy or the classics or subjects which, to the ordinary man in the street, are totally irrelevant.

Surely a lot of money could be saved by dropping these subjects from the university curriculum. If people are interested in high-brow subjects could they not go to evening-classes?

If one looks up the "philosophy" in the dictionary, it will only reveal that we are all philosophers in one way or another.

Though one can probably sympathise with the students at the reason for their demonstrations, I think that any student convicted of violence or wanton vandalism should be expelled from the university.

F Ward, Foxwood Rise, Leeds

Another attack on the young

AS well as the tripling of university tuition fees, another massive attack on young people from this government is the abolition of the 30 per week Educational Maintenance Allowance.

Thousands of young people in schools and colleges in Leeds will be hit by the withdrawal of the allowance from January 2011.

These 'savings' should be contrasted with billions of pounds to be saved by the banks from the cut in corporation tax from 28 per cent to 24 per cent.

It would appear that young people are being asked to bare the brunt of government cuts whilst the banks who caused the economic mess are being rewarded.

Neil Dawson, Morley

Allowance made all the difference

I READ the article 'Teachers in protest over plans to axe student cash' with interest. Here is yet another attack, this time on young working class kids, by this pernicious Con/Lib Dem Coalition Government.

At a time when youth unemployment is soaring, it seems madness and short-termism, to abolish the Education Maintenance Allowance; a really good Labour initiative, to keep 16 to 18-year-olds in full-time education.

My eldest granddaughter will be 18 next month. Without the EDA, she would almost certainly have left school at 16, despite being a bright young girl.

As it is, she is now studying at Leeds College of Art, where her artistic talents are being nurtured. To subsidise her studies, she works in a nursing home every weekend.

I am incredibly proud of her and consider the bit of government help she has received as key to her striving to make something of her life.

Cherril Cliff, Armley

Air your views on buses

I WOULD like to reassure your readers that the in-depth review of bus provision, called for in your editorial 'Consensus is the best way to fairer fares', is already underway right across West Yorkshire.

This research is being conducted as part of Metro's work to introduce a Bus Quality Contract Scheme for which the Yorkshire Evening Post recently applauded us.

The Government's legislative process requires Metro to demonstrate that introducing a Quality Contract Scheme would mean better services for passengers, a growth in passenger numbers and would represent value-for-money.

Metro also has to carry out consultations to get local people's views on bus services, and that process is underway.

We have recently held public events in Bradford, Dewsbury, Halifax, Huddersfield, Keighley, Leeds, Pontefract and Wakefield, where people have been able to fill out a short questionnaire. Anyone still wishing to take part can still do so on-line until the end of the year by visiting www.wymetro.com/qualitycontracts.

COUNCILLOR Chris Greaves, Chairman, Metro

Crying foul

REGARDING dog fouling in Morley – it is getting to the stage there it's everyhere you look and walk around here and has to stop.

It's all very well undercover officers patrolling the streets but people are coming from different streets to where we live and allowing their dogs to foul.

The officers only seem to be covering the main roads of Morley.

The biggest problem is around the top of Morley, Churwell Hill and Victoria Road, and the small road Springfield Avenue.

That's where the community has to walk every day to the local garage or the town centre, having to watch where your treading all the time.

I do understand that the local council is doing its best, but it's residents of Morley who really feel the impact from this mess not being cleaned up by dog owners, as well as a possible impact on their health.

This is a growing problem in Morley; something really needs to be done.

Stronger guidelines need putting into place to combat the problem once and for all, with stronger penalties, even prosecutions, as this is committing an offence.

Derek Darlington, Morley

Fine litterbugs too

AS the council would appear to see fit to send secret patrols to tackle the offence of dog fouling – a move I agree with as yes, it is offensive – might I suggest they change the criteria slightly and just make the task to cover all aspects including litter, as I find that just as offensive and to be honest more prevalent in this throwaway society.

The fine is just the same amount and that way both problems can be tackled at the same time using the same resource.

Sounds cost effective to me.

L Stephen Bottomley, Shadwell

What a carry on

IT is about time Councillor Finnigan and all his cronies got on with doing something about the building site we live in – and dogs are the least thing that bother me.

When he has done with the dogs do you think he will go on to putting nappies on horses?

What a man – I wish I got paid the same as him just to go on about dogs in today's carry on.

Barry Harper, Morley

Principled stance

Following media stories about Euro MPs' increased pay and perks package I would like to point out that I, like some other UKIP MEPs, am not taking the wage rise.

Although obviously eligible for the increase in salary, I have opted to remain with the same salary and pension arrangements as Westminster MEPs as a matter of principle.

Do not tar all of us with the same brush.

Godfrey Bloom, UKIP MEP for Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire

YEP Letters: April 24