With reference to the £300K salary of the Vice Chancellor of Falmouth University: that’s an awful lot of £9,000 annual student fees to pay for one person. No wonder they need 2,500 more students. Unfortunately it’s not out of line with what top people in big companies are paid nowadays.

As for their response, the university has always been brilliant at PR, they sure know how to tell a good story. For example, the university’s ranking at no 9 in the UK: when I checked the listings it actually says University of Exeter with no mention of Falmouth. Where would Falmouth be if ranked alone? But don’t just listen to their words, look at their actions: a total lack of student accommodation for years, leading to 1,000 lost local homes and our towns under constant siege from developers. And still they want more students.

As for their courses; take just one example of many: photography. I have read that there are more students studying photography in the UK (including Falmouth) than are required for the WHOLE of Europe! For most, their studies will never lead to a well paid job in their chosen profession. This also means that they are unlikely to ever pay back up to £50K of public money which it has cost to fund them. Cumulatively this means that the country will have to right off billions in years to come, or future generations will have to repay the debt – just like PFI. Meanwhile even our service industries are awash with low paid graduates who can’t find graduate level employment.

As for Falmouth becoming a creative hub: consider, for example, Drama. We are about as far away as possible from any acknowledged centres of excellence, commissioning directors or sufficient audiences and 95% of all actors are out of work at any one time. How many graduates are ever going to ‘make it’ and pay back their fees? And the creative subjects are being systematically excised from our secondary schools, so where are all the students to come from in future years?

But it’s worse than that. Even most well paid graduates with good degrees will never fully pay back their debts (interest currently charged at over twice the rate of inflation). The market model is broken as the government is finally acknowledging. Unfortunately the public funding vein remains wide open and the universities are raking it in: it’s all about growth and attracting more students, which equal more money. One academic on a local interview board claimed it was a waste of time them being there: they accept everyone.

Of course the brightest and the best should be able to go to university, but nationally there is no correlation between what the country needs and what is offered: it seems they’ll take anyone to do anything who can borrow against whatever grades and all at public expense. Where are the places for more doctors, nurses, midwifes, engineers and the things our country really needs? All the while, so many students are being sold an expensive, worthless, false dream - and ultimately we will all pay the price.

Marc Laundon