I was interest to read that engineers were due to meet ministers to push for exempting civil engineering students from paying university top up fees (NCE 11/25 December). Is this not a very shortsighted thing to do in the drive to reduce the skills shortage?
True, this will probably increase the uptake on civil engineering courses, however this does not guarantee more students entering the profession.
Students will pick the course because it is 'cheap', and when they graduate furnished with a good analytical degree, there will many career opportunities in different, more lucrative, industries.
Is it not better to opt for a system of grants and bursaries awarded to enthusiastic students prepared to enter into the industry.
The economics of supply and demand must eventually generate the money necessary to fund students through university.
Andrew Wylie, engineer, Whitbybird Engineers, Bath BA1 5BD