The greatest threat to civil engineering degrees is not the proposed top-up fee scheme. It is the lack of funding available to universities.
The reduction in government funding is putting pressure on civil engineering departments and the first response is to reduce the number of lecturers and merge engineering courses.
This will lead to reduced student-staff contact, overworked lecturers, increased class sizes, loss of breadth of experience in civil engineering departments and a drop in standards.
I am in my third year studying civil engineering at the University of Surrey (UniS).
Although standards have not fallen we can see the pressure our department is under.
The UniS/ICE scholarship scheme has helped encourage more students to apply for civil engineering courses. But we need similar initiatives to produce quality civil engineers throughout Britain. The innovation and creativity which civil engineers need can only be nurtured by contact with a wide variety of quality lecturers.
Two of the ICE's objectives are raising the profile of civil engineers and maintaining high professional standards. Surely it is a sensible investment to help support the development of engineers.
Benjamin Fredlund, n_fredlund@hotmail. com