It's not like the banned public schoolboys would be missing out on anything worthwhile. After all, if you have been at an OK public school then you've already had at least five years of living in grand old buildings with good libraries, being taught by teachers who respect your opinions. How much more of that do you need? If you have too much, you end up like Boris Johnson or David Cameron, having to get fat and pretend to be stupid just so people won't be afraid of you.
Indeed. Of course, one of the main reasons why I never finished my course was because I was utterly disillusioned with university; I naively thought that it was a centre of higher learning, where one could propose one's own theories and have them taken seriously (or at least deconstructed in a positive way). After all, I had spent five years at a school in which this happened, so university must simply take it to a higher level, right?
Alas, I was wrong: I found that I appeared to have signed on for another four years of A Level style teaching; "regurgitate what your lecturers tell you," I was told (almost verbatim, as it happens), "and you will pass the exams."
This was never going to work: I have never really been interested in learning merely to pass exams, and my first two years at university didn't teach me anything that I didn't already know. So, I dropped out.
Still, the whole exercise wasn't entirely a pointless waste of time (and, with no fees, it wasn't as ruinously expensive either); had I not been to university, I would never have got involved with the Bedlam Theatre, I would never have started producing shows, I would never have taken up graphic design and I would not have the job that I enjoy so much.
Oh, yes, and the "getting drunk and going to parties, smoking dope and falling out of windows" and, of course, the "shagging" were all immense fun.
Now that people have to pay fees, they take the whole thing rather more seriously, I'm sad to say, especially as degree inflation has ensured that the seriousness with which students take the academic side of university has risen in inverse proportion to the value of the degree that they obtain at the end of it.