Some time ago, a professor at a British university once told me that the introduction of yearly 50 pound "top-up" fees would corrupt education. He reasoned that if students could not completely concentrate on their work without undue influence, e.g. worrying about making money to pay for their education, how could they possibly engaged in the unbiased learning experience of the university? To American ears this sounds ridiculous. Some students accumulate hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, and this professor is worried about his students paying 50 pounds a year!
I found the statement completely histrionic back then, but I'm starting to sympathize with him more and more these days. This has become especially acute since I left the holy order of philosophy for the decidedly greener pastures of computational neuroscience. Green seems pretty good to a former philosopher, but the closer I get to it the more I worry at times (as I am certainly wont to do!). As with those 50 pounds and the undergrads, could the mighty green seriously warp the priorities of researchers?