I find myself in the unusual position of thoroughly endorsing Chris Bertram's thoughts on third level education and social mobility.
One objection might be that we (collectively) really need all those graduates and that without them we’ll fall behind in the "global knowledge economy". But I’m skeptical. We need some such people, but we don't need people who have spent three years ingesting hogwash lectures about the semiotics of advertising or whatever and have then emerged with their one-size-fits-all 2.1 degree. Many of the people on those degree courses are only on them because they believe they need a degree to get a good job. In many ways it would be better if we waived the credential requirements, got them into the labour market earlier, and saved them the pain of student loan repayments, years of debt, crappy lectures, and so forth.
This is particularly germane given Blair's longstanding project, to which Chris refers, to expand third level education.
Here's a post of mine from January 2004 about a Guardian hack's musings on the value of his education.