Perhaps no great shock, the impact of tuition fees has resulted in a 15 per cent downturn in university student application numbers. This educational gamble by the government could backfire significantly on both the government and the universities. Pressurised by economic difficulties middle England is also finding it difficult to raise the tuition funds introduced by a government that has also run out of cash. In turn the universities could now fail to generate the headcount numbers required to attract government support. It all becomes a surreal vicious circle. Our universities could be forced to trim areas of educational and research expertise that have taken decades to build up. Tragically we could see many university Dons and research programmes disappearing overseas and many students shying away from further education because it is too expensive and does not necessarily lead to a good job. The only saving grace would be increased overseas student numbers, assuming they can gain entry to the UK. But event this could result in laying the foundation stones for future scientists and engineers who would promptly take their potential back home when they graduate.