An excellent cartoon from Mike Moreu:
The main thing for me is the question of “what is the social benefit”. In part education increases the human capital of the individual, which is something that the individual should pay for, in another part education can be consumption (which the individual should pay for) and in a final part some types of education also benefit other people – which is where government subsidies come in.
I think there are many night courses we can identify as not having this social benefit – and so the government shouldn’t pay for them. I don’t know if this is the test the government is applying, but it is the one they should be applying.
Hence, I think Mike’s comic here is spot on – when a course only has private consumption and investment value it should be the individuals choice to do it and responsibility to pay for it.