You sir are an ass
"My tax dollar,er pound, is spent letting a bunch of long haired pot smoking yobs spend 3-4 years in a subsidised pub, do a bit of programming (not difficult, I do it most days) and then sell out to some US company for a few million. And none of it comes back to the tax payer (or specifically me)."
Wake up. Students pay their own way. Perhaps you were deliberately trying to sound like a foolish bigot in your post but you should be aware that the government dont subsidise students anymore. We get loans and then have to pay them off with inflated interest thus helping keep you in your over-mortgaged home.
If the games industry wants to attract graduates maybe they should try and support those with academic skills and no industry skills. I retrained from a science degree to a computing degree at the same time as working (and paying tax) achieveing the highest possible grade. Similarly to Rob Lyon I went to the uk game conference last year and was told that I shouldnt even bother with the game industry if I couldnt write low level C++ and a complete game engine.
I'm not that bothered. I dont want to work for another bloated, backward, corporate monster anymore anyway. They wan't new blood because they want to steal their ideas. Make them sign a non-disclosure agreement. (see terms of contract saying all inventions at work belong to the company). My advice to all is, write as much of a game as you can yourself, get help from friends and forum users and ignore the computer game companies. Release it yourself and do it your way.