The UK is a basket case, it treats the arts in higher esteem than the sciences and engineering (unlike countries like Germany). The general public in the UK don't like people who takes sciences (how popular are science nerds/geeks compared to jocks in school?) Money is thrown at the arts like it's going out of fashion, the scienes however always have funding problems.
When I studied at university, the arts students were the ones who had lots of time to prop up the student bars, and could get any books they wanted very cheaply (say Â£5), whereas for sciences, it was normal to spend Â£50+ for just one book.
In the UK, the amount of effort you put into a science degree and pay you get, is inversely proportional to the effort and pay the arts students get (unless you're really really good in your chosen science subject)
So of course, the sciences should have their courses paid for compared to the arts. But I would add to that, to prevent people jumping onto a science course because it's free, they MUST have studied science courses and have good grades in them from lower schools before getting to university. This should prevent students from moving courses.