The ninth of December 2010. The date may seem unfamiliar to you at the moment, but I’m sure your spine would shudder along with any students’ if you knew that this was the day that variable tuition fees were introduced.
So-called politicians were adamant that these fees should not make a difference to university applications, but last year saw application rates fall a massive 9.3%. Although it’s clear that you are not one of these 9.3%, you must still consider the consequences.From the day you applied to university, you sold your soul to Student Finance.
But let’s not look into our debt ridden futures yet- we’re students! We can barely think ahead to our next lecture (or think at all after a couple of Jesticles) so let’s just focus on the here and now- are we getting our money’s worth?
Overall, the entitlement card seems to be more of a pacifying lollipop given to a small child than anything else
Well firstly, there’s the Entitlement Card given by the University to consider. Yes, at first it may seem like Christmas come early, and let’s not let a gift horse in the mouth, but on closer inspection it seems a fairly insignificant attempt for redemption of the tripled tuition fees.
Yes that £300 can get you access to the gym (will you ever really use it?), course books, a platinum pass, and society memberships, but even so, is this not something we should expected regardless of the fee change?After all it is getting us to invest in university facilities. Overall, the entitlement card seems to be more of a pacifying lollipop given to a small child than anything else- it’s hardly the crucial decider when considering whether to apply.
Okay so I’m probably not convincing you that parting with this considerable amount of money was wise yet, but to give credit where it’s due, the University has taken the rise in tuition fees more seriously than me- they have also offered up to a £3000 fee waiver dependent on household income, so it would seem they do have our interests at least slightly in mind.
And what’s the alternative? Getting a job at the nearest McDonald’s and living at home until you’re thirty five years old? With a university degree you get the opportunity of spending three years living the student dream before going into a (hopefully) better career.
In fact, despite my moaning I would go so far as to boldly say that the elusively cliched ‘student experience’ is priceless. Where else could you be almost guaranteed a better paid and more satisfying career after three years of non-stop partying and freedom? I’ve only been here a month but the nights out, freedom, people, independence, ability to focus on what interests you -and did I mention nights out?- have already meant that I’ll never look back.
We’re not just investing in our futures here; we’ve already purchased friends, memories, and the best years of our life- who said money can’t buy you happiness? Maybe the Entitlement Card isn’t exactly the answer to our financial problems, and maybe in ten years time I’ll have changed my tune on the staggering tuition fees and debt, but all I can say now is; another two years? Send me the bill student finance!