posted on Jan, 21 2013 @ 07:20 PM
The truth of the matter is, that to even be able to afford to go ahead and go to university, there are an awful lot of financial outlays that are
involved, leave alone the fees. One would have to be lucky enough to be able to afford accommodation, assuming that the university which offers the
course you wish to take is far enough away from your home that it is necessary.
Then there is the subsitance whilst one is there. That is to say, that to be able to stay on top of any serious undertaking, one must eat, remain
clean and healthy, and be able to have the space to achieve these things in relative peace. Bear in mind that in a swanky place like Oxford, despite
its long history as a university, commands serious rental prices. Now, even student accommodation can cost as much as £540 a month, based on a weekly
cost of one hundred and thirty five pounds per week. Lets call it six thousand four hundred and eighty pounds a year.
Now, this may, to some, seem a pretty reasonable sum, but for many people such a sum on top of the fees, and the subsitance costs it will be
crippling. Dont forget that without considerable expirience, one is often unable to aquire work that will pay ANYTHING like enough to actually live
on. Meanwhile, the cost of living keeps rising, and that DOES actually apply to students. They eat, need shelter, require to clothe themselves, and
interact socially, not to mention one of the other big outlays that come up when one undertakes to aquire a good education.
The cost of books is going up, and since text books, and reference materials are essential tools for a student, doing without them is utterly
unthinkable. Oh sure, one could download them to ones swanky electronic portable computer, but at the end of the day, those things dont come in cheap
either, and relying on one device to store all your reference material is pretty much the most idiotic thing one could possibly do.
Think about all that, and you are talking about thousands per year before you even get to the whole, fees issue.
I personally think that it is time that the government, and the universities that offer the higher education, realise that if they want to APPEAR to
be inclusive and fair, then they must BE inclusive and fair. It cannot appear, or be such a thing, unless all the barriers that remain between the
less fortunate students, and a positive expirience in higher education, are removed. The fees are a joke, the cost of material too high, the cost of
living too great at the moment, for any but the most forunate to approach these things with confidence and peace of mind.
Personally speaking, I never attained a higher level of education. After twelve years of state education, which for me felt more like a tour of duty
than a pure learning expirience, I managed to come away with my basic education intact, despite the difficulties presented by having spent my days
learning to avoid knife blows, fists, feet, headbutts and other methods of serious assault, which were often directed toward my person. After that, I
felt in need of a well earned rest, and the LAST thing I felt I needed at that point was to go and bankrupt my family by attempting to continue my
education. There had been, by that point, quite enough drama.
If I had thought that the only difficulty presented by the possibility of a university education, had been one of having enough intellect to absorb
lectures, new ideas and concepts, and take part in research, sink myself into the lapping waters of all human understanding and emerge transformed by
them, then I would have been all over that like flies on a rotting carcass. And thats the only question that ought to require an answer when
considering a scholarly life, and because that is not the case, this nation stands not just to loose, but worse, to waste great minds, by preventing
those who possess them from attaining the highest quality of education.
This nation ought to make a much better care of its intellectual resources, because if ever we needed minds of great power, it is now, when Europe
seems so close to catastrophic break up, when the economy is allegedly tripple dipping, and when this nation is producing so little in comparison with
The circumstances which prevail at this time, which leave things in such a state as to require legal action of the nature described in the article,
are a joke, but the punchline will not be a masterclass in comedy when it comes.