it was recently announced that over a third of universities in the UK are set to charge maximum tuition fees of £9,000 a year.
This is despite the Government’s Business Secretary, Vince Cable, previously saying the full fee will only apply in “exceptional circumstances”.
Thankfully, I will have graduated from the University of Central Lancashire (which is charging the full amount) by then, but I worry for my peers in the years below me.
I’m concerned not only because they will be in a lot of debt by the time they graduate, but also about the value for money of the degrees.
For my previous two years at university, the maximum amount of timetabled lectures, seminars and workshops I have had for my journalism course has been 10 hours.
Personally, I feel this does not justify charging the current rate of £3,375 annual tuition fee, never mind £9,000. I understand students are meant to carry out private study in the library or on the computers in that time, which I do, but I’m also undertaking independent study at home more regularly now.
This is not just the case for journalism courses. A friend of mine studies Business Studies and is in a similar situation.
He claims that at times his lectures are cancelled and classes are told to work on assignments. Again, individual study is important, but £9,000 to use a library for a year isn’t very economical in my opinion.
To be fair to universities, they provide a lot of services for students. They have huge libraries, catering outlets, student accommodation and advice centres.
The lecturers are experts in their field of study and are happy to help students. Many higher education institutions are losing their funding, so they need to raise their fees to survive.
I just think it’s unfair that every course at the institution is £9,000, when every degree uses the university differently.
Science students, for example, will use on-site laboratories etc. more frequently then a student studying social work or nursing, who go on extended placements outside university.
I really enjoy university nonetheless. When I am in lectures I take a lot from them and they provide lots of useful information.
The free periods I have mean I can spend extra time reading books and journals and writing my assignments. I just wish I had longer teaching hours so the money I will be paying goes further.
Maybe though it’s just my university and people at other institutions have a much more positive experience, but this is how I see it.