The real price of university

It may be common form for some first-year students to not completely remember their first few weeks of university and this can be down to drinking games, late nights and addictive napping that occurs during Fresher’s week. However, are you really getting your money’s worth at university?

The university year begins with meeting more people than you can count on both hands, getting lost around campus and feeling as if you can survive the ‘big, bad world’ solely because you didn’t burn your toast (that) badly twice in a row. However, as the year unfolds some students feel as if all they can remember is knowing which kebab van closes later, the SU drink prices and knowing three other places within 20 minutes walking distance that has free Wifi in case yours goes down again.

Students are paying a staggering three times as they did in previous years, and with the tuition being as high as £9,000 to obtain two or three letters afterwards these student stories are now becoming the norm. However students have complained about the lack of contact hours with their teachers, lecturers and personal tutors, and individual reading is a term that you will be hearing a lot of – and it isn’t pretty.

Although this extra free (obviously not in an economical way) time can prove helpful to certain students who wish to apply for internships and work on hobbies or interests, most first-years binge entire box sets on Netflix, get hand cramp from game consoles and learn how to stomach a dirty pint.

For the price of tuition, which was set by the government, students only seem to get seminars taught by PhD students – who are probably still taking their washing home to their own parents – and a student library card that allows them to borrow a book for a week (which there will only be 4 copies of in the library and at lest 38 students requesting to use it).

Students are now more than ever more likely to demand more for the money that they are paying, and it shows how unhappy students are with the education service as student complaints are on the rise. Not only are students paying more to just be included on the class register, but with the recent news about the maintenance grant being cut this is just ‘allowing’ students to borrow more money, and therefore increase their student loan debt.

There are, however, a few ways that students can seek to get more from their expensive time studying a university, from using their individual studying time to research further into their subject area, conduct work experience and internships, volunteer or become involved in a student society. All of these areas will glow on any graduate’s CV, and lets face it, you’ll need a decent graduate job to pay off those years anyway.