I voted for the first time last year, while I was living in halls. I voted Conservative, because unlike the party in charge at that time, Labour, they promised not to increase student tuition fees.
Obviously, that was a load of bollocks.
The coalition government's decision to increase the maximum cost of university fees to a ridiculous £9,000 has meant that for many people hoping to further their education, it simply isn't an option available to them any more. The chance to continue studying in the hope of a more successful career and a better standard of life has been snatched away from many, despite hundreds of protests to prevent this.
But what the Prime Minister didn't foresee was the amount of universities that would opt to up their fees. My own, Southampton Solent, has put yearly tuition costs up to over £7,000. While many will be put off by the price, university attendance figures are still set to be high. This means that more student loan will have to be dolled out, and this is funded by that clever little government of ours. They have currently given us sponging students £24 billion, and this is set to rise to £70 billion by 2016. Something tells me they didn't consider that factor in their plan.
Serves them right. They know that reducing the number of available university places would cause uproar among the student population, so it's unlikely that's going to happen. Oh to live in Scotland, without this education fiasco. Student Finance is bad enough as it is, they have proven themselves to be incapable of giving out loans on time resulting in some very meagre existences for starving students.
In my opinion, rather than charging everyone who wants to go to university, there should be stricter controls on who is allowed in. It's a widely known fact that a lot of people go to uni purely for the experience, to live the famed lifestyle of boozing, take aways, lie-ins and more boozing. So why should those people who don't actually give a crap about their degree be allowed to study when other kids who might desperately want to get a better education can't afford it?
Of course, the partying is a bonus which no young person in their right mind would turn their nose up at. But there's a limit, yes it's a fun, enlightening experience that will provide you with some of the best memories of your life but the point is to get a degree out of it. Remember, that bit of paper that says that you actually learned something in those three years? You wear a fancy hat to collect it?? Ring any bells???
Clichéd as it is, we Westerners really do take for granted what we have and don't take advantage of all the options available to us. More students should be grabbing hold of the opportunity to study at a degree level, and make the most of it while they can.
It may be one big party, but the party's got to end one day. Would you rather it finish with a degree to your name, or with one big debt and no hope for the future.
I know which I'd prefer!