Tuition fees came about during my time in secondary school. I can’t remember exactly when it was, but at the time I was trying to decide on my career path and whether or not university was right for me. I didn’t know which career I wanted to pursue anyway but after the introduction of tuition fees I decided that university wasn’t something that I could afford, especially when I wasn’t certain about whether I really wanted to go and what I would achieve from it.
When I moved onto college I was still confused about what I wanted to do, but of course, university was the next step for most students. The college I attended was always encouraging us to move onto university, in fact for me it felt like the only option as things like apprenticeships, gap years and full time work were hardly spoken of.
The college would put on university fairs and open evenings which I almost always attended because I wanted as much information as possible so I could make an informed decision. I still didn’t know what I wanted to do at this point so university was an unlikely option.
It was at one of the university fairs that I sat in on a talk about tuition fees and how they’re paid and it was eye opening to say the least. I don’t know how I thought tuition fees were paid back before I sat in on this talk but I was surprised to learn that it’s taken out of your wages before you receive them, the same as taxes are. Plus you don’t start paying your tuition fees until you earn more than £21,000 a year.
I personally think that university students should pay for their education except for those studying to become doctors, nurses, teachers or any other vital public service role. I don’t see why I should pay for someone to study Contemporary Circus and Physical Performance. How likely are they to get a job in that line of work by the time they’ve finished their course and how does their course benefit society as a whole?
I agree when people say that education is a right and that everyone should be entitled to it, I really do, but further education is a luxury. If you’re fortunate enough to achieve the grades you need to get into university then you should pay for it. It’s never been so competitive to get a place in your first choice university. I wasn’t fortunate enough to achieve the grades to go to university so why should I pay for someone else to have the privilege?
Let’s put this into perspective. By the time a university student who left school at the same time as me will have finished their degree I’ll have three years experience in marketing and will have worked my way up the career ladder while they’ll be just one of many graduates competing for the same jobs.
I know at least three people who have dropped out of their university course and others who either regret going to university in the first place or who aren’t enjoying their course at all. If the college I attended put as much effort into promoting apprenticeships and work as they did university then maybe those people would be in a better place and doing something that they enjoy.
How do you feel about university tuition fees? Are you a student at university? Let me know how you feel about the course you’re on and whether or not you believe tuition fees should be paid for by the government or not. If you’re not a university student let me know how you feel. What did you choose to do after you left school?