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Will The Rise In University Fees See A Rise In Complaints
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It now seems that at least 75% of the UK’s Universities have decided to charge £9,000 in student fees. Many of the Vice Chancellors say that the rise in fees is necessary to ensure they can continue to deliver excellent teaching on their degree programmes. I find this aspect of their argument hard to understand. Money doesn’t necessarily equate to quality.

I was lucky enough to study for my first degree course when grants were still available. Although I did take out a loan, it wasn’t for living expenses. I toyed with the idea of spending it on fertility treatment and then decided to buy a car. (I was a very mature student). I can understand the student’s either going through the system now, or who will be affected by this enormous rises in the future being angry and resentful that they will not enjoy the financial support that was in place for students of previous generations.

Students have protested vociferously about the fee rises, as is their absolute right. But after initial protests there hasn’t been a great deal said about it recently, which may partly be because of internal issues with the National Union of Students. I have no doubt though that there will be more protests in the future, although apart from hoping that enough of the student’s receive concessions, I think there is very little they can do. The policy is in place and it is here to stay, whatever political party is in power.

One thing that I hope will happen, is that it will shake more students out of their potential state of apathy to complain when the facilities or the teaching are not up to scratch. Of course all organisations have to have complaints policies in place, but quite often they only get used when something goes very wrong.

I have studied at several of the UK’s biggest universities and I can say that some of the teaching was appalling and some indifferent. Did I complain. Yes, I did and it didn’t make me very popular. Did I push my complaints as far as I could have done? No I didn’t because I’m ashamed to admit I couldn’t be bothered. However, if I’d had to pay the levels that students are going to have to pay from next year, I would have screamed from the roof tops.

Missed deadlines, cancelled lectures, indifferent lectures, poor facilities, poor notes and materials, were just some of the issues I raised in my complaints. The worst complaint I ever made was against a course tutor, when I was doing a post graduate degree and the course and the students were each given a part of the course to teach to the rest of the student cohort. I for one was not very impressed. I assumed that the lecturers had greater knowledge on the specific topics than we did and I for one didn’t appreciate getting taught by my fellow students, (some of whom were dire!)

I’m not suggesting that students should start suing their universities when things don’t go their way and they don’t get the grades they want, but I do think they should raise issues when and as they arise. Making complaints is never easy. However, the thought of the £27,000 pounds or more debt that they will leave with at the end of their courses, might make it a lot easier.

Street Talk

This is one of the reasons that I wrote my article which applies not only to the United States but also selected countries in Western Europe. I will also be writing an article regarding U.K.'s latest "burning and rioting" where the government's action is imprisonment for those who were found guilty of the crime. Wrong strategies of the government means more taxpayer's money wasted. Let me know what you think of my article.

  about 1 decade ago
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