Boy I’m glad I went to university when I did. I figured pretty early on that the debt was inevitable, but had it been anything up to £45,000 allowed by the Browne report this week instead of the £15,000 or so I will be burdened with at the end of the year I’m not sure it would have been as easy to overlook. If I’d been told back in college that I’d leave university to a massively shrunk job market, with more debt than previous generations, I probably would have said ‘no thanks UCAS’, and made immediately for the job centre.
The tuition fees I’ve had to borrow have been barely affordable. I didn’t take a gap year, and have minimal savings, and so didn’t have any opportunity to amass any sort of money before I started, so have like so many others relied on loans to pay my way. There’s £9,000 I owe straight away. What do I get for this money? A department that was split up after my first year and then streamlined considerably after my second. I’m guessing these tuition fees have no relevance to the wages of those that are tutoring me, as I’m borrowing the same, more in fact, this year than last, when I could swear about half of my department has been got rid.
Regardless of how much I’ve had to borrow, there’s no guarantee I’ll actually have to pay any of it back. A great part of student loans is that one only has to pay it back if they’re earning more than a certain amount, currently £15,000 and due to rise to £21,000. Of course given the current economic climate there’s no guarantee I’ll earn that much immediately, and I only have to repay it for twenty five years after I finish, so there’s a chance the government coffers won’t see all of that money again. This is meant to help cut the deficit? The government giving students money they may never get back? Giving universities the opportunity to be more self-funded may backfire when they find the students that now fund their university can’t repay their debts.