The University of Life may soon be the only university accessible to the vast majority of students.

Seriously – annual tuition fees of £9,250 for (just about) all undergraduate courses ?

That’s an incredible burden of debt to ask a young person to shoulder.

But wait – there’s more. Add accommodation, food and  books and the total soars well above £15,000 a year – that’s before you join a gym, a society, or even consider  socialising or any other activities.  Then there’s travel to and from home.

I have juggled and tried every keyword search, but there is no way to balance the books, to make this even remotely affordable. I’m running in ever decreasing circles chasing a solution that isn’t there.

Is this really what we want – that a university degree is available only either to those who can be bankrolled by their family, or who are comfortable moving into their young adult life with a debt of almost £50,000 ?

Having spent a lifetime cajoling my children to work during their holidays, to avoid debt, to buy only what they can afford, to shun credit cards I therefore can’t believe that I am now asking them to add their signatures to documents that will shackle them to a repayment plan that could last 30 years.

Of course there should be a cost –  I agree it is a privilege to go to university not a right. But it should be affordable.

Tuition fees were introduced so rapidly, and have risen so quickly, that there has been no opportunity for us as parents to financially plan for them.  What we’ve got is a situation that keeps me awake at night because I feel totally trapped by a system that seems designed to hinder, not help.

How have we got this so wrong?

 

 

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