I keep looking at the photos of graduation with glee. What happened on Friday was one of the greatest moments of my life, marking a achievement I’m unlikely to soon top. I’m very proud indeed of my masters. University, in a way, made me who I am, not only by encouraging me to do my best work but by bringing me out of my shell socially, by making me independent. Had I not been to university, I would not have dared move down here with Lyn: thus it was a vital part of my growth, as it is for many young adults.
I only went to uni, of course, because of the funding systems in place ten years ago. Last night on Newsnight, I saw how the Tories plan to change the student loan system so that students get their loans from the universities themselves rather than the treasury. They argue that it will encourage institutions to make sure their graduates get good jobs so they can pay off their debt – they will need to take a more active role in students’ future careers. Thus the prick David Willets was acting as if it was a great idea. The obvious problem is, it will mean that universities will only take on students they know are likely to get good jobs; they would only accept the ablest of students or those from wealthy families. In short it is just another tory scheme to make sure wealth and education stays only in the hands of the few. Under this system, any university would just take one look at a prospective student with a disability and turn him away – they would not be a safe bet. After all, due to several factors I’m still not earning money. Under this disgrace of a government, then, I would never have gone to uni; I’d probably still be at home with my parents, wasting away. The old system left payment to one side, letting all flourish; this new system will change the emphasis, forcing universities to be more cautious, meaning students like me will be denied opportunities they need and deserve.