I’m glad I’m not a student

I can’t help watching the news and thinking how glad my formal education is now over, and that I’m not going through what so many students are right  now. Going to university when I did was probably the optimum time for me. Chatting to my parents earlier, they pointed out due to Brexit, the pandemic and  the gigantic  recession, schools colleges and universities have far fewer resources than they did fifteen years ago, so students with disabilities are going to find it far harder to get the support they need. I was astoundingly lucky: I found a nice, small university campus not too far from home where  I could flourish; in Esther I had a damn good Learning Support assistant, and MMU had my ideal course combination. Due to  this combination of factors I was able to flourish, both academically and socially; and university gave me the confidence to eventually  move to London to  live with Lyn.

I’m now very concerned that students like the one I was are going to have to struggle much, much harder to get the support they need. The Tory cuts to Disabled Students’ Allowance hit those who need the most support hardest. Had I had to struggle so hard,  I  daresay I may well have given up and stayed at home with mum and dad. Had I been an A-Level student this year,  zark knows what I’d  have done. For starters, I would have been much too worried about the pandemic to leave home, assuming the universities are even going to reopen at all this year. The whole course of my life for the past sixteen years would probably not have happened, and I’d still be living up north with mum and dad. I now fear that, somewhere out there, there are young eighteen year olds with cerebral palsy opening their calculated A  level results today and deciding to end their educations  there, put off going further by the horrific combination of factors this year.

4 thoughts on “I’m glad I’m not a student

  1. I’m glad I am no longer a uni lecturer in the world of covid-19. The last decade has seen numerous changes in univeristy education. Labour had pushed “widening participation” to make higher education available to more people. Education was seen as a societal benefit. Under the Tories that switched to a greater emphasis on higher education as job training. So both recruitment and support for these non-traditional students was quietly withdrawn. Fees went up and loans became more expensive and many grants just disappeared. The current A-level controversy which rewared private education ahead of public education is just more of the same. I don’t see the current right-wing government changing anything for the better unfortunately. The sector I joined in 2007 had changed dramatically when I retired in 2018.


    1. With so many overseas students coming to the uk, my parents pointed out that universities also have far less cash. The whole higher education system is broke.


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