Pinch, Punch...

...first of the month and all that.

I just got back from my first 3 hour seminar on Margaret Thatcher.[Edit: I started writing this at about 12.30. It's taken me a while.] It wasn't that bad, but it's really hit me how much work I've got to do this semester. It's not like I wasn't expecting it to be hard or anything, and I know I can do it, it's just a little bit daunting. So naturally I'm now procrastinating by writing this.

I have just one thing on my weekly timetable; the seminar I've been to this morning, and that's it. I will have a couple of meetings with my dissertation supervisor, but now that I'm halfway through my third year, I work mainly on a self-directed basis and so my contact time with History department staff is minimal. It's got me thinking about the tuition fees though, and how the government is justifying the ridiculous jump in the cost of the fees. I've gotten off lucky, because I graduate this year and so my fees won't be affected, but all new students will have to fork out £9,000 a year, which is absolutely extortionate. When my brother started at university, the fees were at around £1,000 a year, or thereabouts. When I started three years later, the fees had risen to around £3,000 a year, which is a big enough rise as it is, but then again lots of things have been gradually getting more expensive over the years. Now I don't know how much the fees were for people starting in the three years since I started university, I don't know if they were the same or a little bit more expensive, but the fact remains that as of the next academic year (I'm assuming that's when the new fees will be implemented) the fees will be triple what they were for me, and that's really hard for me to wrap my head around.

I know that all universities are different, and all the different subjects within those universities are structured separately, but if it was me having to pay nine grand a year for my course, I would feel completely robbed. Classes don't even start until late September/early October; there's a reading week for Arts and Humanities courses somewhere in the middle; Christmas break is about a month; January is exam time; semester two lectures start in February; another reading week just before the Easter break; three weeks-ish off for Easter; then a final week or two of teaching before revision and exams, and you're finished for the summer by early June. Now that's only my university, but I know people at others who have a similar time-line. Fair enough, some courses are pretty much 9-5 every day, or at least nearly every day, but that is nowhere near the case for every course and so the amount that the fees has jumped to is, in my humble opinion, completely unjustified.

Although I don't pretend to know much about politics or the economy, I do understand that we're in a recession and that cut-backs need to be made, I just question why it has to be such a huge leap. It's so unfair that higher education will now only be available for the rich, or for those who are awarded benefits. It is hardly a progressive society when people who earn their place in university cannot go because of the ludicrous fees.

Alright, rant over. On a lighter note, watch this:

You've probably been living under a rock if you haven't already seen it, but it's still really funny. Enjoy!

Today I'm loving: that My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding is on tonight. I know, it's awful, but I just can't look away.

Today I'm hatin': stupid gone off chicken.

Song of the Day: Song Beneath The Song by Maria Taylor.  
Cryptic words meander/Now there is a song beneath the song/One day you'll learn/You'll soon discern its true meaning

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