ONLY 27 per cent? I’d have thought the true figure would’ve been closer to zero.
Tuition fees are an absolute disgrace even during normal times – £9,250 a year with interest charged on student loans from day one at rates not seen since Wonga collapsed into administration in 2018. For that, pre-pandemic, daughter No.1 got roughly 10 hours a week of face-to-face lectures, tutorials and seminars at one of the best unis in the country – for about 27 weeks a year, the rest of the time they were on holiday.
But after the world turned upside down last March and all teaching moved online, students were charged almost 10 grand a year for glorified YouTube tutorials, Zoom seminars and a correspondence course with documents posted on the internet.
What’s that? It’s a soft debt that students only pay nine per cent of their future earnings on over and above a certain salary?
Debt’s debt, buddy. The borrower is slave to the lender and it will follow our kids around like a bad smell until they’re in their 50s for, in some cases, a fundamentally worthless degree and a foundation course in alcoholism.
What should happen – but won’t – is a suspension in tuition fees backdated to March 2020 when everything shut (comes to just over 12 grand) and the interest on maintenance loans (to pay landlords who still want paying) chalked off until unis are fully open for business. The day that happens, my friend, will be the day a squadron of pigs perform stunts high above Lancaster Castle.
Back in the real world our daughters are home for summer and the defunct school run – last performed in June 2018 – has been replaced by the work run. Both kids lined up summer jobs – there’s so much work around at the minute daughter No.1 got a temporary job for seven weeks while waiting for this one to start – and clock on for their 9-to-5, Monday to Friday shifts, so Dad’s Taxi has come out of retirement. Is it weird that I sort of missed it?