Very few people like to pay more money. Even fewer like to pay more money for something they already have. A lift on the cap for tuition fees was never going to be any different. We’re upset. Whether it’s for the rapidly widening hole in our own pocket, for our younger siblings set to bear the full brunt of this proposed change or indeed for the proportion of society that we represent; why would we ever just sit down and accept this?
Some may be of the view that protesting is not effective; that it doesn’t reap results. However, it’s about far more than that. Whilst we may be able to understand the pressures on our government, the gargantuan deficit that they must correct, even their reluctance to cut so aggressively; to not pull ourselves out of the slump of apathy that seems to have plagued the student’s public image would be an enormous shame. For once we are in a position where we can really change something and get involved.
We live in a society where we’ve been taught, and with good cause, that an education, especially a university education, is vital. To have a government turn around and tell us that we may no longer afford to have such a right. Despite government promises of provisions for those who are financially insecure, there will be those who slip through the gaps. Equally, having a greater body decide which areas deserve more investment and support further reduces our inherent right to choose. But it’s about more that just money. The ‘student experience’ is just as valuable. Who knows who we would have become, what we would have missed but for that society we joined, that conversation we once had, that Wednesday night we remember oh so well. Truthfully, not every student disagrees with Lord Browne’s suggestions. Even over the roar of student anger and disbelief, we can still hear that solitary voice at the back of the hall, sometimes quietly but often assuredly presenting their own, opposing view. That’s not a bad thing. Everyone deserves to have their voice heard, and that’s precisely why, if we do believe that this is not the only option, that this is wrong, we must protest. It’s time for us to sit up; to think about our social responsibility but most of all, to put a price on our education.