It is reassuring to know that the University is considering serious ways to better the student experience in the wake of exorbitant tuition fees being burdened upon the student population. With students to be paying upwards of £6000, it is important that there are tangible improvements in their Higher Education, rather than the funds simply being absorbed into University admin.
The notion of students receiving compensation for their text book costs, or even a free laptop is rather appealing – especially to the gullible Sixth Form university applicants. But we have to be careful that continued accessibility to University remains the main focus, and that this isn’t forsaken for the allure of more temporary free benefits.
If the money should be going on anything, it is smaller teaching groups and increased contact hours. What use is a free University laptop if it cannot be put to practical academic use? If it is a choice between lower fees, or free gym membership, there is only one sensible option, for if truth be told, the decision of a potential student to apply to University is likely more to hang on the tuition fee costs, rather than how many freebies they can pick up on the way.