University of Life — Sybil Fennell

The University of Life may soon be the only university accessible to the majority.

Seriously — annual tuition fees of £9,250 for (just about) all undergraduate courses ?

That’s an incredible burden of debt to ask a young person to shoulder.

But wait — there’s more. Add accommodation, food, travel, books, insurance, a phone and the total soars well above £15,000 a year — that’s before you join a gym, a society, or even consider socialising or any other activities.

I have struggled and juggled and tried every keyword search, but there is no way to balance the books — to make this even remotely affordable. I’m running in ever decreasing circles chasing a solution that isn’t there.

Is this really what we want — that a university degree is available only either to those who are bankrolled by their parents, or who are comfortable moving into their young adult life with a debt of almost £50,000 ?

Having spent a lifetime cajoling my children to work during their holidays, to avoid debt, to buy only what they can afford, to avoid Credit Cards I can’t believe that I am now asking them to add their signatures to documents that will shackle them to a repayment plan that could last 30 years.

How have we got this so wrong?

Originally published at on July 16, 2017.