While we have HECS and FEE-HELP so that the cost of uni is deferred (not free as such), it is incredibly difficult to pass university without the right tools, such as very expensive text books.
And I have to disagree that uni is incredibly difficult to pass without buying all the text books. I've done two undergraduate degrees, both times supporting myself. I often used the library text books instead of buying my own - or bought second hand, there is generally little difference between different editions of text books. It wasn't very difficult at all.
Anyway, I wasn't arguing about the cost of uni, I was disagreeing with the notion that we should introduce absolutely free university education. Our system is extremely generous and it is a pet peeve of mine when people complain about it.
My point is that I fully recognize in a lot of other places such choice doesn't exist (eg country areas), I never said all people have the same choice, I have not lead an insular life at all, I've lived at all vertices of the spectrum
If I needed a tutor for my children I'd work out somewhere to cut my budget or pick up an extra days work or something.
When I went back to do my degree as a nature aged student, most if the kids in my classes still lived at home, had dinner cooked for them every night, lived in good areas and had safe transport options getting home in the dark, parents who basically provided an ideal environment for them to have no major worries or stressors thus focus on their study. I dare say they would not have coped as well if they didn't have that support, worked long hours, lived in a dodgy area and relied on public transport at night etc. i supported myself through Uni but when I met my ex he supported me greatly in 3'rd year and I did SO well that year, getting distinctions and credits - I had no worries, it made a big difference
ETA. And just to go back to a point that was being discussed on this thread earlier, I think child care should be government funded so that it is either free or very inexpensive. In part I believe that could have evened up our experiences at uni. If you were able to spend more time on campus and in the campus library that would have made uni much easier.
Last edited by Meg2; 25-09-2013 at 15:05.
Free means not having to pay it back.
They were two different answers, one) text books aren't cheap - they are actually pretty expensive, so yes, if you are poor, then you are disadvantaged in that respects.
two) The question was, if the system works so well overseas, why wouldn't we do it? If it has been proven to work, and proven that governments get their money back in other ways. Then why not?
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