Monday, 2 June 2008

I'm a student, get me out of here?

I certainly don't pretend that I am the first person to comment on this, in fact from the look at the newspapers over the last few days I may in fact be the last - but the fact I have been moved to means that I must. Why should innocent people suffer my constant ranting merely because the SNP Government has a beef with poor students. Local Income Tax - the policy that will tax students who have to work 21 hours a week or above - is the latest bludgeon.

Now I graduated more years ago than I care admit, but it did sometimes stick in my craw while at uni that I, from a home with little money, had to work in the evenings and weekends whereas others a dash more fortunate than myself were able to use that time for other pursuits - be the curricular or extra. But I made my peace with it as my mother would have done the same for me if she could.

However, now thanks to a 'socially-democratic' (that is what they say, is it not?) Scottish Government, poorer students aren't so much put at a disadvantage - but are being crushed into the ground. How dare you need to work to support yourself in your studies! How dare you have the audicity to think that you should have an opportunity to learn!

The reality - sad as it is - is that people from poorer backgrounds often need to work or else university becomes an unsustainable aspiration.

For all the SNP talk of 'free universal education' being restored - it's only for those who can afford it.