I know that going to University is a privilege, and this is not an act of ungratefulness. It’s an act of solidarity with the families who can’t afford to live where they want to, the staff who’ve lost their jobs, the future students who don’t have a place and the ones who are told they aren’t ‘good enough’.
I learnt a lot in my time at Falmouth from the people who put others first – a huge network of staff, local residents and creative people who supported me in my journey. But I learnt that this experience comes at a price – that, like our health and social care, many universities are governed by a business-centric callousness. It’s a prostitution of education at the expense of others that I no longer want to be part of.
As I’ve said before, creativity is not for sale and we are not your business. After 4 years, I am not just a Bachelor of Arts but a Bachelor of Anxiety - How much more will we have to pay for what was free a generation ago? What part of our lives will be cut next because it doesn’t generate enough income? If my education has been about profit, does it matter who I am and what I’ve learnt?
I know I can’t change how things are run, and I know that the University can provide a myriad of reasons, facts and figures to support their decisions. But I hope that you will begin to understand people’s fears and frustrations, that our voice will be heard and that an honest and equal dialogue can be opened between us all.
Here’s my degree – I don’t want it any more.