More than 50,000 new university students will start next week without their loans because the Student Loans Company is in meltdown. I can understand why the almost-undergraduates are getting sweaty about it. After all, money worries are what you're supposed to have for the 20 years AFTER graduation, not when you begin your course.
But maybe they should see this as an opportunity to live like students used to in the (imaginary?) past. Liberate yourself from RSI of the thumb by taking that long-promised text holiday or even - persih the thought - sell your mobile phone! (lol). Cancel your subscription to Sky Sports. When you go binge-drinking, try meths instead of WKD. Sell your Vauxhall Corsa and get a boneshaker bicycle. Bulk-buy Lidl baked beans and live off them for weeks. And when they run out, try sucking the moisture from a damp cloth. The opportunities are endless, and will reap a magnificent harvest of tall tales to tell your bored children and grandchildren in future years - "I survived for two months on three pence and some polluted rainwater....you kids don't know you were born."
Seriously, before I am the victim of some freshers' pranks, the situation is intolerable. In recent years we've had cock-ups over GCSE and A-level grading, with thousands having to wait for re-marks, then last year's shambolic administration of Sats at primary school. Now this. And the common thread is private companies that are doing what the government (national or local) ought to be doing. These sort of services simply must be brought back under state control. There is enough for new students to worry about, without having no money on day one.
posted on 17 September 2009 13:11 bySteve Downes