Sunday, July 16, 2006

No more free education

I went to a information session on a TAFE I.T. course with my partner the other day as he was enrolling. One of the teachers tried to persuade me to enrol as well - said they had husband and wife teams in the course before. I told him I had a full-time job so it wasn't appropriate but I had picked up a brochure about an Associate Degree in writing available externally through the Uni. The info session had made me think, and yearn to learn again. And for a couple of hours, I entertained the thought of enrolling in the degree. Until I checked it out on the uni website and saw the fees. It would cost just under $10,000 and that would take a long time to pay back.

There was a time once when Uni was free in Australia - there was no HECS, no HELP - whatever the heck they call it now - you only paid your compulsory student union fees. I marched in the demonstrations to keep university free but our voices were ignored. My final year of Uni cost me $2000 and was paid back years ago. Now an Arts degree is approx $4500 per year and the student union fees are voluntary?

So my idea of furthering my education won't involve any more university qualifications. I will stick to the day courses at the community college instead.

I was a bit peeved that I had to cough up the enrolment fee for TAFE for my partner, but when you compare it to the cost of the uni degree, it seems like a bargain. And then when I consider the fact that he will be at TAFE, while I have two weeks holiday in August, and will therefore have time to edit, compose collage poetry, and whatever, it is worth every cent!!


Pamela J Weatherill said...

Love your blog and and your Chickollage one too ... collage poetry is sooooo alive isn't it? You might wanna see my Feng Shui Board Collage on my site (tho the photogrpahy isn't great!).

Ian Pye said...

The cost of Uni makes it hard to justify just studying something out of interest, or because it might lead you into a new career direction or something. And to think, we used to whinge about paying the $400-500 or so union fees when I did my degrees.

Dee said...

My degree was almost $20,000; I'll be repaying that one for a while. >_>

The obscene thing isn't even that it costs so fucking much; it's the fact that if you pay upfront or in a lump sum there's a 20% discount. Talk about favouring the rich much! The end result is that uni is full of kids who are either working almost full time just to survive, or full fee paying students with an entitlement complex. My old uni had a fine reuptation for passing full fee paying students irregardless of their actual results. In its defense, it needed the cash; it's one of the lowest government-funded unis in the country.

Higher education is a total mess. Still, it could be worse...