Okay I'm warning you guys, here on out, there may be very few good things said about the university system in Sydney.So, I just checked my fee statement for this semester, in which I am taking 3 courses.
So, I have always known that my courses cost around $1,000+ each, adding up to be about $10,000 a year. For some reason, because this is what I have always known about my degree, I never thought to question it. I never thought to think any further than these top-level amounts. It also helps that I can defer my university payments until after I graduate, something which I believe most students do. Basically, what I'm saying is that all this has contributed in this lulling during my students years where I didn't really question much further into the costs.
But, today, I really thought about it.
$1,200 per course means I am paying $100 each week FOR EACH COURSE.
WHAT THE HELL??????
I'm paying $100 for that shitty two hour lesson where I most likely could've learnt all that by myself, and probably more?
I want to raise this point because I'm not sure students really realise that they're paying $100 each time they go to that tutorial (because lets face it, not a lot of people are going to lectures). And then because they don't realise, they don't think... "Is this lesson REALLY worth my $100?" "Should I be demanding more from my university if I am paying this much?"
Now, I admit that I am biased because I have never been the biggest fan of the university system. Mid last year, I realised that my degree really wasn't making me all that happy and I wasn't excited or enthusiastic about it at all. The subject, the teaching, the way of learning. How could I really believe in a system where students (myself included) can leave everything to the last few days to study, and then still manage to pass? ONLY to forget everything after that semester, before moving onto the next semester, rinse repeat. Okay, so you may say it's our fault for leaving everything to the last minute and that we aren't doing it 'right'. But hey man, if we were able to learn everything in a few days AND STILL DO WELL (aka the system is rewarding these students) then why would we put more effort in? If you want us to learn, give us a system that challenges us to do it.
So at that point, I wanted to quit. But EVERYBODY insisted I not. My mum (the most important person's opinion on this issue, to me, all the people I worked with at my internship, my friends. Many of them said, "It's just one more year". Others said "You need a degree to get a job." So instead of quitting, I deferred my first semester of this year to live in Amsterdam.
And now I've come back for the second semester (I figured I'd finish it off as its technically just 13 weeks + 13 weeks more of class, listen to all the nay-sayers and later on do my own thing). And I'm still constantly wondering if I should drop out.
ESPECIALLY NOW THAT I FULLY REALISE I'M $300 PER WEEK ON CLASS.
I mean, c'mon, now that I've come to a point where I'm really considering where I want each of my dollars to go to, I would barely pay $100 for two hours of ANYTHING. And if I did, I'd better be learning a shitload from it or it'd better be for something I believe is real special. NOT for shitty classes where none of the students want to be there and the teacher isn't exciting them to learn at all.
But I know, I know. These are the decisions I make so I have to live with them, accept and learn from them. But my point at the very least, if you'll excuse my capslock and ranting and admitted biasness, is that I hope you will realise that each lesson you're going to is $100 out of your pocket. It may be future money that Future You will have to pay for, but it's still your money.
And okay, so maybe you're not a student. But I'm sure you know a student. Then just let them know about this little fun $100* fact. Or maybe you don't know a student. Well then I am sure you've seen a university student on the train. Then just think in your head that you hope that poor sucker is getting their money's worth.
* I know that prices vary according to degree. For example, ones I know of include Science courses being around $65/week, Law courses are $100/week, Medicine $100/week.
For me, it's just about raising awareness. Other people can take this news however they want, but for me it's important that they at least know and realise. :)