Why Arts students don’t get value for money

With three year courses resulting in 27 grand debt for all students, you’d think that your degree was value for money. It’s not like we have state of the art equipment or teaching facilities, so where on earth is our dosh going?

Arts degrees students tuition fees university

I’m one of the lucky ones who escaped the triple fees, but plenty of people who weren’t so lucky argue that fee hike has not resulted in any extra benefits for Arts students.

Obviously,  arts degrees are not vocational – they offer a more diverse approach to study, with a variety of potential career prospects if you get your act together after uni.

However, they don’t provide guaranteed careers. Which is a problem when there’s more unemployed students than ever before, as we are constantly told by our parents, neighbours, friends, milk men and Huw Edwards on the 10 o’clock news.

Choosing an arts degree is your choice, and it leaves you responsible for building a career, but why should you have to pay £9,000 a year when other degrees, like medicine or dentistry, offer jobs at the end of the line?

Arts students are not renowned for their hard work or motivation, but they still don’t deserve to be ripped off. There’s normally a resounding hurrah when you look at your timetable and have no 9AMs, and you only have to roll out of bed for 5 hours a week. But then you start to think during your fourth lie in: what exactly am I paying for?

Arts students have less contact hours because a lot of time should be devoted to outside study, which means they’re essentially paying for the privilege of using the library.

I wouldn’t mind so much if there were multiple copies of all the books you need, but more often than not, the dreaded ‘due in’ notice appears on the screen as you search for a module’s key text.

You can always buy it online, but only if you’re willing to pay upwards of £20 (not including postage and packaging). Your library card does not justify a hefty £27,000 debt.

Then there’s paying for module handbooks and essays to be printed out. Other degrees provide equipment and resources other than old library books.

It’s not like arts students are even offered free field trips, this being the only practical side of an arts degree which could be catered for by the university. Where is the tutition money going if it’s not paying for the meagre amount of handouts that arts student have to print out?

Other than on pay rises for uni head honchos, that is.

I’m not saying that we should pay less than other degrees, because that would result in people choosing courses for money over enjoyment or vocation. There’s no sense in forcing someone who has their heart set on physics to do history at uni, just because they can’t afford to study science.

Nevertheless, something should be done about the lack of balance in value for money.

Of course there are trials and tribulations to all degrees. We’re lucky that we can enjoy a better social life across the three years (apart from the torture of third year, of course). Thursday nights are no longer ‘student night’, but ‘get to bed early so you can go to the library the next day’ night.

I’m not expecting trips to the Taj Mahal or a rocket flight round the moon, but a bit more than a library card and a few lectures a week would be nice.

We are all ripped off by the fees but Arts students are getting the worst end of a dodgy deal.