Why does our uni only care about medical students?
Other students need love too ok?
Let me start by saying: medical students probably are some of the most important, if not the most important, students at St Andrews. They're going on to to do great things, save lives and generally be wonderful people. However, time and time again the uni has proved that they don't value other students anywhere near as much as medics.
Students of Biology are given lab fees at £12 a semester. These fees, nominal or not, represent another financial divide at this university which does not believe the £9000 or more we pay is enough.
By far the biggest argument for other degrees receiving more from the uni is recorded lectures. Medicine, as an independently governed school, moved to have recorded lectures.
All other schools have to make to do with Powerpoints on the Moodle system, sometimes with just pictures to contend with. This leads to people not missing lectures when they're ill (and making everyone else just as ill) or missing out and not getting the content they need. Medicine being given its own Dean, for one undergraduate course, gives them the freedom to make changes which actually benefit students – with other schools being left with outdated and pointless policies.
One second-year biochemistry student said: 'medics have better lecture theatres, all lectures are recorded as well as higher and more diverse contact hours.' Sounds pretty rubbish.
The biggest nail in the coffin? Graduating students of medicine get poetry books to 'relieve stress'. English students just get a list of books to buy for £80 a go each semester."
We spoke to a medical student about what they needed to buy, which he said were a dissection coat, stethoscope, goggles and a pocket mask. However, dissection kits, scalpel blades and all other lab material is all provided. Whilst it is comforting to know that medical students do have to buy some equipment, that doesn't quite measure up to the £25 course readers that History students have to purchase for each course.
In defence of international medical students, new fees for 2018 applicants are £30,000 per year – £9000 more than international students studying other subjects pay each year. However, it has to be questioned whether education, when it costs so much, should be allowed to value some degrees more than others.
This is not a criticism of our beloved medical students, who else would we show our weird skin rash to? However, we would like more equality within what opportunities are available to other degree pathways, particularly in how much extra equipment or books we are expected to purchase as standard.
And, most importantly, we want recorded lectures too.