“Mama, I hope my Uni doesn’t fall over…”

Yesterday the girl-child went back to Uni for the final year of her Degree.
I like to chat to her and compare my Uni experience with hers.

She displayed disappointment at the changes she has observed in the 3 years she’s been at Uni. These include, student union services diminishing, access to lecturers and their individual time diminishing, number of student to tutor ratio increasing (if tutorials are offered at all), and overall student numbers diminishing, she describes it as…sad,

“It’s sad mama, there are no places left to meet up. We don’t stay at Uni any longer than is necessary ‘cos the parking is just too expensive (public transport from here to there would take 2.5 hours one way.) No one seems to care anymore. All my lecturers seem so defeated and it’s rubbing off on us. I hope my Uni doesn’t fall over.”

She tells me that only 25 percent of people she began the course with are still attempting to complete it.

What are we allowing this government to do to our tertiary education? Or should the question be “What are we allowing this government to not do for our tertiary education?”

As described by the girl-child, the 2005 University experience has lost much of what was delicious about being at Uni. The endless debates and discussions after, before and during seminars. The cross pollination of disciplines as you inadvertently sat with a group of anthropology students and were delighted by what you found. What fun to know if, after listening, you were more a multi-modal or out-of-Africa type of person…

Ok, I am a romantic and I accept that not everyone wants the same Uni experience, but is the best we can do now a form of ‘assembly-line’ learning?










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