As an English student, there are a few things that have occurred to me in my 17 weeks of learning. By the way, I only have three weeks left of my first year which is the first issue. They clearly do not know how to count. How can they call it a year when only 20 weeks are spent in learning. Out of those twenty weeks, only 160 are spent in the lecture hall or classroom and how many hours are there in 20 weeks? 3360. When you look at it in this way, it is utterly despicable that they are charging students £9,000 a year. They can argue however much they want about the cost of a degree but I can say with utmost certainty that we English Degree students are not getting our money’s worth. If they want us to do independent learning, then surely the cost cannot be this high? IF it is then they need to restructure how they work for they are clearly being wasteful.
Sometimes when talking about university, you try to talk about things in a calm and logical manner but the arguments that come back at you are so ludicrous and those in charge simply do not want to listen. Money, money, money. Oh don’t worry, the degree will benefit you in the future. Yes we all know that but don’t try to dupe us into complying with high fees so that you can continue funding your own pockets and research at our expense.
I was not going to talk about the money issue because what concerns me more at the moment is that I am beginning to feel that I haven’t been stretched enough. Yes, some of the texts may be difficult and a terrible bore to read but the main factor is that so far, I have not been as inspired as I was hoping to be.
At University, they love to talk about many things but you often wonder whether many of their things are worth talking about. Everybody has their own interests, yet all students are required to study Medieval Literature and Early Modern Literature in their first year as well as their second. They told me that these things are important to learn as the modules will teach me about the roots and history of the English language but in all honesty, they haven’t. Maybe if they slowed down instead of whizzing through one book every week (in just an hour lecture) then we would have all learnt something. I know that I speak for my fellow students too when I say this as discussing before seminars have shown yet just like when the seminar leader enters and we all remain quiet, we do the same throughout our degree, thinking the university knows best.
I do not dislike university. They are trying to give us an education but I think they need to start thinking about revamping their ways of teaching. Many universities like to claim their ancient roots (oldest department in the galaxy) but what if this very veneration is preventing them from progress?
Criticising your degree can actually be quite difficult. We as students, and English students especially, tend to defend our degree choices vigorously because of the stick we have received for choosing it in the first place. (Oh what are you going to do with English?) I mean, I would never say such things to my dad as his response would simply be told you! However, I am not complaining about my degree choice, I am complaining about how it is taught and the way universities work which I am quite free to do, if those end of semester feedback forms are anything to go by.
Speaking of the word semester, I was talking to my a-levels teacher the other day when I used the word semester and she went ooh! Proper university student now aren’t you?
Anyway, until next time peeps!
A Worried Student