To get increasingly annoyed at the mention of 'Uni funds' on here?

(131 Posts)
WincyWillis Wed 03-Oct-12 15:03:22

Am I?

Not a thread about a thread as such but I've seen it mentioned several times on here recently, in an "Everybody must start a uni fund for their child or they're a terrible parent" way. Firstly, not everyone's children want to or have the ability to got Uni. Secondly, many people don't have any spare money at the end of each month and can barely cover bills, let alone save towards a Uni fund. Also, it's perfectly possible for a child to fund his/herself through Uni, as my friend's 3 teenage children are currently doing. There is no need for Mummy and Daddy to have a Uni fund.

And the phrase makes my teeth itch!

whiskyplease Wed 03-Oct-12 16:38:29

I worked at a UNIVERSITY for over 20 years. It was always called a UNIVERSITY by staff, students, telephone callers. To me the only people who say uni are those who will be wobblers all the way through (e.g. the parent who was amazed that little Tommy wouldn't be provided with his own microwave. Turned out it wasn't the only thing he couldn't cope with).

Puts on flameproof suit and inverted snobbery guard and waits for the flames of hell.

adeucalione Wed 03-Oct-12 16:43:31

Well I'm not saving anything at all towards university costs, and have told DC that they are on their own and will have to apply for tuition and maintenance loans.

I can't think of anything more bananas than giving DC cash that they could borrow on extremely preferential terms, and may never have to repay at all.

Incidentally, maintenance loans of 65% of the maximum entitlement are not means tested, although wealthier parents will be expected to make up the 35% shortfall I expect (or student gets a holiday job).

adeucalione Wed 03-Oct-12 16:44:20

And Uni doesn't bother me, nether does phone, fridge or pram, all of which probably had someone reaching for the smelling salts when they were first used.

Shakeyshakes Wed 03-Oct-12 16:52:14

Lots of people dont have "Uni" funds but are screwed over with the current system of grants etc.

All those families that bring their kids up on low incomes with no spare money to save or put away, striving for years to better themselves and then when they finally do start to earn a better income are classed as being well off and their kids not entitled to grants etc because they so say come from a well off family.

Too skint to save anything or much at all for years followed by earning enough to put £50 to £100 a month away maybe a year before their kids go to uni but not entitled to much help at all.

They are the ones that are completely buggered.

marshmallowpies Wed 03-Oct-12 16:56:15

I definitely agree the implication everyone 'should' be saving is wrong, and referring to a 'uni fund' desperately middle class and smug...but...but...

...I didn't pay tuition fees (graduated the last year before they came in) and I disagree with them (and protested against them at the time). I believe students should work or get loans to help support themselves, but the education itself should be free.

So I intend, if DD wants to go to uni, to pay her tuition fees and contribute to her rent, but to pay for living expenses she will need a job or a loan.

That at least puts her on a level playing field with the situation I was in in the 90's (I took out student loans and worked in the holidays) - it doesn't mean she will be in no debt, but it won't be as ruinous as it might otherwise be.

To me, it's about making a personal stand against fees. I don't think any student should have to pay them, the least I can do is rescue my own child from having to pay them.

We only have 1 DC so far, though. If we have 2, it would be a challenge to save enough to pay for both fees. And I'm not dead set that my children have to go to uni, but I guess would use the equivalent saved money for vocational training or something else relevant to their future.

DontmindifIdo Wed 03-Oct-12 17:00:12

BTW - I went to a redbrick university in the last Century - it was called 'uni' then. You have to be really old to think uni is a 'new' word... wink

ethelb Wed 03-Oct-12 17:04:32

You are assuming maintence loans and fee loans will be available in 15 years.

rollmeover Wed 03-Oct-12 17:05:04

I dont really see whats wrong in having a fund for education whatever you call it!
So YABU in that sense. We are lucky enough to be able to save some money each month for our daughter (and subsequent children) and in my head its a uni fund, though if she wants to start her own business, or needs it to pursue a sport or activity or travel the world or put it towards a deposit on a house then thats all good too. Or if our circumastances drastically change then I will spend it!

I certainly would never judge anyone who couldn't afford it for not having one despite working hard, as these are exactly the people whose children should get support for higher and further education.

lubeybooby Wed 03-Oct-12 17:06:01

Well, like it or not if your kids intend to go to uni you're going to need one.

A lot of stuff needs paying upfront before grants and loans etc come through, so even if you qualify for full funding and loans etc you could be seriously up the creek without a fund.

MY DD is 16 and I've been glad of all the posts on here about unexpected costs, paying for accomodation upfront, and uni funds, etc - as I now know what's coming.

CelineMcBean Wed 03-Oct-12 17:06:07

YABU. Get annoyed at the fact people need a uni fund to be able to go. Be annoyed at the politicians who enjoyed grants and free higher education making these decisions. Get annoyed at these changes to £9,000pa fees being brought in with barely any notice and certainly not enough to save that sort of amount unless you're super wealthy. Get annoyed that social mobility is all but erroded in the UK.

Don't get annoyed at people seeing that the options for people without a uni fund are less than those of their wealthier peers and ability has very little to do with opportunity these days.

perfectstorm Wed 03-Oct-12 17:06:48

How do you force an 18 year old to go to uni? Threaten to email all their friends with embarassing childhood anecdotes, illustrated with naked baby pics?

The reality is that parents are now expected (though not made, which causes all kinds of issues, tbh) to subsidise their kids at university unless they earn less than half the country do. From the number of threads on here where parents say they can't afford to do that, then saving sounds wise. If you earn below the threshold, then your kids get full help, anyway.

The world where you didn't need to help your child go to university altered when over half the population started going. The funding for that level of tertiary attendance just isn't there. I think it's a good thing if those who can afford it start setting aside the wherewithal early.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 03-Oct-12 17:07:59

YABU... Just because you can't afford to save anything for your kids' future, why get upset that others are more fortunate and are planning ahead? Does everyone have to be like you?

TunipTheVegemal Wed 03-Oct-12 17:10:36

People in England started saying 'uni' a lot in the late 80s when Australian soaps were popular.
That's a long time ago now!

AThingInYourLife Wed 03-Oct-12 17:11:33

It's a bit silly to be complaining about one dickish phrase using the dickishest phrase of all time.

I'd take a hundred "uni funds" over a single utterance of the unspeakable "first world problem".

MoominmammasHandbag Wed 03-Oct-12 17:13:43

Waved DS1 off to Uni a couple of weeks ago. Because of our income he is allowed to borrow £3500. His halls alone are well over £5000. So if we hadn't saved a Uni fund he'd be pretty stuffed wouldn't he? Lots of his more disadvantaged friends are getting thousands in grants and bursaries. There is an argument that he is losing out because of our hard work. And yes I do personally know people people manipulating their income to be under the grants/loans threshold.

perfectstorm Wed 03-Oct-12 17:16:30

How is a very obvious abbreviation "a dickish phrase", anyway? It's not like people who call Sainsburys "Sainsbos" or "Sainsbugs". It's just shortening a 5 syllable word. Unless people also prefer to say they're putting their perambulator in the boot of their mechanised carriage so they can meet their friend for luncheon, I don't really see the problem.

smalltown Wed 03-Oct-12 17:22:21

Could we call it a Poly fund instead?
I too went in the last century when there was a clear distinction between a proper uni & a poly smile

Narked Wed 03-Oct-12 17:25:55

Exactly MoominMammasHandbag.

PropertyNightmare Wed 03-Oct-12 17:29:13

Each of my four dc have 'child trust funds'. They can use them towards Uni should they decide to go. To have specific 'Uni fund' seems rather presumptuous!

messtins Wed 03-Oct-12 17:34:49

We hope our children will want to go to university. If they do it will cost an arm and a leg. We will be in an income bracket where they don't get full loans and will be expected to have parental contributions. We can afford to save a bit now towards those expenses. Where exactly are we being annoying??
If they turn out not to want to go to university then those same funds will be available for other training, or to give them a leg-up onto the housing ladder, or for anything else we deem sensible at the time. What would you prefer we called it?
It doesn't make you a bad parent if you don't or can't afford to do this, but if you can then surely it's sensible.

Startailoforangeandgold Wed 03-Oct-12 17:36:34

Fucking government have taken our Chidbenifit, that was my two's 'Uni Fund'

PropertyNightmare Wed 03-Oct-12 17:42:00

Agree that if you can afford to pay into a fund for your dc on a regular basis then it is sensible to do so. It could go towards a house deposit or similar if Uni funds end up not being needed.

Thowra Wed 03-Oct-12 17:43:38

If you are a family with two working parents, you are going to need to find several hundred pounds a month for DC at university. whether that is squeezed from current budget, or relatives, or a 'Uni Fund', or the student will have to find work (quite a lot of work, to the detriment of their studies.) Or, not go.

Single parents, or those where one parent chooses not to work, or two parents choose to work very little, may not need to find the money, as the government and universities will pay for their children. With bursaries, a low income student is about twice as well off as our DD will be at university, so we have to make up the shortfall - it's about £4.5k per year * wibble *.

the figures are here, scroll down a bit. remember that on top of this, the 'poorest' students get an additional bursary from the uni which can be £3k.

Expect student accomodation to be £4K + per year outside London.

http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/@educ/documents/digitalasset/dg_201963.pdf

Thowra Wed 03-Oct-12 17:44:55
Mintyy Wed 03-Oct-12 17:46:10

Honestly, honestly, honestly, I cannot believe you are so wound up by this (apart from the use of the word Uni, on which I agree with you).

If people cannot afford to start one then I guess they just won't at the moment, but might put a little aside when times are better?

Did you not know that a lot of people on Mumsnet are middle class?

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