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AIBU to think you can't expect friends and acquaintances to fund your postgraduate dreams?

(116 Posts)
FickleByNurture Fri 17-Jul-15 15:53:45

A friend of mine in his late 20s has just asked me to donate to his GoFundMe. He wants to do a PhD but says he can't afford it. He's looking for ~£20k in donations.

He says that he's been accepted for a PhD, which IME you will be if you offer to self fund and all that is standing in his way is his supposed poverty.

My problem with it is that it's not in a subject that will benefit society by its study, like medicine, science or engineering. It's a humanities subject. It's not at a prestigious university either, in case that is stopping him from getting a concurrent job. His family isn't really loaded but they aren't on the breadline - all the kids went to private school, live in an affluent part of the country etc. I'm not even sure it'll get him a better chance at employment to be honest. I'm struggling to see why he thinks that his friends, acquaintances and friends of friends (he's nagging us all to "share" the campaign) should fund him to potter about in higher education for a few years. AIBU?

CalleighDoodle Fri 17-Jul-15 15:55:52

Yes yabu. Youre not wrong that he shouldnt expect it, but he can ask.

Fatmomma99 Fri 17-Jul-15 16:03:39

Just don't donate.

mistymeanour Fri 17-Jul-15 16:04:37

He can ask but just don't give. It's a bit like people asking for sponsorship to pay for their "charity" trip to the Great Wall of China or the like - people feel embarassed to say no to a friend or feel that everyone will think they are somehow tight or miserly. We need to get tougher and not feel that discomfort.

formerbabe Fri 17-Jul-15 16:06:20

Yanbu! Generally, I find people who piss around being students well into adulthood very self indulgent.

FurtherSupport Fri 17-Jul-15 16:08:30

People being sponsored to study is nothing new I suppose, although I tend to agree with you OP.

Does he actually have a realistic chance of raising the money? I can't think of anyone who'd give more than a fiver (although there may well be quite a few who'd be embarrassed to say no)

FickleByNurture Fri 17-Jul-15 16:10:08

I mean, I'd rather like to spend another three years learning about something interesting instead of my incredibly tedious office job but if I couldn't think of a sensible way to get the money I just wouldn't.

I don't really aprove of the majority of GoFundMe requests. It feels like electronic begging.

gabsdot45 Fri 17-Jul-15 16:11:06

Let him get a student loan if he wants it that badly.

blankblink Fri 17-Jul-15 16:11:10

Why can't he work, live at his parents' just about rent-free and fund himself?

Tell him to GoFund Off.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Fri 17-Jul-15 16:11:42

YANBU - I wouldn't put money into a fund for this reason.

ahphoque Fri 17-Jul-15 16:11:53

People who fundraise for self indulgent things such as this piss me off, especially those who like PP said, fundraise for their "charity work" to exotic countries, where in reality they spend 1 week in an orphanage then go on a month long jolly.

MrsGentlyBenevolent Fri 17-Jul-15 16:14:33

He's not being unreasonable in asking - you don't ask, you don't get. Are you suggesting that PHDs should only be accesable to those who can afford it off their own (or parents) back? He's showing iniative at least.

You're not being unreasonable not wanting to support him in it though, that's your choice. I personally wouldn't, I could probably think of better things to 'fund'. I am in part quite jealous, I would love to study to my heart's content if I could find the money.

FickleByNurture Fri 17-Jul-15 16:15:31

This isn't realistically benefiting anyone but himself. He has just got married so probably can't live at home. His DP is job hunting at the moment.

FickleByNurture Fri 17-Jul-15 16:17:08

If it's an important phd the uni provides some funding. A lot of much poorer friends have managed to do a PhD without substantial savings or family funds.

FickleByNurture Fri 17-Jul-15 16:18:38

Important is an odd word. I mean something that people with money are interested in funding postgraduate research in which rarely tends to be humanties based.

ActiviaYoghurt Fri 17-Jul-15 16:19:18

He should work in sales with that attitude, save on the PDH and get selling,

seriously this guy is taking the pish

Anon4Now2015 Fri 17-Jul-15 16:22:10

My problem with it is that it's not in a subject that will benefit society by its study, like medicine, science or engineering. It's a humanities subject.

Humanities PhDs include things like how to achieve better outcomes for children in care, how to provide better home-based care to the elderly, how to improve mental health support for people undergoing fertility treatment, how drama therapy can be used to help children who have been sexually abused, how conflict can be reduced in war zones, how international aid van be targetted and prioritised, how to introduce education programmes for children with SEN. Clearly none of these are of benefit to society at all.

FickleByNurture Fri 17-Jul-15 16:24:16

I was trying to be vague on purpose - but it's history based. Not social studies or anything like that.

Anon4Now2015 Fri 17-Jul-15 16:27:02

Important is an odd word. I mean something that people with money are interested in funding postgraduate research in which rarely tends to be humanties based.

And you're right - the types of PHD research I mentioned rarely get funding (mainly because the industries themselves are currently struggling to survive with budget cuts). We're just incredibly lucky that some PhD students slog themselves to self-fund because without their research lots of social care and conflict-resolution advancements would never have been made.

Sometimesjustonesecond Fri 17-Jul-15 16:28:18

If he can afford to educate his kids privately, he's better off than the vast majority and can finance his own education.

comingintomyown Fri 17-Jul-15 16:31:31

YANBU I have never been approached like this and am staggered such things as GoFundMe exist , Mumsnet that endless mine of information !

Anon4Now2015 Fri 17-Jul-15 16:31:33

I was trying to be vague on purpose - but it's history based. Not social studies or anything like that.

I have a friend with a history PhD which if you asked him to sum it up in a sentence, those unfamiliar with the field would think was a complete and utter waste of time and money. He actually published two books out of it which many people would claim should be influencing the direction of the government's education policy.

Someone else I know's history PhD will hopefully change how museums can make themselves accessible to children with SEN. Again unless you were either very familiar with the field or listened to her conversations about it at length you would never know this.

DoesItReallyMatter Fri 17-Jul-15 16:32:38

Cheeky bugger - I hide his FB posts

GetTheCarPenfold Fri 17-Jul-15 16:33:04

YA(SOOOO)NBU.

It's horribly grabby. He has a dream career path, but wants to get there as quickly as possible rather than earning and saving the money to do it in the future. He wants to do it now, right now, but doesn't have the money to do that so is looking for someone else to sub him.

If he asks just say you're saving up to fund your own higher level studies in a few years time when you've earned/saved up enough.

A private education doesn't seem to have taught him much social responsibility about making your own way and not being a chancer, does it ?

PosterEh Fri 17-Jul-15 16:33:15

I'd potentially be happy to donate if I thought he was competent and I found the project interesting.

Should probably add: Not him specifically, but in general grin

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