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To think it used to be free/way cheaper to go to university??

104 replies

Univercities · 23/12/2019 20:38

When I went to university to do my degree it was practically free (republic of Ireland) I had to pay €800 per year registration fee (which I worked/saved for every summer) and that was it!! I was very lucky that my parents paid my accommodation fees(which included bill costs)! Approximately 4K per year. But I worked every weekend and lived off that money!
Then when I did my PGCE in the uk I paid approximately 3k but got it back throughout the year! I had worked all summer and saved 2.5k to live off and then used the 3k to pay rent and other costs (£62 per week)

I know I was lucky! But has it changed dramatically since or were ppl always taking out loans etc?? That was only 10years ago! NC’d!

OP posts:

NoncePieforSanta · 23/12/2019 20:40

Loans have existed since 1992, iirc


NoncePieforSanta · 23/12/2019 20:41

(in the UK at least - and tuition fees came in something like 98/99)


Univercities · 23/12/2019 20:47

@NoncePieforSanta interesting 🤔

OP posts:

YourOpinionIsNoted · 23/12/2019 20:49

I was in uni 2003-2006. Paid £1,200 tuition a year and because I went for the cheapest halls in my first year at £2,800 for the year I could pay the whole lot from my 3k loan. Worked to fund living costs.

When I did my pgce straight after, so 06-07, the fees had jumped up to 3k. Luckily I had a 9k bursary which meant this was ok, but it felt like a real hike.

The cost now is insane. I didn't do a masters (despite getting a first Angry) because I couldn't afford it. These days I'm not sure it would have been such a given that I'd have even gone to uni in the first place. I know there's loans etc but the level of debt is unbelievable. I'm still paying off my student loans now.


Cherrysoup · 23/12/2019 20:51

Go to Europe to study? Lots of courses are run in English. One of my 6th formers went to Sweden, I think.


bridgetreilly · 23/12/2019 20:51

No idea about ROI. In the UK it changed dramatically when Labour introduced tuition fees and replaced the maintenance grant with the maintenance loan.

But these are easily google-able facts, not a matter of opinion. YABU to ask about it here.


Sparklesocks · 23/12/2019 20:51

Rising Tuition fees have changed things yes. I paid £3k a year for university in the late 00s and I thought it was high at the time (because a few years before they paid much less) but that’s nothing compared to the £9k a year now.


itgetshardereveryday · 23/12/2019 20:52

No idea about ROI. In the UK it changed dramatically when Labour introduced tuition fees and replaced the maintenance grant with the maintenance loan.

There are no tuition fees in Scotland.


halocompanach · 23/12/2019 20:52

3k for a PGCE, you got a bargain! For somebody on a full maintenance loan with a child the debt is now nearer to 20k. Plus if you do a PGCE and go into a second academic year you are not entitled to a maintenance loan.


Golfcart · 23/12/2019 20:53

My university was entirely free.


YourOpinionIsNoted · 23/12/2019 20:53

I know halo, it's terrible now.


lljkk · 23/12/2019 20:55

I knew postgrads in early 1990s who were desperately living on their overdrafts.


Boulshired · 23/12/2019 20:56

Whilst it maybe expensive for my oldest two it is very much available to them. I would never of believed I could of afforded university (late 80s) with no back up from parents. Definitely more children from my old council estate go to university now than they did in my era.


smemorata · 23/12/2019 20:57

I graduated in 1996 and didn't pay fees - also got some help with Hall fees. (Although our hall was pretty basic - I doubt whether today's students would accept shared rooms and one shower for 12 students!).


DareDevil223 · 23/12/2019 20:59

I graduated in 1989. University was free and I got a full grant to live on. My son graduated in 2015 and it was a very, very different story.


Davros · 23/12/2019 20:59

In the late 70s my friends who went to uni paid nothing, easily got grants and were paid the dole in the holidays. They sometimes took cash in hand jobs in the holidays too if they felt like it. I was working then and students were real piss takers


Univercities · 23/12/2019 21:00

Wow, some varied responses!! I can’t imagine starting fresh out of university with major debt! Sad

OP posts:

Ragwort · 23/12/2019 21:04

Davros that was probably me, Blush, no fees to pay, easy to get a full grant, dossy course, easy to get cash in hand jobs, rent was cheap as chips (very dodgy housing though) and no debts when you left .... different story now my DS is at Uni.


SabineUndine · 23/12/2019 21:07

I went to uni in the 1980s. I got a full grant (no parental contribution) and my fees paid by my local authority. The grant was enough to live on, BUT the standard of accommodation was often much lower than it seems to be these days. It was the height of Thatcherism though, hard to find jobs and also quite hard to find somewhere cheap to live.


rednsparkley · 23/12/2019 21:10

I graduated in 1996 and my parents had to cover everything as I didn't qualify for a grant. I got a £3k loan in my final year (max amount). Living was cheaper - and of course we didn't need to pay for mobile phones, laptops, tablets etc as they didn't exist. Hardly any students had cars.

Being a student then was way different - we lived in ancient halls with shared shower blocks. When I lived out of halls the accomodation was HMOs run by slum landlords. None of the purpose built accomodation with en-suites that unis trumpet about now.

Going to university now has become a business with kids and their parents as the customers. Obviously if you are paying for a service, you expect a return on your investment. It's a different beast to my day


isseywith4vampirecats · 23/12/2019 21:11

My OH did his degree masters and PHD in the 70s/early 80s and he got full grant and no fees so yes then it was free to go to uni nowadays I don't know how parents afford the top ups they need to add to student loans


OllyBJolly · 23/12/2019 21:12

Yep - I was one of these seventies students. No fees, £2k per year grant plus travel expenses (£400 pa) plus the dole for Christmas and Easter and easy to find summer jobs.

So lucky to be of that generation. I really do appreciate that every day. Today's kids have a much tougher time.

students were real piss takers Only 10% of school leavers went to university then.


Davros · 23/12/2019 21:32

I seemed to know most of the 10%!


coconuttelegraph · 23/12/2019 21:39

Are you asking if student funding has changed? Of course it has, massively, university was free when I did my degree, the only debt students had was their overdrafts if they couldn't live on their grants or parental contributions. There must be loads of information about all the changes online


TheSquitz · 23/12/2019 21:45

I graduated in 1988 then did my PGCE. All funded by a full grant.

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