Anorak News | Paying The Price

Paying The Price

by | 31st, January 2006

‘WHAT does university mean to you? A chance, as English dandy Max Beerbohm put it, to gently put back the nonsense which was knocked out of you at school?

Is it the opportunity to learn about anthropology, philosophy and all those other ologies that will make you really good at Trivial Pursuit and a whiz at daytime TV quiz shows, the ones you watch in between shifts at the local burger bar?

Or is it about getting a great education?

The Times reports that the brightest legal thinkers at Oxford University want to be sure students know what’s to be gained from three or more years intensive and vigorous drinking.

The University is concerned that the new student fees – from September full-time undergraduates will pay fees of up to £3,000 a year – will mean students demanding value for money.

Students who perform badly in exams might even sue the University for compensation.

So Oxford wants all undergraduates admitted this autumn to sign a legally biding contract requiring them to attend lectures. Failure to attend lectures and tutorials will result in the student being in breach of contract.

In turn, the college agrees to provide the student with library facilities, residential accommodation, and breakfast, lunch and dinner.

But it’s a bit vague on the actual teaching element. The contract says a college must “make such teaching provision for undergraduate students as it reasonably decides is necessary for their courses of study”. This “may” include tutorials, classes and seminars.

As it “reasonably decides”? That sounds a bit woolly. The contract seeks to explain: “Given the variation in courses of study, it is not possible to specify a minimum amount of teaching for undergraduates in all subjects.”

Oh, that’s fine, then. We wouldn’t want the geography scholars to be given the same level of education as the medical students and the trainee lawyers…’

Posted: 31st, January 2006 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink