I was due to complete my GCSE’s in 2004 in Cambridge with it already being decided that I ‘had’ to go to college as it was the next step. I applied, got accepted but 3 months before I sat my final A Level exams I decided actually, this isn’t for me. I felt like I was conditioned to go to college and not look at what else is available for me. And once I was there, it was all about going to University. In all honesty, I had no intentions of going to University because I wanted practical experience.
So I quit. I went out to work in the private sector, worked my way up over 4 years to earn a good salary within the Human Resources field. But unfortunately, I hit the barrier to move into management as I didn’t have a degree.
This made me realise that there are so many people that want to go back to education, but it’s not as easy as it is for those fresh out of college. The learning is different, their circumstances may be very different from the average 18 year old and the expectations can vary dramatically.
I went to the previous DEMO back in 2010 and at the time, I believed we could really reverse the change in tuition fees. Now I realise that we are just puppets in a bigger game but we should cut the strings and be intelligently working with government to help shape the future of education.
I am going to the DEMO to support the students of Anglia Ruskin University, their families and friends on taking the future of education in to their own hands. I am also going because I feel there is a distinct lack of accessibility to education for people who want to go into higher education later on in life and perhaps don’t have the standardised qualifications, or those who want a career change or set their own businesses up. But alongside the DEMO, there needs to be intelligent lobbying in the corridors of parliament, influencing policy change with the key decision makers and gaining respect for the 2.5 million students but the millions of those who want to enter education.
What are your views on our education system? Will you be joining us at the demo next week?
You can find out about the Demo from the NUS website and for details of what we're doing for Demo and sign up to come with us, visit our Demo pages.