9 October 2012

Scouts Speak Up

This past weekend I went to Birmingham. One of the main objectives was to see a friend who I went to Explorers with, but the other was that we were going to the Conservative party version of Scouts Speak Up. An event where Scouts under the age of 25 are invited to speak to politicians. It's a fairly open event and you have to apply to go.

For me this was a bit of a surreal experience and a situation I wouldn't normally put myself into, but I actually kind of enjoyed it. The event officially lasted for 2 hours, although I'm fairly sure it probably extended a couple of hours either side of the time-scale. The first hour of the event we were put around tables in groups of roughly 10 and were able to speak to conservative MPs and ask them their opinions about current political issues and get our viewpoints across. 

On the table where my friend and I were sat the main topic of conversation was Uni tuition fees. Both of us, as well as a couple of others at the table, are at University on the lower fees of approximately £3600, but there were 3 at our table who were planning on going to University next year with the new higher fees of approx £9000. It raised some interesting points. Firstly someone asked what extra they would get for the £6000 extra they're paying, to be honest the answer was not much. They're paying much more for exactly the same courses people in my year were able to take, and the reason why is that the Government wants more money to fuel into different directions. It was also suggested that maybe too many people from my generation are being herded into higher education, a point I'd agree with, much though I wanted to go to Uni I definitely felt pressure to attend. We also wondered why with the fees being so high more courses aren't offered which run through the summer. I love having a four month summer, it's brilliant, it allows a lot of opportunities I'll never get again, but It does question whether we're getting as much from our time as we could be. One guy even said that he's a part time student and hour for hour his course costs him £50 for every hour he spends there, with lectures running a standard of 50 minutes that's £1 for every minute!

We talked about some other topics which I found less relevant and didn't really stick with me so much. But then in the second hour we listened to a guest speaker who spoke about his journey into politics and his ambition for there to be more volunteer schemes and clubs run from school buildings which he thinks should be open for free to such groups. I think this would be fantastic. There are a lot of clubs who need the rooms and have to spend a huge part of their funding hiring spaces. 

All in all it was an interesting Sunday!

What are your views on these topics?


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