As the academic year draws to a close those on the way out await their final grades with anything from suave confidence to meek acceptance. And while this is going on the universities and colleges are beginning to make plans for next year’s arrival of freshmen, literally, “fresh men” a term with erotic connotations – or is that just me?
But this taken-for-granted image is no longer a true as it once was. The “fresh men” (and women) will be joined by crones, craggy gentleman and parents. In fact, Derby university found that last year’s intake were one third mature students, which means, they were over 21 when they joined. Most of these late-comers studied business or work-related majors.
However a report by the National Union of Students and universities’ think-tank “Million Plus” says that many older people will become disenfranchised from higher education by the astronomically high tuition fees which could have a knock-on effect on the nation’s holy of holies… the blessed economy.
Just like the Inca gods needed human blood to survive our nation’s economy also needs human life energy in the form of money to feed its unweildy obese body. As the money runs low our god becomes weaker and the gods of other countries become more powerful and this makes us scared.
Despite this, the trend of older people attending college has not dropped away as many people still feel that the benefits of higher education out-weigh the financial costs. The trouble is the financial burden will not be felt for a good few years and by then it will too late. On the other hand, many mature students find themselves in better more lucrative jobs when they leave the university. Furthermore most mature students study part time and earn while they learn so the overall cost is better for them.
University’s find that mature students add to the life of the university and as US motor company mogul, Henry Ford once said: “Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”