Some years back, I found myself ducking out of a 'sit-in' protest (a peaceful one, I should add) in the Chancellor's offices at the University of Warwick to, first up, run and find a friend to take my place and, second, scurry off to the small cubby hole from where we produced the weekly student newspaper - the rather strangely titled Warwick Boar (complete with Boris the Boar logo on the masthead) - to create a special one-off 'protest' special.
The issue? Will it surprise you if I mention student fees? I was part of the very first wave of students saddled with fees to go to university. With today's students facing bills of up to £9,000 a year, the paltry £3,000 I forked over for my entire three-year course seems something of a bargain, but we knew then what is very clear now, once it starts, there's no turning back the tide.
This morning, thousands of school leavers will be collecting their A-level grades and I feel for them, not just because I know the heart-thumping terror of picking up that little brown envelope, but because they have a hard slog ahead of them, all safe in the knowledge they will emerge blinking into the sunlight of real-life at the end with a nice fat deficit in the bank balances.
Today, we launch HuffPostUK Universities & Education, not just to give those undergraduates a place to make their voices heard, but also the naysayers. I'm well aware paying for all those students costs the country dear. Is there another solution? Is university a total waste of time in the first place? We look to this new section of HuffPostUK, our first in fact since the site's launch in July, to be a hotbed for debate and argument - the very things that make our university years so interesting.
But we're not just here to talk about those with A-level results clutched in their hot little hands. Students of every age, alongside their teachers and professors, will weigh in on policy issues, academic papers and, hopefully, some lighter issues, too. If we don't hear about at least one or two Freshers' Week fiascos, I for one will be very disappointed!
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