So, the government have voted to raise the tuition fees, let’s not act shocked, we already knew it was inevitable and all protests and lobbying were held in vain. I mean come on, let’s not kid ourselves, look how many thousands or people marched in protest against the Iraq war. We all know what happened then. In fact, all those who protested will know what the poor gentlemen who sit outside Parliament every day protesting about various causes feel like by now. X-factor, same thing…we HOPE they will make the sensible decision but, in the end, all it comes down to is profit. Sir Alan Sugar said it in the last episode of ‘The Apprentice’ – “You understand, all that matters is making a profit? Ticket sales and profit.”
This just begs the question: What now?
Many young people will feel like their world has been shattered, just seeing pictures of a mother with her baby walking a pram laden with the words ‘my mum won’t be able to pay my uni fees’, is a testament to how far the effects of this vote reaches. So what now?
Young people, need answers now, more than ever. No university for many, no jobs for any; it is double jeopardy. The only solution is alternatives – finding different routes to a degree (longer process, limited options), applying for scholarship in a university 9,000 miles away (fat chance) or creating their OWN jobs (now you’re talking!).
It is amazing how many ideas young people have but are unable to implement them, either due to lack of information, lack of confidence or both. This is where the guidance of adults comes in, adults who have enterprising thought and live in a world of progressive thought and put it into positive action. Now is the time of enterprise and entrepeneurism, why? Because this generation has resources at its disposal that previous generations did not have. Technology, ability to grasp and understand concepts at a quicker pace, unlimited access to information and the ability to reach out to any part of the world in the comfort of their homes.
Amazing right? Young people are all set then, hey? Well…
The only problem that stops young people taking advantage of these things is the restrictive culture in which they are born, the culture that dictates to them that in order to be successful, they must spend 16 years in school, 2-3 years in college and then a further 3 years in university. So how can they then be expected to show enterprising thought? Most times when I mention to a young person that they can start their own business they look at me as if I was fresh out of a mental institution. Mostly because it seems contrary to the system they are brought up in. Also, because they are afraid to step out of the comfort zones that the educational system conditions them into.
Being free of restrictions is every young person’s dream but very few actually go after it. Some young people have started their own businesses but they not not necessarily be sustainable, (fashion labels, music, party promotion, events planning), which means there is room for their minds to be truly stretched. I don’t think that the fee rise is the end of the road, maybe that is because I have not been in education since college, maybe it is because I was home-taught before that, but for me the bottom line is that this vote, as negative as it is, has also presented us with a silver-lining: Freedom from the system, an opportunity to explore a new world, a world that our minds were closed off to in the confines of the educational system.
Over time, the government will have to accept entrepeneurism as a career choice in its search for solutions, if any, because the enterprises and entrepeneurs will see the opportunities presented by this begin to take on young people and reinvent the way we think about employment.
How we move on from this is SOLELY up to us, not the government we can either choose to keep voicing our anger and discontent or we can channel that anger into solutions and develop something for ourselves.