Cut your coat according to your cloth

The University of Lincoln will cut bursaries for all but the poorest of students. Photo: Mike Hodges

It’s a fact that UK universities are facing massive cuts in their funding. Those cuts are going to have an impact on us all, whether we’re students, academics or support staff.

Bursaries at the University of Lincoln appear to be the first target on the list. Proposals include a 45% cut in the maximum amount paid to those receiving the full maintenance grant. Those students who don’t enjoy the benefit of the full maintenance grant face losing their bursaries entirely.

Is this fair? Probably not. Will it make life potentially harder for University of Lincoln students? Quite possibly. But in the current economic climate we are all going to have to learn to tighten our belts. We will have to reduce spending on “fun” and learn to live within our means. A harsh but valuable lesson for us all.

Potentially this squeeze on student finance may result in students suffering but it just might deter those who don’t have the right motivation to be at university. It might also serve to remind students that attending university isn’t a right but a privilege. A privilege that should be valued and appreciated for the life enhancing learning and experiences on offer. Attending university is a golden opportunity and, perhaps, these cuts to bursaries might help to reinforce that message.

Remember that there is fierce competition for university places. Applications are at record levels. Cuts to bursaries are unlikely to deter the army of applicants seeking a route to a better life. It might just make them more determined to work harder and succeed.