It’s 9:45, I’m mildly hungover, and relying on a strong black coffee to stay awake. The dulcet tones of a greying, portly biochemistry professor rumble around a gloomy lecture hall, which is clad in oak and filled with tacky plastic chairs. We’re learning about the organization of the plant metabolic network, which is only about half as much fun as it sounds.
After the summary, which seems strangely unfamiliar, we each rummage around, pull out £30, and place it on the front desk in a heap of crumpled notes and loose change. Sam asks me to lend him some cash; he’s forgotten his wallet for the third time this month. The professor pulls out a hessian sack and starts sweeping the money (about £1800) into it, then walks outside whistling.
I get ten lectures a week, some of them from obtuse or incomprehensible lecturers, and place £300 weekly at the front of the lecture hall. There are 30 teaching weeks in a year, so pay around £9,000 for all my lectures. I think about this, look for a paracetamol in my bag, and wonder if I’m getting my money’s worth. …
Britanski študent Luke Braidwood v satirični zgodbi opisuje svet dovršeno konkurenčne univerze, kjer študenti šolnino plačujejo na vsakem predavanju posebej – po svoji izbiri.