Wednesday, 18 January 2012

# 18 Sex and the Student

Apparently, the huge rise in tuition fees has meant some students are turning to almost any means to fund their studies - vice, clinical trials and gambling. According to the NUS there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that students are also funding through prostitution and it estimated that about 20% of women working in lap dancing clubs were students.

The Government has retaliated by saying it offers students a generous package of financial support. I'm not entirely sure what they mean by 'generous' because as a student who has curtailed most of their social life to meet budgets I certainly wouldn't call it generous.

The 'English Collective of Prostitutes' (yes this a genuine business name) which runs its UK base from London says calls to them have doubled in the last year although they have seen a steady rise in student calls over the last 10 years. And it's not just University students, A-level and college students are also starting to take up the adult worker mantel, which suggests even students still living at home are struggling with rising living costs and study funding.

Prostitution of course, is the oldest profession in the world. If nothing else, sex sells and if you can't get work and you have pressing financial commitments the last thing you're going to be worried about is the morality of your choice of work. The Daily Mail regurgitated the same information with less sympathy and seemed surprised that the figures were so low given the ease with which many young women would be able to make a living in the sex industry (it suggested).

Even Oxbridge has its own Escort Agency called 'Take Me To Dinner' -a strictly no sex agency, although what happens on the escort's own time is of course their own business and profit no doubt. Sadly the website is down so I couldn't check it out for this write up.

There's no doubt that a rise in University fees may push some students into areas of employment they might otherwise not have considered, but though fees are rising, so are the loans so really it's no different to how it is now. You'll get a loan for your tuition fees and living expenses, the latter of which is really only designed to cover your basics such as rent and food.

On my course (like so many others) there is nothing for the hundreds and hundreds you'll spend on course materials and even if you remain a virtual recluse for the next 3 years and never spend anything on yourself your loan still won't keep you in food, paid bills or a roof over your head.

It's a worrying trend if the figures are to be believed and not a choice to be taken lightly.

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