Arriving at Exeter University on a glorious autumnal afternoon
yesterday seemed like the end of an era in the maytrees' family
as our youngest was leaving home to start her BSc Mathematics studies there.
Despite the discontent about student loans and fees widely discussed
in the UK media, walking around the Exeter university campus, reminded me that
the experience of attending and living at a campus based university
in an historic UK city, is surely potentially at least hugely beneficial.
Maytrees min's room on campus was on the first floor of what must at some
time have been an old country house with the house garden and tennis courts immediately
below her window and a view of Exeter Cathedral in the mist, beyond.
The library, student theatre shops, bars, banks, cafes etc all within a couple of minutes walk make the place virtually self contained. I used to wonder if
the UK practice of many students travelling miles to universities
and living there rather than living at home and studying at College
nearby was inefficient. Maybe it is but the potential for personal
growth, development and independence whilst learning away
from home I feel, hugely makes up for any inefficiencies.
We still miss her though hence the end of an era feeling.