Monday, April 02, 2007

Xer Letter of the Week

From a letter to the editor in today’s Age:

My friends and I completed law degrees at Melbourne Uni in the early '90s, when "going to uni" was a myth of middle-class advancement . . . Most of us were tens of thousands in debt (many still are), and took one to two years to find work in law, at a much lower rate than if we'd just done apprenticeships.

We are hundreds of thousands of dollars behind friends who just got jobs after high school working where they were actually needed — as mechanics, plumbers etc.

- David Beattie, Mont Albert

David doesn’t clarify whether he was part of the (commencing) class of ’89 (or later), or whether like me, the goalposts were moved after he started his law course. If he was in the former category, I reckon that he was under a fair bit of notice as to “the myth of middle-class advancement” even in 1989. But I wouldn't be too harsh on him; teenagers have always been lemming-like creatures, making bad decisions in the interests of peer conformity.

i can make bad mistakes all by myself thank you very much
Speaking of mistakes and misattributions -- I might point out here that the HECS rates in the early nineties were quite small (I seem to remember I started collecting them in second year and ended up with less than $10,000 including a fourth year), so if you happened to have graduated at that time and are tens of thousands of dollars in debt, then my recommendation is to thank the bank for lending that to you. God knows, they wouldn't lend money to some of us, and we had to live off $130 a week.

The other missattribution is the comparison with friends who got jobs just after high school. Obviously someone has very succesful friends compared to the population at large (feel free to check the numbers on the ABS).

Personally, I don't have a lot of sympathy for someone who got a law degree and lives in Mont Albert. Some of us went to technical schools where 99% of the people couldn't have got into a law degree if they wanted to. Life's evidentally tough.
I'm the guy who wrote the letter. Conrad, I broadly agree:
(a) I started in 1989, and the fees then were one third what they are now, so I dont deny that people these days have it tougher by a long way

(b) My real complaint is the lack of information. There was definitely a big push about 'going to uni' and its cost a lot of people a lot of money. The unis have a very well funded propaganda arm in the 'Graduate Careers Council' and the media have generally played up uni benefits too much. I'm not arguing for people to be protected against themselves, but I am arguing for accurate information to be given out.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?