Increased tuition fees will suck the fun out of university life, as students choose books over footballs, says a leading Kingston Student Union officer.
VP Activities trustee, Rhiannon Hiscocks, fears fee rises will stop students from participating in sports groups and societies, dismissing them instead as just fun social events, as they focus purely on getting the best possible degree. Such social activities were once seen as a key part of the university experience.
She said: “People won’t be coming to university for a good time anymore when they’re paying £9,000 a year. They will want to study and focus on getting a first.
“A first is amazing, but you have to remember that 50 per cent of the population have been to university. So now when you go for a job you can’t just say ‘I have a degree.”
In a tough job market Ms Hiscocks believes that belonging to a sports club or society makes you stand out from other graduates and vastly improves your employability.
“Being a sports captain shows that you have volunteered to organise and take responsibility for a whole team. To an employer that is very impressive.” said Ms Hiscocks.
Recent graduate, Mark Woor, was a football captain throughout his final year at Kingston and says the role helped him to beat 3,000 other applicants to a place on a graduate scheme at Akzo Nobel.
He said: “I believe that being a sports captain showed my future employer that I had the responsibility and leadership qualities needed to be successful on a leading graduate scheme.”
Having held the post of VP Activities for two years, Ms Hiscocks will be moving on from the university this year. She will, however, be running for the position of NUS delegate in this year’s SU elections.