Grayling College Cambridge
3rd December 2011
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In little over nine months, A C Grayling’s bastard lovechild – new college of the Humanities – will open its doors for the first cohort of open-minded glaze eyed students. For those who have not heard of this new institution, an alleged university which it is quite obviously not, then it is simply summed up as follows: A brand new university where you are taught by the upmost levels of the UK and US intelligentsia, a place where one does more than learn – you become learned. This is but a fantasy, the NCH is undoubtedly the outcome of Mr Graylings desire to go down in history as the founder of an institution – I beg the question, can an institution be founded on the basis of the solipsism of a public intellectual? Sadly it can, but should it? No. For it is not even a University. As a student at NHC you will in fact be required to sign up to the University of London wherein all of your real bread and butter lectures will be run. Becoming an international student of the University of London will give you access to all the resources of the greater university, made up of the separate colleges (KCL, etc.). However, it should not be forgotten that students at Kings College London have access to a rather excellent Humanities Department, Reputable University and all the other facilities – for only £9000, half the price of NCH. And it is cost that is by far the most damning indictment against this project. At £18000 a year, one might initially be rather incredulous – might we assume that it is twice as good as Cambridge or Oxford, the arithmetic suggest such – but this soon fades when we guess that this princely fee includes accommodation and the like. Alas, there is no such joy. Using the estimates from the NCH we can estimate living expenses of approximately £12,000 for a 40 week term. So it all comes in at £90,000 for a three year degree. I can say quite confidently that talking to Mr. Grayling for 40 hours a year is – or would, be much fun – not worth an extra £40,000.
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