Is the traditional gap year gone for good?
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Students are being forced to adapt the traditional gap year, as the government's tripled tuition fees cause finance, life experiences and university to collide.
Gap years are normally dreamt about, planned and achieved, with many naming travelling as one of life’s best experiences. However when the government lifted the £3375 cap on tuition fees, suggesting universities could charge up to £9000 from October 2012, gap years began to hold a whole new meaning.
Esme Kemp, 18, a first year university student, has been on many holidays with her family and enjoyed the experience of learning new cultures and the experiences different countries brought. However when the government announced the tuition fee rise, Esme was forced to abandon her plan to travel independently as she felt she could not justify having three times the debt. “I’ve missed out on a lot of life experiences as a result of being pushed into a university course so close after my A-levels. The rise in tuition fees pushed people into making a rush decision that shapes your entire life,” said Esme. Esme attended the London student riots last summer, due to the anger she felt. Describing the general feeling at the riots as anger and disappointment she said: “The very people who should have been taken into account weren’t and as a result are being punished for the failings of the government by having to pay extortionate prices for education.” Other students in 2011 also missed out on travelling aspirations in order to enter university before the tuition fee rise. Current applicants inevitably faced with higher fees, and are forced to substitute time travelling for earning money in preparation for higher education.
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