Anyone who follows me on Twitter or Instagram will have possibly seen the photo I posted earlier capturing my appearance in the Daily Mail today as the lead letter.
The article specifically attacks York University, citing the lack of contact hours for subjects like History and Physics, stating 'History students at York spend 8% of their course in lectures and seminars.' As a third year History student at the university, I felt this statistic was misrepresentative of my experience, which has been full and positive. My boyfriend, who studies physics at York, also had issues with the article, he commented that the amount of physics contact time for the year cited by the piece was less than he experiences in a term.
This promoted me to write my own reply to the DM article, which I then decided to send to the letters editor, expecting a stock response of 'Thank you for your letter... etc...' I was actually phoned up the a day later and told my letter would be appearing in print in the DM and that a photographer would be sent out.
I was obviously extremely pleased at this outcome and my letter and photo was printed in today's edition of the newspaper. Annoyingly, my original letter had undergone some editing by the DM, this resulted in slight changes to some sentences, obscuring their original meaning. Regardless, the main message of my letter was clear, university isn't a number, it's an experience. This can't be fully conveyed through simple statistics. I would urge any prospective students to consider the wider experiences a university can offer them, this means looking beyond the hours of academic teaching you will receive (though these are obviously is still important.)
In my opinion, an hours contact time with a leading academic eclipses two with a lesser one. It's also just as important to consider the extra-curricular opportunities on offer.
I strongly believe that university is about more than just academic achievement, its about developing as a person and widening your perspective. My time at York, which is sadly coming to an end, has completely changed the way I view and interact with the world around me
Hopefully you have enjoyed hearing a bit about my life beyond food!
Does anybody else have any thoughts on the subject of universities and contact time? Has anyone had similar positive experiences, or have you felt that your university doesn't offer 'value for money'?