It was the early 1980s, and I was in my late teens, writes Malory Nye for the Huffington Post. There were many certainties at that time – Nelson Mandela would never be free, it was only a matter of time before the two superpowers would push the nuclear button on Armageddon, and for kids of my age there were two choices. Either you went to university, or you didn’t.
The world of post-school education was then undergoing major changes, under the seemingly precise scalpel of Margaret Thatcher’s education secretary Keith Joseph.
It was a revolution that was destined to become perpetual. British universities are still lurching from each major shake-up to the next.
As a potential consumer of the system (a phrase that was not around at the time), I felt that I had no real choice. I had to go, my life choices would be much greater. And for heaven’s sake it was free, and I would receive funds (a maintenance grant) to live on for the three years. It was a no brainer.
Needless to say, things are now very different.