Hugo Stewart - Manifesto

Mature Students’ Officer Manifesto 2020 - Hugo Stewart

Hello, my name is Hugo and I am running to be your mature students’ officer.

I realize I am relatively young to be running to be the “mature” students’ officer. But after arriving at the final year of my study as a 24-year-old, I feel as though I have begun to understand some of what is means to be a mature student here at Brookes. To me, a mature student is someone who comes to university without it being their sole obligation - whether it is working to pay the bills or having caring obligations. Someone who comes to university without a blank check from “mum and dad”. Don’t get me wrong, I am not arrogant enough to believe that I know every challenge that all mature students experience during their day to day (again I’m only 24).

But I think we can all agree, that no one is really getting what they thought they paid when it comes to their “student experience” this year, especially for the mature students that have to foot the bill, and the stress themselves - on top of whatever else is going in their lives.

In 2010 the price of a university tuition increased to £9,000 and then another £250 in 2016… that’s £9,250 a year just to go to university, and that’s before accommodation, bills and living expenses – Uni is expensive (even more so for international students). Now that Covid-19 has caused face to face lectures to become increasingly replaced with zoom calls, the full £9,250+ of annual university tuition becomes harder and harder to justify.

My main goal as the mature students’ officer would be to make sure that mature students have the opportunity to have their voice heard and their feedback listened to. I feel as if with the current circumstances as they are, and the historic underrepresentation of mature students here at Brookes, every voice needs to be heard.

If elected I will campaign for students to receive partial refunds to their academic tuition while online teaching is implemented, and the value of the “student experience” remains a shadow of its former self.