Wednesday, 29 February 2012

More scaremongering in the Metro...

I read the Metro every morning - I find that it's a good way to pass the time on my commute whilst catching up on the news in a not to heavy way to slowly wake me up.  Today though I was angry, as I read a small article that once again is scaremongering over tuition fees. 

If one in ten medical students have turned to sex work whilst at University then this is a worrying trend that the Universities need to look into to ensure that no student is feeling forced into this position.  However not one single student will be doing this because of their higher tuition fees as, unlike when I studied, (and I've lost count of how many times I've had to say this) they don't pay a single penny in tuition fees until AFTER they have graduated.  Even then it is income contingent - the amount they will pay back depends on their level of earnings.  Given that they are receiving loans and grants from the Government to help with the cost of living (that are considerably higher than the amount received by Scottish students who don't incur fees!)  medical students in particular wont actually begin to contribute to the cost of their cost until a long time after they have graduated as they will effectively first be paying back the money that they received (at a lower rate than I do).  If they ever end up paying back all of this amount it will be because they have become very rich themselves.

One thing I did find really surprising and worrying here was the sheer number of students supposedly turning to sex work - one in ten - 10%!  That's a remarkable statistic... so obviously I have just looked up this research to verify it.  According to the "Birmingham Mail" this study was done at Birmingham University's medical school and the actual findings are that one in ten "have a friend" who has turned to this industry.  Now notice how this totally isn't mutually exclusive.  Whilst at University I knew about 30 people there (before Facebook really took off) so if one person works in the industry and has 30 friends who responded to this survey then they would need to ask 300 people to get this statistic for one person or one in 300 people actually working in the industry (and I wasn't the most popular!).  Obviously this still isn't mutually exclusive with regards those who know a person knowing more people but still, I think it demonstrates how the information itself needs more clarification.  

This reporting is backed up by the Torygraph.

Also take note that the fact it is just how many people are aware of others working in the industry, perhaps those who do no longer feel that it is something they need to hide or that there is less stigma attached - as pointed out perhaps due to The Secret Diary Of A Call Girl.  If it is the case that it is just becoming more known then this would be a good thing as it would mean that the women are operating less in the shadows of the economy/society and could therefore be in a better position to seek help if needed.

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