Written on: 24/07/2006 by jonathan kelly (110 reviews written)
Learning a lot
It was nothing to do with me
Down the Marylebone Road in London England is a university. I had been driving down this road for 15 years beforehand, and I had not noticed Westminster University until I decided to apply to go there during my access to university course. As I was living close by in Central London, it seemed ideal, so I did not even bother going to an interview at Hertfordshire University, as it was a waste of the train fare to even turn up, I thought. I went and had a look around another London university at Roehampton however, just to have a look to see. It was a catholic university, so it was not really for me. As I received an automatic acceptance for UNL that was good enough for me, I was going there!
Another student on my access course went there and she is now a teacher. It was looked down on by some students on the access course. I had no idea why at the time. One wanted to go to King's and was put out by how snooty they were there at her interview. The pot calling kettle back comes to mind.
I found out why it was rated so low by the snooty. They say it is because it was cheap; so it was full of foreigners. Otherwise it was full of local people like me, but that did not matter to me, as there were also a very high percentage of mature students and minorities!
The courses are of course as good as most marked by Oxford University, so empirical pragmatism is praised and they do not like phenomenology. The teachers all seem overly busy, and you need to make an appointment to speak to one. My Tutor was such a busy man it was difficult to see him. His feedback, although small was invaluable in helping me complete my dissertation on whether 'Free Will was Compatible with the truth of determinism'.
I left there six years ago now, but I have continued studies, as it was of a general interest to me anyway as a personal search for enlightenment. It was not a way into a job, as has been said many times by a philosophy major, and it is a one way trip to the dole queue. Being over 40, employers are not interested in me joining there graduate training programs. I spoke to one who thought it was a joke university. So only go to university if you're generally interested in a subject, as it seems nihilism is promoted.
Back to the anonymous buildings. They are a mix of prefab 60's. Some are very old, and some are new. They are all mixed up on the same site. The IT facilities were first rate, and had just been built when I was there in 2000. I studied English and Philosophy, which was surprisingly interesting for me, as I had never though of myself as being a philosophical person previously. On the access course I had done History which I did not like. It seemed I had been a philosopher for 35 years previous to going to University, and I did not even know I was doing it. If you are not interested in the metaphysical scientific world view then do not go. As that is what is promoted. Homelessness, barbarity and mass consumption are the effects of these, so it can be a problem.
As for the facilities; there are a few cafes in the University, and there is also a club / bar. But as it is so near to central London, other facilities and night life is no problem. The local area is a run down area of crime and prostitutes, kebab shops and people selling fags on every street corner.
So overall, the University of North London has promoted my intellectual development by manipulation of its own ideals on to me, even though they were not really compatible with mine, but as they are generally of the world outside, and it is what they are paid to do, you can not blame them. The promotion of nihilism then is expensive however, as it cost me £11000 pounds in student loans and bank overdrafts for them to try to manipulate me into being a nihilist. In some ways it is about success; in others it is about failure.
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