The party’s over – how tuition fees ruined university life

Before he went to university, Jack O’Neill prepared for his adventure by watching the comedy drama Fresh Meat. O’Neill, 19, is an undergraduate from Plymouth who spends his term time in a house-share, so he should have found Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain’s show about the lives of six students relatable.


There was alcohol, sex, nocturnalism, fridge politics, even the occasional essay crisis. Some of those things must have resonated. But O’Neill, who will soon start the final year of a degree in history and international relations at Royal Holloway, University of London, has reservations.


 “They’re often partying and going out,” he says, “and there never seems to be any sense of the impact of that.” I’m already starting to feel sorry for him when he adds: “I have to think, ‘Well, the food budget will need to be cut this week.’”


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