The Case Against University Fundraising

Jason Ling suggest alternative targets for the annual phone campaign.

University of St Andrews prides itself in high quality education, impressive student satisfaction rates and awesome town history. It is renowned around the world – but as prestigious as it is, there is one particular aspect most of the population absolutely hate.

Here’s the case, have your parents ever receive a telephone call from the some University student, asking them to be involved “more” in the University alumni events or maybe some sort of a project updates or just to keep in contact?

Some people love it  – talking with current University students about St Andrews and vice versa. Don’t get me wrong with this part, I do appreciate that people want to talk about their experiences at St Andrews. But then it gets into the part of “making a gift/donation.” Every cell just died there, right at that moment. Time stopped, mind gone cray-cray, dog barked, mouse squeaked, and cat meowed.

As an international student myself, only one thing came to mind: “Have I not bloody paid the school fee of nearly £24,500?” Most fees of international students range around £20,000 – £28,000. And while international students made up approximately 30% of the total student population, we seem to be disproportionately targeted by this fundraising campaign.

But don’t get me wrong here, I am never against the idea of keeping in contact with alumni. University is welcome to do whatever they want, and this method of “fundraising” is done by most universities around the UK. That said, you have got to be kidding me – if I’ve paid a whooping £24,000 and accommodation of nearly £5000, and you still want a penny out of my pocket? I do appreciate the education standard, the facilities, and the hype around the town but sadly, my wallet is as empty as a Brexiteer’s promise. I’m working my butt off currently just to support my daily expenses in St Andrews.

Instead, the University should focus on the Scottish and the European Students. How much is their fee? Free. Even the English need to pay ~£9K for their University fee here. I don’t want to sound salty as hell, but damn. To make it worse, the accommodation price in St Andrews is rapidly escalating. If you’ve not yet seen the accommodation price, sadly now you need to turn your head all the way up because it is as high as a cannabis smoker. 

With a sincere heart, we should thank those who call the alumni for their hard work. I can imagine the heat they take everyday. There are good and bad moments, definitely, but at least you’ve learnt something in the process. I truly understand the reason for the University to reach out to the alumni and “fundraise,” but in my case, it’s a no deal. 

May I propose that the University should target a specific population of graduate alumni: The Scots and the Europeans.



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