‘The story of “the student experience” begins not in the cloisters of Oxbridge, nor on the leafy campus of Sussex or Keele. It begins, in fact, in the period of a certain kind of scarcity of resources in the lead up, during and after the Second World War; and it can be said properly to begin in a relatively small seaside resort town on the east coast of England: Skegness. Skegness is where Billy Butlin opened his first holiday camp, with a novel kind of business model. The idea … was one where you paid an initial global sum as an entry-price to the attractions, and then got access to an entire raft, or a “suite” as it is now called in business jargon, of facilities. The model was one where, by paying a fee upfront, you were entitled to what would ostensibly look like “free” access to all the facilities.’ – Thomas Docherty, For the University: Democracy and the Future of the Institution (London: Bloomsbury, 2011), p. 58.
Maybe I should buy a red coat and start practising my jazz hands.
‘It’s all very well sneering at universities, and students with those awful scarves and flat-heeled shoes, but really and truly, it would be wonderful to have a bit of kosher education: I mean, to know what’s up there in the sky: just up above you, like the blue over the umbrella, and find out whatever’s phoney about our culture, and anything in it that may be glorious and real.’ – Colin MacInnes, Absolute Beginners (1959)