Credit: Kirsten Colligan

Let’s all wake up in the year 2112…

By Luke Chafer

A lot has changed over the last 90 years on campus. With the University treating students as a commodity, what will the next 90 look like?

The year is 2112. Gilmorehill is now just one of five campuses dotted around the globe. Student numbers have crept over 100,000. The price of Hive entry is up to 25 quid with Daft Friday Esque queues starting the night before and students making the pilgrimage down from their halls in Shetland. Some things never change though; there is still a clamour outside the main gate on a daily basis as staff from across the Unions protest pay disparities while the Principal is raking it in. 

Looking through The Glasgow Guardian archives as we started to plan this print, it was remarkable how little the concerns of the student population have changed over the past 90 years from Union in-fighting to concerns over student welfare. However, I believe we are now at an important juncture. Whilst these are pervasive elements of campus life, the dynamic of the University’s attitude is undoubtedly changing. The University is ever increasingly making decisions through the lens of a business rather than an institute of higher education. Most evidently with the expansion of student numbers and the rhetoric surrounding it; that it’s not a substantial increase though as it’s less of an increase than the unsustainable substantial increase from the year before, or so senior management says.  When we request information regarding student numbers for this year or plans for future years it’s deemed “commercially sensitive” and not in the “public interest” – which tells you all you need to know. 

That’s why by 2112 the fabric of the University will be almost unrecognisable. There will be campuses in Shanghai and the States – if you can’t house them here why not just teach them at home? Zoom however, will be a thing of the past.  Technology will certainly play a role in the way we are taught with hologrammed professors delivering simultaneous lectures across three time zones. 

Student life will of course still have the same underbelly. The Union (I mean GUU by this point – QMU is a thing of the past even since its Fusion restaurant couldn’t save it) will still be a staple of University life. Hive will still offer fresh-faced freshers their first foray into their messy University life fuelled with pints of fun and regretful memories the morning after. 

As for The Glasgow Guardian though who knows?


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