A new dilemma of this recession struck me the other day.
The last (tiny by comparison) recession took place at the end of the 80s and wasn't accompanied by the same credit crunch. Back in the 80s the student grant system had just been phased out and although loans were coming in, tuition fees weren't. Student life was poor but generally didn't leave you up to your eyeballs in debt.
In the last few years England has introduced student tuition fees. Scotland hasn't yet but students still need loans and proper summer jobs to make ends meet. Of course in a credit crunch with graduate jobs at the end of degrees much less guaranteed than before, students are finding credit much harder to come by. For that reason they are even more desperately in need a summer job than usual if they are to contemplate paying next term's fees. But of course companies are in such dire straits, they can't even pay their employees. Bucketloads of those are being made redundant so there won't be many advertising for casual summer workers, will there?
Are we about to see students dropping out en masse? I wonder if they will appear in the unemployed statistics if they do, or if, like school leavers, they will be hidden in some government-created grey area.
And of course once students stop being able to pay their fees, I guess unis will stop being able to pay their staff... The word snowball springs to mind, despite the current heatwave.