Finally, a letter stating the obvious. Of course stipends are ridiculous, especially in an economy like ours. With so many ways to cheat the system did they really believe that the Smart card was the solution to stop students spending this money on things which are not 'academically-oriented'.
Maybe this might sound pedantic because I've completed my first degree and therefore received all the grants that were offered; however, whilst at uni (and 6th form as the case may be) I was working in order to maintain myself and enjoy a certain quality of life. Now that I'm back at uni getting my M.A. Qual sorted I am not entitled to any sort of stipend, although the scrawny kid next to me is getting paid to sit there and listen to the same lecture that I am listening to but that's another matter; so what do people such as myself do? We work!
Maybe it would be unwise to go cold-turkey on the stipend system, and the introductory grant should be retained for a while, but that should also be phased out eventually. Why are we throwing all this money at 18-year-olds when it is so evidently needed in order to upgrade the facilities that the university and JC supposedly offer. Sports? Hah, that's a joke! The outdoor tennis court and basketball court and usually flooded and inaccessible, which is a shame. Unfortunately as everything else, it all boils down to politics, and no government has the balls to do something drastic like this, despite the obvious benefits.