Where are the poor students?

November 8th, 2013, 2pm

I studied near here 30 years ago. Back then, students rarely had much money. We quickly got to know where the cheapest food was and where we could get the cheapest pint, the cheapest paper and pens.

I’ve worked in universities near here for 22 years now, and it’s noticeable how in the last few years, the student standard of living appears to have risen considerably.

Take the phenomenon pictured here. Every Thursday there is now a “Farmer’s Market” in Torrington Square. What that means, at least in the South East of England, is that it’s the kind of place where you can buy “Artisan bread” that costs five times the amount of normal bread. Or a small piece of cake for three times as much as in the supermarket. Or a tub of hot food for twice as much as it would be in a French street market. You get the picture, I’m sure.

But look at the queues! There’s no shortage of customers, so presumably no shortage of cash. Which I find interesting in this supposedly harsh economic climate.

OK, I realise I need to be fair and balanced here, so I should also report the other thing that has changed in recent years.

Just round the corner from the Farmer’s Market is the Hare Krishna free hot dinner cart. Queues start to form quite some time before it turns up, outside the School of Oriental and African Studies. And it’s a very long queue!

The queue at the free food cart

So some students haven’t changed. Or perhaps the gulf between the rich and the poor has just become wider.

David Wade, Emanuel, Cassie, Mona and 1 more said thanks.

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Adrian Tribe

A follower of Jesus Christ, a husband and father, a Kentish Man (not a Man of Kent), a commuter to London

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