The students: life and opinions

Brian Pullan and Michele Abendstern

in A History of the University of Manchester, 1973–90

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print January 2004 | ISBN: 9780719062421
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700624 | DOI:
The students: life and opinions

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Attempts at characterising students have usually depended on dubious stereotypes, on images formed around the most vocal, vehement, idealistic, eccentric and badly behaved. In the 1970s, however, the press, as though baulked of its prey and frustrated at the dearth of good copy, tended to concentrate on the unspectacular qualities of students and their lack of originality. It was probably true that the ultra-left and the devotees of direct action had become more distant from the ordinary student population and that their methods, if not their ideals, were regarded by the majority with greater impatience and distaste. Rises in the cost of living and the failure of student grants to keep up with them induced a hard-headed concern with the practical-material. Few students were utopian. They were not averse to protesting, but protests usually had specific and limited aims, such as preventing the demolition of a still-useful building or adding a few pounds to the Union capitation fee. Once challenged, authority often made conciliatory moves.

Keywords: university students; student population; student grants; student protests

Chapter.  11850 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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